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Bibiana Suárez

Bibiana Suárez is currently a professor of art in The Art School. Suárez was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but has resided in Chicago since 1980. She has a BFA (1984) and an MFA (1989) in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Suárez has exhibited in the United States as well as in Puerto Rico and Mexico. Her most recent work, De:Lata (To Give Us Away) will be shown at The National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture in March-August 2022 in Chicago. Her installation project Memoria (Memory), was exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center in 2011 (Chicago), Space Gallery in 2018 (Pittburg) , and at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in 2019 (San Juan). Other exhibitions include Domino/Dominó at El Museo del Barrio in New York and the Illinois Arts Gallery (1999) in Chicago; De Pico a Pico (Beak to Beak - Face to Face) at Sazama Gallery, Chicago (1993); Island Adrift: The Puerto Rican Identity in Exile at Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia (1993); In Search of an Island also at Sazama Gallery (1991) and A Grafito at the Art Students league in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1985). Among her numerous group exhibitions are: "Repatriación/Repatriation", Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, SanJuan, (2019); "Images on File", Stuart & Co. Art Gallery, Chicago (2018); and, "Homecoming", National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NPRAC), Chicago (2014 ); "1898: DIWA Arts, Rene J. Marquez, Maria Matinez-Cañas and Bibiana Suárez" at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (1998); "Puerto Rican Equation" at Hunter College (1998) in New York; "Second Sight: Printmaking in Chicago", at the Mary Leigh Block Gallery of Northwestern University in Chicago (1996): "National Drawing Invitational", The Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock (1992); "In the Heart of the Country/ En el corazón del país", The Chicago Cultural Center (1991); "Adivina! Chicago Latino Expressions" at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in Chapultepec, Mexico City (1998); and "Expresiones Hispanas" a two-year traveling exhibition from the Mexican Cultural Institute in San Antonio (1988-89). Suárez has also been the recipient of several awards including three Illinois Arts Council Individual Visual Artist Fellowship Awards (1991, 1994, 1999), an Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship (1992) and was the inaugural recipient of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture’s (University of Chicago) Artist in Residence Fellowship in 2003-2004. In autumn 2011 Suárez was a faculty fellow in the Center for Latino Research at DePaul. She teaches courses in painting and drawing at all levels and the capstone thesis course for seniors in the studio arts and media arts concentrations. Over the years Suárez has contributed with several courses to the Honors Program as well as the Liberal Arts Studies Program. She has also held numerous service appointments and is an active contributor to the field of art and Latino Studies at the local, regional and national levels.
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    Memoria (Memory) is the first major exhibition of artwork by Bibiana Suárez in ten years. The midcareer Chicago-based artist has worked diligently since 2005 on this provocative series of 108 mixed media paintings that borrow the format of the pair-matching Memory game to discuss the “latinization” of US culture. The exhibition applies the idea of memory and placement in the card game to the demographic patterns of Latinos in the U.S. and the political issues that surround the history of their immigration here. Suarez attempts to call the public to “play”, “remember”, “concentrate” and ultimately learn about and interact with those interwoven histories through this epic body of artwork.

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