The Mapping Exchange: Artists Residency Program at The University of Texas is a cross-departmental project developed by the Blanton Museum of Art and the Creative Research Lab (CRL) at the Department of Art and Art History, to forge interdisciplinary learning and cultural exchange, while enhance student learning through artistic experiences. It offers the opportunity for three emerging artists working in Latin America (Argentina, Mexico and Brazil) to spend time in Austin, produce work and develop ideas while utilizing the resources at The University of Texas (UT), and work with students. Mapping Exchange has become an intellectual platform providing the opportunity to partner with sister institutions in Latin America, and other UT departments and centers of learning such as the Harry Ransom Center, the Mexican Center and Brazil Center at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. Additionally, this program has become a vehicle for rich dialog between the visiting artists and the central Texas community of artists and UT students.
Prior to the fall of 2007 the Visiting Artists Program at the department of Latin American art at the Blanton Museum existed on a small scale. In the past artists such as Katie Van Scherpenberg, Josefina Guilisasti, Benito Laren, and Daniel Joglar among others, came to the Blanton Museum for a short period of time, ranging from one to three weeks to produce work, collaborate with students, and give public talks. The efforts to foster mutual exchange between emerging artists from Latin America and the university have been a key goal within the department's strategic plan. Past residencies have resulted in enriching cultural and artistic experiences, growth of the permanent collection, and mutual exchanges that have involved UT faculty and students as well as pier institutions from countries such as Argentina and Brazil.
The Blanton Museum of Art partners with sister institutions in Latin America that share the same goals and interests looking to enrich the artistic development of emerging contemporary artist. These institutions conduct an open call, either city-wide or national, and receive proposals from artists. Artists are selected by a jury composed of local and international curators and artists (depending on each institution). The selection takes place at city where the institution is based. A member of the Latin American curatorial team of the Blanton Museum participates in each jury organized by the institutions abroad.
The AA Residency is co-organized with, an artist based in Buenos Aires, and a team of curators, and collectors. It aims to foster artistic exchanges between Argentina and Austin by inviting an artist for a period of three weeks to UT. The AA Residency is modeled around a project-based collaboration between the visiting artist and local artists. The 2009 residency program was developed around an exhibition titled A Strange Land, featuring UT affiliated artists and Erica Bohm, the visiting artist-in-residence. This exhibition was an exploration of cultural modification to diverse societies and geography with a focus on issues of displacement and blending ethos, landscapes, and personal histories in a foreign land. Participating artists investigate themes such as citizenship, urbanization, borders, and the model of the “map.”
This program is headed by the Blanton Museum of Art and structured in partnership with CRL and the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City, in addition with the Mexican Center at UT. As one of the most historically important museums in Mexico City, the Museo Carillo Gil has a renowned tradition of exhibiting Modern and Contemporary art. They have partnered with the Programa de Arte Actual Bancomer-MACG to begin educational projects in support of emerging artists living in Mexico. MAAE consists of a one month long residency in Austin during the spring where the main component of the residency is the opportunity to work and engage in artistic experimentation through printmaking at Flatbed Press, a local workshop. Additionally, the selected artist engages with UT students, faculty, the local community, and the Texas art scene.
This program is headed by the Blanton Museum of Art and co-organized in conjunction with the Iberê Camargo Foundation (Porto Alegre, Brazil) and CRL. The program enables an emerging artist living and working in Brazil to spend two months in Austin during the fall term. One of the foundation's goals is to encourage awareness towards contemporary artistic production of Brazil. The partnership between the Blanton and the ICF has attained this goal by providing a strong platform for fostering artistic production that has resulted in invitations extended to the visiting artists to participate in exhibits at galleries in New York and London. The artist is selected from an open national call organized by the Foundation and the selection is made by an international jury of specialists in the field chosen by the ICF.