November 12–November 26
Exhibition Reception
Thursday, November 14, 4:30pm–6:30pm

The Montana State University Billings Honors Program, Hispanic Outreach, and Northcutt Steele Gallery present “Manos Inspiradas/Inspired Hands: Artworks from the Americas,” a student-curated exhibit open for viewing Nov. 12 through 26.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Northcutt Steele Gallery. This catered reception is free and open to the public. Guests will have the opportunity to meet with the student organizers of the exhibit.

This student-curated exhibit features art from Latin and Central America, showcased in the Northcutt Steele Gallery. It is the culmination of project-based research carried out by students in the honors course, "Art and Religion in Spain and the Americas," taught by Hispanic Outreach Coordinator Dr. Rebecca Berru Davis.

Students researched each piece, situating the art within a historical context and highlighting key characteristics for the exhibition labels. In addition to carrying out the research, each student took on exhibition project responsibilities related to a particular role they selected. These roles included curator, preparatory, registrar, budget director, and event and educator coordinator. Students responsible for this exhibit are Kaitlin Angel, Hissaki Flores, Rachel Hamilton, Claudia Jimenez, Keslie Oaks, and Angel Shandy.

“Manos Inspiradas/Inspired Hands” is an exceptional exhibit featuring the work of anonymous artists whose work is inspired by their indigenous roots, their environment, and their religious and cultural traditions. Varied works in ceramic, wood, textile, and paint, as well as works on tin and amate bark paper are represented to demonstrate the range of creativity, ingenuity, and facility expressed by these artists.

These examples from the Americas are replete with iconographic, religious, and indigenous connections. Some reflect direct ties to their specific traditions and others reveal the hybridity and integration of forms in unique and novel ways. The continuity of these elements can still be found in the enduring folk arts of the Americas today. These methods are also employed in innovative ways and referenced in art forms by contemporary Latin, Central American, and U.S. Latino artists. In sum, the particular pieces in the exhibition are meant to inspire appreciation and enthuse the imagination of all those who view them.

This exhibit is part of MSU Billings’ Hispanic Outreach Initiative, which seeks to spotlight and celebrate diversity on campus while strengthening our links with the local community.