The Trials and Tribulations of a Grad School Nerd

A little bit of art (mostly Latin American art), a little bit of an opinion column, the frustrations of dissertation writing, travel, living abroad, and the personal life of a girl who is setting out to conquer the art world (well, as much as she can).
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I’ve recently been looking into early exhibitions of Chicano art in Texas and am currently building up a series of posts exploring Chicano art and it’s relationship with the Chicano movement of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Lots of work being done at the time were murals meant to be seen by the working classes. Some are still visible while others are not. But, regardless, their significance and the roles they were meant to play will be looked at alongside the modern street art movement as a side series which will be posted concurrently. The example above, Leo Tangumas’s The Rebirth of Our Nationality, is one that is located off Canal Street and one of Houston’s best and greatest examples.

So, be watching in the coming weeks for this series! We will kick off the series by taking a look at the exhibition titled “Dale Gas: Give It Gas, The Continued Acceleration of Chicano Art” which debuted at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston in 1977.


Daniel Anguilu: Art IS Activism

If you drive the streets of Houston, chance is that you have come across a wall painted by Daniel Anguilu. And there’s no surprise there since the whole city wants him to paint their walls! Not to mention other cities in other countries.

When I first met Daniel, I didn’t know what to think or even say to him. I was in such awe of his work. And I knew nothing about street art at the time. I still don’t really know much about it and I’m not afraid to admit it because I’m constantly learning. This photo collage depicts mostly the written words of Daniel’s murals. Words that ALWAYS have a meaning to him and the audience. So, take a look at these images and then don’t forget to read the editorial also titled “Daniel Anguilu: Art IS Activism.”

It will post on Friday!


Earlier this week we posted a photo collage of some work by Houston-based muralist, Daniel Anguilu. Today and Monday, we’re going to take a closer look at his work, most importantly the words and imagery used, and delve into muralism and street art as a form of activism (please join in the…

From my other blog :)

The International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), housed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), launched in January of this year. The database will consist of some 10,000 documents and 80,000 pages spanning 8 different countries with 15 research teams. The phased multi-year launch begins with 2,500 documents from Argentina, Mexico, and the American Midwest. Accompanying the launch of the website ( is a 13 volume book series which will be annotated and translated into English.

The online archive is rich in artists’ writings, correspondence and other unpublished materials, as well as in texts published in newspapers and period journals by artists, critics, scholars and other who have played a vital role in shaping the cultural fabric of the countries and communities where the Documents Project has had a presence. The material brings to life the ferment of international cultures, ideas and personalities that swept across 20th century South America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Latin communities in the United States as artists, writers and intellectuals sought to define or challenge notions of national art; art movements emerged in response to changing local political regimes, as well as to what was perceived as the onslaught of North American culture; and the contribution of Latin American artists to the early stages of global avant-garde movements. 

This online resource is free and available to all, which is truly a marvelous thing. I’m currently using it to help develop my syllabus for a course I will be teaching in the Fall on Latin American art and it is proving to be very useful. I can’t wait to share it with students!

So, it’s been forever since I posted something on my Tumblr page. But, for anyone who cares, I have been working on a side project that is being launched in June called “Laguna: Art by Latinos” and is an online review of contemporary art by Latinos in Texas. Check it out here:

If you’re in Texas and an arts writer, I want to hear from you! I’m looking for people to help cover the entire state and it’s no easy feat. So, if you or someone you know might be interested in writing for Laguna, let me know. You can email us at for more information.

I’ll try to keep posting on this page, too when I can. And pick up where I left off!


Many thanks! 


Le magnifique voyage de Street Etiquette au brésil !


Tom & James Draw (which is a tumblr blog that you should follow) is the beau­ti­ful col­lab­o­ra­tive art project between James Gulliver Hancock and his brother Tom, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. Their work is gor­geous — lay­ered, col­or­ful and fas­ci­nat­ing. Here’s more:

Their col­lab­o­ra­tion is unique as they are shar­ing expe­ri­ences between the out­sider and “insider” art world. James iden­ti­fies with Toms abstract use of visual cod­ing and Tom builds around James’ skilled and con­fi­dent mark mak­ing. Tom relaxes James’ tech­ni­cal obses­sions, and James enables Tom’s con­cen­tra­tion and play­ful mark­mak­ing. Together they make worlds of expe­ri­ence, encom­pass­ing peo­ple around them and their actions, ani­mals, plants, engines, and some­times hilar­i­ous nods to the human expe­ri­ence and perception.

Both of them are inter­ested in obses­sion, both within mark mak­ing and the role obses­sion plays with per­cep­tion and life in general.

(via thosehearts)

Hi! I appreciate your blog because you provide great advice about grad. school that I'm looking for. But I have a few more advice questions that I hope you can provide for me. I'm graduating with my BA in Art History. I want to attend a grad. program to further my knowledge of Art HIstory (specifically Latin American art). I'm looking at schools in both the US and UK. Do you advise studying abroad for a graduate program? and Would you recommend your program to future prospects? Thanks! -Marissa
gradschoolnerd gradschoolnerd Said:

Hi Marissa! Thanks for your question, I’m glad to hear that you want to continue studying art history and, specifically Latin American art :) There are several very good programs in the US and the top three are probably University of Texas - Austin (Andrea Giunta?!?!?! OMG!), Tulane, and University of New Mexico. Roberto Tejada recently left UT-Austin and is founding what looks to be an amazing new program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I’m not sure if this is a PhD only program or if it also grants an MA degree. The best resource for you to check out programs right now is which provides up to date info with universities and their areas of specialization. This is an amazing resource because it also lets you know which programs are MA only and which offer PhD programs.

If you’re looking at UK programs, I did my MA at University of Essex and absolutely loved it there. They have ESCALA and is one of the only public collections of Latin American art in Europe. It was an amazing experience to be able to live overseas and gain that worldly experience (I had actually never been out of the country prior to this). I don’t regret it one bit! The department’s website is

Another school in the UK that is really good is University of the Arts, London and they have an amazing program in transnationalism and work closely with University of Essex (who also works closely with UT-Austin). Both Essex and UAL have MA and PhD programs. If you choose to go to UK, then I would have a ton more advice for you!

So, for now, I would suggest looking at the Association of Latin American Art’s website and make a list of the universities in the US that you think you’d like to apply to, decide if you could live in that city, and really explore their program, faculty, and financial aid info.

If you have any other questions, let me know, I’m happy to help!

BTW, if you’re anywhere close to Austin, UT is having a symposium later this year and loads of graduate students from all over will be there!

Hope that helps!



Zapata-punk. ¡Revolución es mosh!


Graffiti en Oaxaca

By juxtaposing such a revered mexican icon as Emiliano Zapata with the punk movement, the new breed of Mexicans show that they acknowledge the past but are not tied to it. They want progress, they want something new! 

(via fuckyeahchicanopower)