The Lowe Art Museum hosts a night of Hispanic culture

Amanda M. Perez, 09-18-2020

The gallery celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a virtual event that paired works of art from its collection with discourse about the identity, religion, and politics of the community.
Ada Balcácer, El Crucifijo (Crucifix), 1988. Oil on canvas, 84 1/2 × 69 3/4 in. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. Gift of the Artist, 2013.25. © 1988 Ada Balcácer.
Ada Balcácer, El Crucifijo (Crucifix), 1988. Oil on canvas, 84 1/2 × 69 3/4 in. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. Gift of the Artist, 2013.25. © 1988 Ada Balcácer.


For Jarelis Cabrera, it’s the sense of belonging to a family that makes her most proud to be Hispanic.

“In the Latin culture, you don’t have to know another person to instantly feel the warmth and love in your community. I feel honored to be part of a culture that is so welcoming, inclusive, and friendly,” said Cabrera.

It was cultural appreciation that inspired Cabrera and her sorority to create a special event that celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. As the president of Lambda Theta Latin Sorority, she partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, the Alliance of Latin American Students, and the Lowe Art Museum to create the virtual event, “La Noche de Cultura,” that was held Thursday night.

“The idea behind this was to bring everyone together for an evening to synergize prominent Latin American works of art paired with engaging discussions about issues or topics impacting the Hispanic and Latin American community including identity, religion, and politics,” Cabrera explained.

“It was challenging to bring everyone together virtually, but it was something that brought in a new perspective and new set of ideas from everyone involved in the planning. It’s something we’ve never done,” she pointed out.

During the program, Nathan Timpano, director of graduate studies and associate professor, thanked students for working tirelessly to create the unique event that celebrated their culture.

“This program would not have happened if it weren’t for the really inquisitive minds of these student curators who came together as a group to put together an interesting cultural program that is meaningful to the community at large as well as students at UM. I really applaud them for that,” said Timpano. 

He also explained why this type of programming is so important to our community.

“It shows us how art is immediately engaging with students on our campus as well as individuals in our larger community that may not understand the original cultural context behind these works of art,” he said.

Cabrera agrees. “It’s important to have these events so that people like students, faculty, and staff members feel like they belong at UM and are being represented. It gives people the opportunity to have these discussions that we have every day with each other. Having it on a larger scale like this and integrating works of art is something very unique, especially in the environment we’re living in right now,” said Cabrera.

“La Noche de Cultura” also raised money for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which empowers Latino families to successfully complete a higher education by providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible.

Up next: Join the Lowe to continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a presentation on the life and work of Cuban American Artist Carlos Alfonzo.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

5:30-6:30 p.m.