"Testimonios" at El Museo del Barrio

While Hispanic culture is a vital part of New York City, especially in Spanish Harlem, its art is not often portrayed on NYC's gallery walls. A neglect of this culture is like neglecting New York's immigrant origins and one of the US' fastest growing populations today. This is, indeed, the central theme of El Museo del Barrio's latest special exhibition.

El Museo del Barrio was originally founded in 1969 by Raphael Montaa±ez Ortiz, who astutely noted that Latino artwork was rarely featured in New York City's mainstream art museums.  Helping to fill the void and enrich the Harlem landscape, El Museo del Barrio has become a beacon for Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American art.  Tonight's festivities will honor the museum's current temporary exhibit, "Testimonios: 100 Years of Popular Expression," which will be featured until May 6.

"Testimonios" consists of various loaned pieces from other NYC museums, as well as rarely-seen works from El Museo's permanent collection.  All of these pieces of "popular expression" were originally crafted by non-traditionally trained makers, such as Gregorio Marzan, Marta­n Rama­rez, and Margarita Cabrera.  In addition to "Testimonios," the permanent exhibition, "Voces y Visiones: Gran Caribe," will also be on display.

El Museo del Barrio is located at 1230 5th Ave., near 104th Street, NYC 10029, tel. (212) 831-7272.  Admission is by suggested donation (varying by age group and by day of the week).  While at El Museo, visit El Cafe for an authentic taste of Latin and Caribbean cuisine, to enhance your experience in Spanish Harlem.

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El Museo del Barrio: A Glimpse Into Spanish Harlem

By: Dylan Rodgers

Located on 5th Avenue between 104th and 105th Street in Spanish Harlem, El Museo del Barrio is in the midst of their sixth installment of The (S) Files:  a biennial of the most innovative art from Latin American and Caribbean artists.  Headed by their newly appointed museum director, Margarita Aguilar, The (S) Files 2011 explores the energy, events, and aesthetics of the street in both conventional approaches including graffiti and murals along other disciplines like music and fashion. El Museo also has quite an extensive permanent collection of Latin based art.

Since its founding in 1969, El Museo del Barrio has been the platform for the artistic voice of the Hispanic and Caribbean cultures.  It began as a purely Puerto Rican voice, but over time it has grown to encompass a far broader cultural spectrum.  El Museo has become New York's leading Latin cultural institution by showcasing the immense diversity in Latin and Caribbean arts.

So if you're hungry for some Latin flare in the form of vibrant, colorful art from cutting-edge street artists and music you can move your hips to, visit El Museo's The (S) Files exhibition.

For more on El Museo del Barrio click here.

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday - Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday, CLOSED Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

New Hours as of February 2, 2011:

Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm Wednesday, 11:00am-9:00pm Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm