GALA– the Glossary of Art of modern Latin America— is edited by Dr Susan Douglas and supported by the College of Arts at the University of Guelph, Canada. GALA is an on-line resource for Latin American art and performance culture. It offers an introduction to key ideas and terms that inform Latin America’s distinct artistic, cultural and philosophical heritage, traditions, and institutions.
GALA originated as a class assignment. Students in ARTH*2050, “Modern Latin American Art” were assigned topics and asked to investigate aspects of the production and consumption of images, objects, and events from Central and South America and Mexico. Such inclusivity is essential as the identity of Latin American art varies widely in this age of globalization. The broad field of modern “visual culture” and “representation” is very important to debates and discussions of Latin American art, as are texts and visual practices ranging from artworks to performances and institutions. In our contemporary cultures we think about how images contribute to the production of cultural knowledge generally. Here we look at art and analyze key ideas and terms such as “identity,” “memory” and “reality.” For anyone interested in images in the Latin American context such terms are critical as are the many others we’ve included in the glossary. Many in the Latino/a community across the Americas have suggested the need to familiarize more people with the meaningful Latin American experience of art, culture and history.
GALA captures the curiosity and enthusiasm of new research and reveals the developing global understanding of our students at Guelph. Over the last few years the Internet has become an increasingly important tool in education—sometimes, however, its benefits are difficult to quantify or systematize. Each entry in GALA is lucid and informative; each offers an array of perspectives on different issues. In addition, the topics covered are historical, wide-ranging, and thought-provoking; the entries are full of lively examples of art forms taken from Latin American countries along with reference to key artists. GALA is the result of hard work. This initiative aims to find solutions to the problem of efficiently using our classroom discoveries. Eventually we’d like to take the project further, by including contributions from other emerging writers and new scholarship.
Please include the proper credit when referencing the entries; entries are authored individually and the author’s name appears below each entry.