Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration Exhibition - Albright-Knox Northland

Buffalo, NY – On Friday, February 12, Albright-Knox Northland will opened Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration. The exhibition will remain on view through Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Comunidades Visibles (Visible Communities): The Materiality of Migration brings together artworks by first- or second-generation immigrant Latinx artists. In their creative practices, these artists celebrate their communities and interrogate the materials and stories that form their foundations. Each combines materials and techniques from their country of origin, from other colonized places, or from their present context with everyday or art-historical references. The resulting hybrid practices correspond with the artists’ hybrid identities.

Collectively, these objects and installations invite us to question our relationships to our own histories, the communities to which we belong, and to see with new appreciation the value that erased or marginalized groups contribute to our daily lives. By turning personal history into palpable presence, the selected artists transform difficult narratives into celebratory and beautiful objects that convey urgent and consequential narratives about historical and contemporary immigration.

“Buffalo is a vibrant, dynamic city because of its growing immigrant community. People want to live where they can immerse themselves in different cultures and enjoy unique experiences,” said Mayra Colon, a vice president at M&T and president of the company’s Latino Resource Group. “We’re thrilled to support Comunidades Visibles because it is part of the Buffalo experience that makes us all love this place, and we encourage others to experience the exhibition and celebrate these artists’ communities alongside us.”

“Rich Family Foundation is proud to support the Albright-Knox and its exhibition of the Latin American migration experience,” said Kevin Aman, Vice President of Community Engagement at Rich’s. “We share their commitment to building strong and vibrant community partnerships that create educational opportunities. Comunidades Visibles is a visually stunning example of that.”

About the Artists 

Carolina Aranibar-Fernández is a Bolivia-born artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. She creates performances and site-specific installations that respond to the situation at the border between Mexico and the United States, as well as interrogate the history of material and human displacement around the world.

Esperanza Cortés was born in Colombia and lives in New York City. Using beads, gold, and embroidery, she explores her family history and the role of women in Latin America and Europe.

Raúl De Nieves, a New York City-based artist born in Mexico, produces faux stained-glass windows using mundane materials such as cellophane and tape, then populates his colorful and luminous spaces with elaborate human-scaled costumes made out of densely layered beads.

Patrick Martinez is a Los Angeles-based artist who honors his surroundings through the lens of his background as an American of Mexican and Filipino descent. In his multimedia practice, he often incorporates everyday materials such as neon signs into sculptural paintings.

Ecuador-born, New York City-based artist Ronny Quevedo explores the layered histories of his heritage, his parents’ lives, and the collective experience of sports in his large-scale installation practice as well as his wall-based drawing and collage works.

Originally from Portugal and currently based in Boston, Pedro M. Cruz explores information in metaphoric and figurative ways in his data visualization projects. Brazil-born, Buffalo-based artist Felipe Shibuya’s collaborative and research-driven practice merges science and art into powerful messages highlighting the relationship between humans and nature. John Wihbey is a researcher from Boston who worked closely with Cruz and Shibuya to analyze and picture census data for works included in this exhibition.

Programming and Events

Virtual Family Funday

Sunday, February 14, 2021

1–2:30 pm

Join us for a FREE Virtual Family Funday! Members of our Education and Community Engagement team will lead you through fun activities inspired by Isabel Quintero’s book My Papi Has a Motorcycle and Comunidades Visibles (Visible Communities): The Materiality of Migration.

Storytime & Artmaking*, 1–1:40 pm

Movement for Kids & Families, 1:40–2:05 pm

Drop-In Art Activity, 2:05–2:30 pm

*Storytime will be presented in English and Spanish.

Please register online. Once you register, you will receive an email with details on how to join.

Virtual Drink and Draw

Thursday, February 25, 2021

5:30–6:45 pm

Join educators from the Albright-Knox’s Education and Community Engagement department for a guided drawing experience. Taking inspiration from the work of Raúl De Nieves, participants will learn some introductory drawing skills that center around calming drawing techniques while exploring different concepts important to the artists.

Bring a pencil, pen, marker, crayon, or whatever you like to draw with; some paper; and your favorite beverage!

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please register online. Registered participants will receive a link to join this virtual event the morning of the program.

*All proceeds from this event directly support programs like these. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, please use discount code SCHOLARSHIP to waive your registration fee.

For additional exhibition-related events and programming, visit:

This exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistant Andrea Alvarez. Admission to Albright-Knox Northland is always Pay What You Wish.

Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration was made possible through the generosity of M&T Bank, Monica Angle & Sam Magavern, and Rich’s and Rich Family Foundation. Additional support provided by the Creative Arts Initiative of the University at Buffalo, Nicole & Steve Swift, Dr. Richard J. & Maureen W. Saab, and an anonymous donor. The Albright-Knox’s exhibition program is generous

Comunidades Visibles: The Materiality of Migration (La Materialidad de Migración) reúne obras hechas por artistas Latinx que son inmigrantes de primera o segunda generación. En sus prácticas creativas, los artistas celebran sus comunidades e investigan los materiales y las historias que forman su base. Cada artista combina materiales y técnicas de su país de origen, otros lugares colonizados, o de su contexto presente, con referencias cotidianas e historiográficas. Las prácticas híbridas resultantes son correspondientes con las identidades híbridas de los artistas. En conjunto, las obras e instalaciones nos invitan a cuestionar nuestra relacion con nuestras historias, evaluar las comunidades a las cuáles pertenecemos, y ver con nueva apreciación el valor que grupos marginalizados o invisibles contribuyen a nuestras vidas. Convirtiendo su historia personal en un presente urgente, los artistas transforman narrativas difíciles en objetos bellos y celebratorios que transmiten narrativas importantes y urgentes sobre la migración histórica y contemporánea.  
Esta exhibición es organizada por Curatorial Assistant Andrea Alvarez. 

Admisión a Albright-Knox Northland es siempre Pague Lo Que Deseé. 

Sobre Los Artistas 

Carolina Aranibar-Fernández es una artista boliviana que vive en Phoenix, Arizona. Carolina crea actuaciones e instalaciones que responden a la situación en la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México, y también cuestiona la historia del desplazamiento de humanos y materiales por todo el mundo.


Esperanza Cortés nació en Colombia y vive en New York City. Usando mostacillas, oro, y bordado, Esperanza explora la historia de su familia y el papel de las mujeres en América Latina y Europa.


Raúl De Nieves, un artista basado en New York City que nació en México, produce vitrales falsos usando materiales mundanos como celofán y cinta, y después llena los espacios luminosos con figuras decoradas laboriosamente con mostacillas.


Patrick Martinez es un artista basado en Los Ángeles que enaltece su entorno a través de su experiencia como americano de origen mexicano y filipino. En su práctica, incorpora materiales cotidianos como luz neón en pinturas esculturales.


Ronny Quevedo nació en Ecuador y vive en New York City. El artista explora las capas de las historias de su familia, y la experiencia colectiva de deportes en su práctica de instalación y también en sus dibujos y encolado.


Originalmente de Portugal y ahora basado en Boston, Pedro M. Cruz explora información en una manera metafórica y figurativa con sus proyectos de visualización de datos. La practica colaborativa de Felipe Shibuya (Brasilero, basado en Buffalo) es basada en investigación y une ciencias y arte en mensajes potentes que destaca la relación entre humanos y la naturaleza. John Wihbey es un investigador de Boston que trabajó con Cruz y Shibuya en analizar y representar los datos del censo para obras incluidas en esta exhibición.


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