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Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly

Monarchs: brown and native contemporary artists in the path of the butterfly

Curated by Risa Puleo
On view Thursday, May 24 – August 5, 2018

Participating Artists: Gina Adams, Carmen Argote, Natalie Ball, Margarita Cabrera, Juan William Chávez, Yanira Collado, william cordova, Franky Cruz, Rafa Esparza, Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez, Guillermo Galindo, Jeffrey Gibson, Sky Hopinka, Donna Huanca, Truman Lowe, Ivan LOZANO, Cannupa Hanska Luger & Marty Two Bulls Jr., Salvador Jiménez-Flores, Merritt Johnson & Nicholas Galanin, Rodolfo Marron III, Harold Mendez, Mark Menjivar, Ronny Quevedo, Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez, Josh Rios & Anthony Romero, Guadalupe Rosales, Onajide Shabaka, Carlos Rosales-Silva, Francisco Souto, Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, Rick Ulyssee, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Mary Valverde, Dyani White Hawk, Sarah Zapata

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami will present the group exhibition Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly from May 24 – Aug. 5, 2018. Curated by Risa Puleo, the exhibition features the works of 35 artists who are native to the Americas separated into conceptual categories including indigenous, immigrant and assimilated.

The exhibition focuses on the monarch, the only butterfly that migrates in two directions, as a geographic range and a metaphor. Monarchs (specifically those of eastern North American) fly from southern Canada through the Midwest on their way to Michoacán, Mexico and back.

This survey of artists from or living in the path of the monarch, brings to life the Dakota Access Pipeline and the call to build a wall in Mexico as unrelenting issues that create challenges for people native to the Americas — being separated by conceptual categories of indigenous, immigrant, and assimilated. Like the butterfly, which takes at least four generations to completely navigate its way through middle America with inherited knowledge, these artists also use inherited cultural memory to showcase and explore historical narratives of their respective heritage through abstract techniques.

Artists incorporate processes such as basket weaving, beadwork, copper hammering, and quilting, and materials such as stucco, plaster, ceramics, and feathers, that hold a high degree of resonance within native, immigrant, and brown aesthetics and vernacular cultures. The exhibition also charts the movement of styles and approaches through large spans of time across the Americas, speaking to an inherited means of production and genealogy of form.

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly is curated by Risa Puleo and organized by Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska, where it was first presented December 7, 2017–February 24, 2018. The accompanying catalogue is supported, in part, by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Sandra Fossum, and Watie White.

About the Curator

Risa Puleo is an independent curator and critic. Her exhibition Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly, curated for Bemis Center for Contemporary Art during her year as curator-in-residence, will travel through the summer of 2019 to MOCA North Miami, Blue Star Art Space and Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio, The Nerman Art Museum in Kansas City, and The Soap Factory Minneapolis. Puleo’s exhibition Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the American Justice System opens at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston in August 2018. Other exhibitions have been hosted by the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York City, Franklin Street Works in Stamford, CT, ArtPace, San Antonio, Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, and more. Puleo has Master’s degrees from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and Hunter College and is a Ph.D. Art History program at Northwestern University. She has written for Art in America, Art Papers, Art 21, Asia Art Pacific,, Modern Painters and other art publications.

Reception: June 14th, 2018


Monarch’s Catalog

Enjoy exclusive access to the exhibition catalog.

Monarch’s Programming

Walkthrough with Curator
Saturday, June 16, 1pm: Intimate tour of the exhibition with independent curator and critic, Risa Puleo.
Free with museum admission.

Creative Arts 4 Kids
Create Your Own Butterfly House
Saturday, June 23, 2–4pm: Inspired by the exhibition’s themes of identity and inheritance, participants will create their own butterfly houses.
MOCA Members: $10 | Non-members: $15 MOCA

Contemporary Dialogues
Identities in Motion: A Conversation on Migration and Identity in South Florida and Beyond
Saturday, June 30, 2pm: Panel discussion with exhibiting artists william cordova, Onajide Shabaka and Dinizulu Gene Tinnie.
Free with museum admission.

Butterfly Talk and Walk
Saturday, July 21, 2pm: Visitors will learn about the monarch butterfly, their migration patterns, and their threat of extinction through an exploration of Miami-based artist Franky Cruz’s greenhouse currently on view at MOCA. Following a viewing of the PBS documentary “Sex, Lies, and Butterflies,” each visitor will be given seeds to plant their own butterfly gardens.
Free with museum admission. Kid-friendly.

MOCA Moving Images
“The Golden Dream” Film Screening
Saturday, July 28, 2pm: This Cannes Film Festival award winning film, “The Golden Dream” (2013), directed by Diego Quemada-Diez, follows three young men as they make the journey from Mexico to California.
Free with museum admission.


Miami Herald: Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events

Miami New Times: “Monarchs” Exhibit at MOCA Interrogates the Borders Between Countries and Cultures

artdaily: Group exhibition featuring the works of 37 artists who are native to the Americas opens in Miami