Join us for an online panel conversation reflecting on Diego Rivera’s Pan American Unity mural and his vision of cooperation across borders in the Americas. Moderated by Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Maria Castro, this talk brings together four speakers — Juana Alicia, Eamon Ore-Giron, Jonathan Cordero, and Claire F. Fox — to think together about Rivera’s work, while offering contemporary perspectives on the idea of Pan Americanism and cross-cultural solidarity.
Anchored by a broad discussion of the iconography and history of in the mural (now on view free to all in the Roberts Family Gallery, Floor 1), speakers will bring to bear their scholarship, activism, and art practices to topics including Rivera’s perspectives on political and social history, technology, and Indigeneity in the Americas; the social and activist function of mural making; and ways of reimagining understanding of the U.S.-Mexico border today.
About the speakers
Juana Alicia has been creating murals and working as a printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, and studio painter in the Bay Area for over thirty years. Her style, akin to genres of contemporary Latin American literary movements, can be characterized as magical and social realism. Her work addresses issues of social justice, gender equality, environmental crisis and the power of resistance and revolution.
Eamon Ore-Giron is an artist known for blending a wide range of visual styles and influences in his brightly colored abstract geometric paintings. Referencing indigenous and craft traditions as well as the 20th-century avant-garde, his paintings move between temporalities and resonate across cultural contexts. Ore-Giron also works in video and music and has exhibited nationally and internationally (including in SFMOMA’s 2019 exhibition SOFT POWER).
Claire F. Fox is the author of Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (2013) and The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1999). Her current research focuses on contemporary art and performance at heritage sites in the Americas.
Jonathan Cordero, Ph.D. (Ramaytush Ohlone/Chumash) is a visiting scholar at USC and UC Hasting College of Law. He is a cultural sociologist specializing in the arts, an ethnohistorian with expertise on Spanish/Mexican colonialization, and the executive director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone.
Support for Public Programs and Artist Talks at SFMOMA is provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Distinguished Lecture Series.
Presenting support for Pan American Unity is provided by Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, Helen and Charles Schwab, Pat Wilson, and anonymous donors.
Major support is provided by Doris Fisher, Randi and Bob Fisher, the Koret Foundation, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, The Bernard Osher Foundation, and Sanford Robertson.
Generous support is provided by the Breyer Family Foundation, Katherine Harbin Clammer and Adam Clammer, Roberta and Steve Denning, Jean and James E. Douglas, Jr., Lydia Shorenstein, and John and Ali Walecka. Additional support is provided by Susan Swig.
Funding for the conservation of Pan American Unity was generously provided through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.