A discussion with CONTRABAND artists Rodrigo Carazas Portal, Jimena Chávez Delion, and Aaron López C. on their experiences working as artists within the Latinx diaspora. The conversation will be moderated by Maria del Carmen Montoya, an artist, professor at George Washington University, and core member of Ghana ThinkTank.

About the Artists

Rodrigo Carazas Portal was born in Lima and raised in the Callao Province of Perú. He attended the Art Program of the Pontifcia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima, and later relocated to the United States of America in 2009. He earned his BFA from George Mason University’s School of Art in 2015. Awarded the Academic Excellence Distinction in Sculpture (2015), he also obtained the Best New Project Prize from Lima’s Biennial Art Fair (Second Edition, 2016). Recent exhibitions include Lima’s Biennial Art Fair (Callao 2016); Revolution/Revelation, Olly Olly Gallery (Fairfax, VA 2017); Local Legends, VisArts (Rockville, MD 2017); Overload, Tokio Galería (Callao 2017); Methods, Brentwood Arts Exchange (Brentwood, MD 2017) and the 14th Annual Transformer Auction, Katzen Arts Center (Washington, DC 2017).

Jimena Chávez Delion is a Peruvian artist born in Lima. She has studied at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre in Brussels, Belgium and graduated with Honor in Fine Arts at the Pontifcia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima). She had a solo exhibition at Crisis Galería (Lima 2017) and has participated in various collective exhibitions such as: Generación Y, Y gallery (Lima 2017); Projekt Landscape, Designtransfer (Berlin 2017) and HBK Saar gallery (Saarbrücken 2017); Como escapar de um armario, Skrei Arts Division (Porto 2016); Out of office, Louise 186 (Brussels 2016); Untitled, Henry Van de Velde building / La Cambre (Brussels 2015); Exposición de fnalistas del Concurso de Arte Contemporáneo joven de la Municipalidad de Mirafores, Centro Cultural Ricardo Palma (Lima 2014); VI International student triennial, Marmara Üniversitesi and Mixer Gallery (Istanbul 2013); among others. In 2017, she was awarded the Espositivo 7B fellowship program in Madrid.

Aaron López C. studied at the Pontifcia Universidad Católica del Perú and Corriente Alterna School of Art, from which he graduated with the Silver Medal of his class. He has exhibited extensively inside and outside of Perú. Selected exhibitions include Lo bueno de lo malo [Solo], Galería AAyA (Callao 2017), Madrugada, Fugaz (Callao 2016), Equivalencias al Margen [Solo], Galería Socorro polivalente (Lima 2015), OBJEKTIVITY, Galería Impakto (Lima 2014), Sing Sweet Songs of Conviction, Proyecto White Spider (Mexico City, 2013). He has participated in several residencies, such as Mana Contemporary (Miami 2016), Museo la ENE (Buenos Aires 2014) and R.A.T. Project of Aesthetic Investigation and Exploration (Mexico City 2013) and Curatoria Forense (Santiago de Chile 2013). His work is featured in collections such as MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles), MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima), Mana Contemporary Art (Miami) and the private collection of Claudio Valansi (Brasil).

About the moderator

Maria del Carmen Montoya’s studio practice combines participatory art, sculpture and digital media. Her primary medium is the communal process of making meaning. As an artist she seeks ways to catalyze this natural social phenomena with situations that insist on the power of human-scale intervention in the presumed inevitability of everyday life. Her approach is DIY and collaborative. She believes that art can be a potent crucible for social change. Thus, her work is often about resistance and challenging norms, inverting power hierarchies and breaking rules, but she also traffics in beauty, memory, humor and other potentially radical forces for activating communities.

She has lived and worked throughout Latin America where she served as the sole interpreter for an assembly of rural farmers in San Salvador, an advocate for battered women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and an English teacher for a craft cooperative in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Her work has been shown at SIGGRAPH, PERFORMA, New Museum Festival of Ideas, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Venice Biennial of Architecture and Visiones Sonoras, in Morelia, Mexico, where she cofounded an artist residency for multimedia performance art. She is a core member of Ghana ThinkTank, an international artist collective, that was awarded a Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields for a project that sparks problem solving collaborations between undocumented workers and anti-immigrant militants on the US/Mexico border. Most recently, Ghana ThinkTank received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its 2017 Detroit Knight Arts Challenge for American Riad, a multi-year project merging art, Islamic architecture, and alternative economic models to combat gentrification in Detroit’s North End. mariadelcarmenmontoya.net

This project was supported by The Kraft Initiative and The DC Commission on the Arts and  Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Washington Project for the Arts
2124 8th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001




Saturday, January 20, 5pm