(June 22, 2012) -- A photograph by Arturo Infante Almeida, art specialist and curator of the UTSA Art Collection, is part of a permanent exhibition of works by 38 American artists in the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico. The photo, "Barrio Baroque," was selected by the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies (AIE) program.
"I'm honored to be a part of this collection and honored to be with great company," said Almeida.
AIE was established by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy administration in 1963. AIE is one of the United States' premier public-private partnership arts organizations with more than 20,000 individual and institutional participants and a presence in some 200 venues in 189 countries. The art program furthers U.S. diplomacy through the power of the visual arts by expansive international cultural exchange initiatives.
"Art in Embassies reveals the rich history and cultural heritage of the United States and the experiences that we share with peoples of different countries, backgrounds and faiths. Every exhibition reminds us of the diversity of mankind and the values that bind us together," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Almeida was born in Brownsville, Texas, in 1962. At a young age, he moved to Corpus Christi, where he became an artist and independent curator. Almeida attended Del Mar College and continued his studies in photography at San Antonio College and the Southwest School of Art.
His photographic works take inspiration from Mexican American culture, such as the papel picado (or perforated paper) tradition. Almeida's work shows dramatic visions of the everyday, elevating common sights to stand-alone works of art.
In 2003, Almeida joined UTSA as curator of the UTSA Art Collection under President Ricardo Romo. A committed advocate of the San Antonio arts community, Almeida is curator of the celebrated "Arte Latina: Roar" exhibition. In 2007, he curated the work of 13 artists and six writers to celebrate his mother, ideas of liberation, empowerment and voice at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. His dedication to representing San Antonio and South Texas artists has created meaningful relationships between the university and the thriving San Antonio arts community.
Collaborating with the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Almeida initiated the Texas Contemporary Artists Series. Ten artists will have solo exhibitions that reflect on their relationships to San Antonio and South Texas. The series examines the melting pot of San Antonio artists through the work of artists who have gravitated toward Texas, both personally and artistically. The current exhibit running through Sept. 2 features paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz.
To showcase artwork in the UTSA Art Collection, Almeida is working on a book focusing on 200 pieces. The artists include Graciela Iturbide, Jesse Trevino, Cesar Martinez, Judith Baca and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Ricardo Romo and John Phillip Santos, author and UTSA Honors College Distinguished Scholar, will be contributing writers.
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