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The Female Entrepreneur in Latin American Art

Written By Taima Hervas
March 27, 2023 at 4:15 PM

Lucía Maman at her studio surrounded by her paintings. Image courtesy Pro Mujer.

Opening night expert-led conversation and art exhibition looks at art from intriguingly different perspectives, exploring how art empowers Latin American women, enables them to express themselves, and helps them break barriers. “The Female Entrepreneur in Latin American Art,” exhibition and talk, Monday, March 27, 2023, organized by Pro Mujer and Maman Fine Art Gallery, will feature Carmen Correa, CEO of Pro Mujer, a preeminent non-profit social enterprise with a long history of empowering women in Latin America.
Also in conversation will be emerging Latin American artist Lucia Maman, Dr. Adriana Herrera Tellez, Art Expert and Co-founder of Aluna Art Foundation, and gallerist Daniel Maman.

Maman and Patricia Pacino, Founders of Maman Fine Art gallery, described their unusual explorative collaboration with Pro Mujer, bringing together a women’s social economic empowerment enterprise with artists, art experts and curators for a curated conversation in their gallery.

Carmen Correa, CEO of Pro Pro Mujer in Huatajata, La Paz, Bolivia. Image courtesy Pro Mujer.

“We invited Pro Mujer to co-host this event as we share a common purpose. Like Pro Mujer, we take gender issues into account in our work. Art since the beginning of the Renaissance has been dominated by a male perspective but recently, this paradigm started to fracture and women began to be recognized as co-authors of the artistic avant-garde movements.

“Martha Boto is a clear example of this. She was a visionary and had a great impact within the kinetic movement in Paris during the 60’s. She became a key member of the movement and achieved great recognition in the international scene, being included in the collection of museums such as the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, among others.”

Martha Boto (Buenos Aires, 1925 – Paris, 2004) posing at her Paris studio alongside her kinetic and luminic boxes. Boto is quoted as saying, “I have always been fascinated by the laws of harmony and equilibrium which govern the cosmos through interrelations of light and movement, space, time, and color.” (Photo courtesy of Maman Fine Art Gallery)

Maman emphasized, “As gallerists and art lovers, we believe in the transformative power of Art. Art creates new possible worlds to inhabit, and gives us tools to understand and see the world with ´othering´ eyes, generating awareness, knowledge, subjectivity and a sense of community within our societies, many of the aspects that Pro Mujer also strives for by providing the necessary tools and facilities to generate not only monetary resources but also the skills and the creativity to realize their potential and thrive in their professional activities, also transforming their realities.”

Pro Mujer CEO Carmen Correa agrees, and shared her thoughts, “Art is an extremely valuable means of expression that provides a way of sustaining a personal and family life and developing professionally. The stories we heard from young and experienced Latin American artists and critics inspire our continued support of women entrepreneurs. Art is a journey rich in opportunities for all women who want to express themselves and make a living from their talent. Latin American women are the authentic agents of change in Latin America.”

Pro Mujer has impacted over 2 million people, provided 10 million health care services, and granted $4.4 million in microcredits in individual and small group loans. The organization has a holistic approach, supporting women with microfinance loans, primary health care, training in financial, digital and entrepreneurial skills as well as sharing leadership and tools to implement gender inequality solutions.

Jennifer Brooks, Humanitarian, based in Miami, sits on the Pro Mujer Board, shared her delight to welcome Pro Mujer into Miami’s art conversation, “I am so grateful, a long dream of having Pro Mujer’s leadership set foot in Miami is happening today. Art is one of our biggest industries, and a perfect beginning to ensure Pro Mujer’s engagement with our local community. Our diverse city represents the communities in which ProMujer works empowering women in Latin America.”

Emerging artist Lucia Maman adds her perspective to the conversation. Mostly self-taught, Lucia has a background in art history and philosophy. When asked if she considers herself to be a Latin American artist, Maman replied, “I am Argentinian and that it is related to my practice in deep ways. My first encounters with Art happened in Argentinian galleries and institutions. So, it is hard to detach that feeling of belonging, of your roots to who you are, my practice is intertwined with me, with my identity. The way I think, the language I speak, my values, everything is related with where I come from.”

Lucia Maman moved to Miami from Argentina five years ago, she shared her impressions, “there is a difference in possibility for Latin American women artists in Miami. In Miami there are greater opportunities for an international career. Here there are curators who are willing to help, to lend you a hand, and there is a much bigger market for female artists.”

The final expert speaker, Adriana Herrera Tellez, Independent writer and curator, and Co-founder of Aluna Art Foundation, will address the place of women in the artist eco-system of Latin America. Herrera Tellez mentioned “Threading the City,” an important Miami city-wide fiber arts initiative organized by Fiber Art Miami Association (FAMA), where she gave a series of talks on the influence of pre-Hispanic textile legacy on modern and contemporary fiber art, funded by the Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. As an example of the transformative power of women artists, she shared, “Textile art is as old as the human world: textiles tell stories and have lived for millennia connected to the fabric of life and its memory and narrative. Textiles – almost always made by women – preserve ancestral threads of connection not only with myth and origin but also with life itself.”

Herrera also emphasized how important it is “to capture the idea of the power of women igniting social imagination through art, challenging hegemonic visions, and resituating practices such as the textile and ceramic production done by indigenous women giving proper recognition and paying well for their creations. They could be artisans or artists, but in both cases, their names, or the names of the community associations should be credited.”

The month-long exhibition through April 27 displays a group show featuring many works of Martha Boto, plus a separate room dedicated to exhibiting Boto’s and Gregorio Vardanega’s estates featuring over 100 works, documentation and projects. Another large gallery space displays more than 2,000 works of the many important Latin American artists that are part of the gallery’s collection, including works of female artists such as Nicola Costantino, Nushi Muntaabski and Cynthia Cohen, as well as the studio and works of emerging artist Lucia Maman.

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