The Galleries at Moore Receives $240,000 Grant In Support of Its Exhibition Strange Currencies

The Galleries at Moore has received a $240,000 grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to support Strange Currencies, an exhibition that will critically re-examine the emergence and development of unorthodox, non-institutional artistic practices in Mexico City in the 1990s.  During this time a series of economic and political events, including the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, and a catastrophic economic crisis caused enormous social upheaval and recession, setting the stage for collective and ‘do-it-yourself’ art practices that profoundly altered the dynamics of the local art scene. 

Strange Currencies, scheduled for September 2015 – December 2015, will present a nuanced and richly contextualized account of this period and avoid the tendency to sensationalize and mythologize it.  Rather than focusing on genre and medium, the exhibition will illuminate the conditions in which the works were produced and the pieces will be carefully chosen for their ability to provide a deeper understanding of the lesser-known history of this important decade.  Strange Currencies will emphasize not only what artists at the time were making, but what they were making happen, and will explore the rise of independent art spaces during the 1990s – spaces that emerged as alternatives to official, state-supported art institutions that were unwilling to consider new forms of artistic production or comprehend the nation’s cultural transformations at that time.   

“We are deeply grateful to The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for its support of Strange Currencies,” stated Kaytie Johnson, The Galleries’ Rochelle F. Levy Director and Chief Curator.  “The primary goal of the exhibition is to acknowledge and (re)present alternative accounts and perspectives that have not been explored in other exhibitions and to recapture the ‘undergroundedness’ and funkiness that defined that decade’s artistic milieu.”   

The artists being considered for the exhibition were all active in Mexico City in the 1990s and include: Eduardo Abaroa, Francis Alÿs, Marco Arce, Gustavo Artigas, Iñaki Bonillas, Miguel Calderón, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Minerva Cuevas, Electronic Disturbance Theater, Claudia Fernández, Thomas Glassford, Silvia Gruner, Diego Gutierrez, Daniel Guzmán, Jonathan Hernández, Gabriel Kuri, Teresa Margolles, Yoshua Okón, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Orozco, Fernando Ortega, Luis Felipe Ortega, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Vicente Razo, Pedro Reyes, Daniela Rossell, Santiago Sierra, Melanie Smith, Sofía Táboas, Laureana Toledo, Pablo Vargas Lugo and Lorena Wolffer.

The Galleries at Moore are located at Moore College of Art & Design, 20th Street and The Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  For information, please visit or call 215-965-4027.


Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's student-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers ten bachelor of fine arts degrees for women. Coeducational graduate programs were launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit

The Galleries at Moore support Moore College of Art & Design's educational mission and role as a cultural leader by providing a forum for exploring contemporary art and ideas, and enriching the artistic climate and intellectual climate of the college, the Greater Philadelphia community, and beyond.  As a gateway between the College and the city of Philadelphia, The Galleries are a catalyst for creative exploration, experimentation and scholarship and function as a gathering place to meet, reflect, learn, challenge and create.  The Galleries' exhibitions and programs – which are all free and open to the public – create community through dialogue and participation, and inspire an appreciation for the visual arts as a vital force in shaping contemporary culture.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center), established in 2005, is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the greater Philadelphia region. The Center makes project grants in two areas, Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, as well as awarding grants to individual artists through our Pew Fellowships. The Center also makes Advancement grants, substantial awards to high-performing organizations seeking to make lasting improvements to their programming, audience engagement, and financial health. Each year, Center funding makes possible numerous performing arts events, as well as history and visual arts exhibitions and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. The Center is also a hub for research and knowledge-sharing on issues critical to cultural practice.

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Published on June 17th, 2014