Amalia Mesa-Bains and the Archive: An Interview with the Artist

Amalia Mesa-Bains and Madison Treece

The following is an interview between editorial board member Madison Treeceand celebrated Chicana artist Amalia Mesa-Bains. Treece has worked as Mesa-Bains’s archivist since 2017. For this issue on “document/ary,” Treece asked Mesa-Bains about the function of the archive as document, its contributions to Chicanx art history, and its more personal implications. The interview took place on March 9, 2021, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Click this link to access the full article.

AMALIA MESA-BAINS is an educator, artist, and cultural critic. As an author and lecturer on Chicano art, her work has enhanced understanding of multiculturalism and reflected major cultural and demographic shifts in the United States. She has worked to define a Chicano and Latino aesthetic in the US and Latin America, and has pioneered the documentation and interpretation of long-standing Chicano traditions in Mexican American art. Her artworks have been exhibited and collected in both national and international venues. Mesa-Bains has served on the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Board of Directors for Galería de la Raza and Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens. She has received special achievement awards from the Association of American Cultures, the Association of Hispanic Artists, San Francisco State University Alumni, the Stanford University Ernesto Galarza Award, and the University of Texas at Austin Americo Paredes Award and is a recipient of a distinguished MacArthur Fellowship. She founded and developed the Visual and Public Art program at California State University at Monterey Bay and is currently Professor Emerita at the university.

MADISON TREECE (she/her) is a PhD candidate in visual studies in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on contemporary Chicanx art and visual culture with an emphasis on borderlands, landscape, and the politics of migration. Madison holds an MA in art history and museum studies from Tufts University and a BA in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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