Opening Day Talk: Juana Valdés and Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig, Ph.D.

Saturday, October 21

1 pm

Free for Museum Members
$20 Not-Yet Members (includes Museum Admission) 

Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium | Sarasota Art Museum

For this special conversation, artist Juana Valdés and guest curator Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig, Ph.D., will discuss the artist’s career and the works exhibited in Embodied Memories, Ancestral Histories. Valdés will draw from her personal history to speak on her Afro-Cuban heritage and how that identity is addressed in her work from a feminist perspective. She will also share how her Caribbean roots intermixes with themes related to the ocean, including migration, transnationalism, and exile.

Opening Day Talk: Juana Valdés and Francine Birbgragher-Rozencwaig

About Juana Valdés

Juana Valdes (born 1963, Pinar del Rio, Cuba) is an interdisciplinary artist who came to the United States in 1971. She uses printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and site-specific installations, to examine issues of race, transnationalism, gender, labor, and class. As a person of Afro-Cuban heritage, through her work, she analyzes experiences of immigration.

Her most recent solo exhibitions include Rest Ashore, Locust Projects, Miami (2020); Terrestrial Bodies, Cuban Legacy Gallery, Miami Dade College Special Collections, Freedom Tower (2019-2020); and, An Inherent View of the World, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami (2017). She is the recipient of grants, awards, and fellowships including the Ford and Mellon Foundations Latinx Artists Fellow (2022); The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2018); and, The Ellies Creator Award (2018). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as Site Santa Fe, Perez Art Museum, El Museo del Barrio, New York; P.S. 1 MOMA, New York; MOCA, North Miami; Galerie Verein Berliner Künstler, Berlin; the Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University, New Jersey; Newark Museum, New Jersey; Galerie Binnen, Amsterdam; and FreeSpace, Sydney.

She is currently an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives and works between Miami, Amherst, and New York and is represented in Miami by Spinello Projects.

About Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig, Ph.D.

Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig is an art historian, independent curator, and art critic. She received a Master’s in art history and a Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of Miami. She is a founding and contributing editor of ArtNexus magazine. Since 1989, she has written about modern and contemporary art for magazines, newspapers, artists’ monographs, and exhibition catalogs. She specializes in Latin American and Caribbean art. She is the author of the book Essays on 20th-Century Latin American Art (Routledge, 2022). As an independent curator, she has organized over one hundred exhibitions in the United States and Latin America. From 2008 to 2015, she worked as an adjunct curator at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. In July 2023, she co-curated with Juan Canela, the XXIII Bienal de Arte Paiz, in Guatemala. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy, and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Sarasota, Florida. She belongs to several professional organizations, including the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the College Art Association (CAA), the Association for Latin American Art (ALAA), and Art Table.

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