The Galleries at Moore Receive $20,000 Grant

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has awarded $20,000 to The Galleries at Moore through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative to support the development of the first exhibition to explore Mexico City’s artist-run spaces in the 1990s.


The 2013 planning grant is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the University of the Arts.

The exhibition will critically re-examine the emergence and development of unorthodox, artist-driven and collective artistic practices in Mexico City in the 1990s, and the pivotal role and indelible impact that the city’s alternative, artist-run art spaces played, and continue to play, in shaping the city’s contemporary art landscape and legacy.

The 1990s was decidedly the most tumultuous decade in Mexican history since the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920. Marked by the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas in 1994, political assassinations, a chronic rise in violence, and a catastrophic economic crisis, the stage was set for unorthodox, collective and ‘do-it-yourself’ art practices that profoundly altered the dynamics of the local art scene.

The exhibition will highlight the improvised and non-institutional practices developed by artists at this time who, for the most part, “were responding to what they perceived to be the loss of a future,” said Kaytie Johnson, Rochelle F. Levy Director and Chief Curator, The Galleries at Moore.

The exhibition will also focus on the rise of independent, artist-run spaces and initiatives during the late 1980s and 1990s, and the role they played, and continue to play, in defining Mexico City’s contemporary art scene.

“Unlike many recent exhibitions devoted to this profoundly important period which have been, for the most part, object-centric and framed from an outsider’s point of view, this show will express the complexity and origins of contemporary Mexican art on its own terms by emphasizing not only what artists at the time were making, but what they were making happen,” Johnson said.

Johnson is working with an advisory group of curators and artists from Mexico and the U.S. on shaping the exhibition and its programs.

Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis and are selected by a panel of internationally recognized visual arts professionals. The grants foster artistic development and excellence in the region’s art community by supporting exhibitions and accompanying publications that are of the highest artistic caliber and engage the public through innovative means.


The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the five-county, Southeastern Pennsylvania region. Established in 2005, the Center houses seven funding Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trusts, and through them supports area artists and arts and heritage organizations whose work is distinguished by excellence, imagination, and courage. Each year, the Center’s grants make possible more than 800 performances in dance, music, and theater as well as history and visual arts exhibitions, and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.pcah.us.

The Pew Charitable Trusts (www.pewtrusts.org) is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. It partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share a commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

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Moore College of Art & Design educates students for inspiring careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women. A coeducational Graduate Studies program was launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, a Continuing Education Certificate program for adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Youth Art Program for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.

Published on April 30th, 2013