Culturally and Politically Relevant Exhibition has Longevity

Jan 12, 2017 11:53PM

I AM American curated by Sergio Gomez 

Culturally and Politically Relevant exhibition has longevity I AM American curated by Sergio Gomez

Interview with Sergio Gomez curator (I AM American Exhibition) 

I AM American Exhibition is not a single perspective on immigration or ethnicity. Instead, using a variety of styles, visual forms, symbols and metaphors, each work provides a wide angle view into the bi-cultural experience. Some of the artists are first, second or third generation immigrants. Others, can trace their heritage back to the Native American Indians.  In that sense, this non-literal exhibition on the American experience provides the viewer with ample room for conversation and personal interpretation. Some works directly approach the theme of identity while others delve on other subjects related to the American experience. Ultimately, this exhibit explores the meaning of being “American”.

 Tell us what did you have in mind when you selected the visual artists for the exhibition: Sergio Gomez curator shares "I was looking for artists of diverse cultural backgrounds, points of view and styles. I wanted each artist to have something to say about being American in their own visual language without going outside of their style."

ARTISTS: Monsterrat Alsina, Joanne Aono, Cesar Conde, Pia Cruzalegui, Agustina Diez Sierra, Roberto Ferreyra, Mario Gonzalez Jr, Salvador Jimenez, Michael Klaus Schmidt, Chandrika Marla, Janice Meister, Dulce Menendez, InJung Oh, Alfonso Piloto Nieves, Eden Unluata, Ana Zanic, Pedro Palacios, Luis Sahagun, Joe Milosevich, and ZorZorZor

As curator what were your instructions to the artists for creating their work for the exhibit?: "For most, I selected work from they already had in their studio. That was one of the reason they were selected because they had work that dealt with their own identity. For other artists, they made new work for me to choose from. It has been a wonderful process to see new work happen sometimes in between the various shows of the traveling exhibition. Also depending on the size of the venue, I may have to change my selection."

Tells us what are you trying to convey to your audience with this curation project.: "Sergio shares I am trying to keep the multi-cultural conversation open to the public. I want that as people come and see the show, they get out of it with a wider view of what an being American is all about. There is so much to learn from each other’s experiences and backgrounds. My goal with this show is to create dialog and engagement between the art and the viewer in a way that facilitates an open conversation."

The exhibition seems to have a live of its own.  Did you foresee that I Am American exhibition to be touring to multiple locations or did that just occur by chance?: "From the beginning of the show, I told the artists this was going to be a traveling show. It was part of the concept to have it travel and to be in proximity to as many people as possible. It has been wonderful to see it grow and travel for the last couple years. The topic of cultural diversity continues to be a relevant topic of conversation specially around the presidential elections. I believe that today, more than ever, we need mutual understanding, respect for one another and patience if we want to be a united country."

I AM America Exhibition has remained culturally and politically relevant with longevity as it tours. The locations where the exhibition has been held are North Central College (October 25 to November 23, 2016), Zhou B Art Center (June 16 to July 24, 2015), Governors State University (August 25 to September 30, 2014) , White Ripple Gallery (June 14 to July 26, 2014) and Water Street Studios (January 24 to March 30, 2014)

Sergio Gomez is a Chicago based visual artist. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Northern Illinois University. As an art student at Governors State University, Sergio was recipient of the Lincoln Laureate Medallion Award given by the Lincoln Academy and former Governor of Illinois Mr. Jim Edgar. Sergio’s work has been subject of solo exhibitions in the United States, Italy and Vienna. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Spain, Sweden, Mexico and the US. His work can be found in private and public collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Brauer Art Museum, and the MIIT Museo Internazionale Italia Arte among others.

Presently, Sergio Gomez is the Director of Exhibitions at the Zhou B. Art Center, owner & director of 33 Contemporary Gallery, contributor for Italia Arte Magazine, founder of; a curated online exhibition space for international contemporary art. In addition, Sergio is an accomplished graphic designer, Art/Design faculty at South Suburban College, Creative Consultant for Idea Seat Marketing and Advertising and co-founder of 3C Wear LLC.

As a curator, Sergio has organized numerous important exhibitions such as “The National Self-Portrait Exhibition”, “Get Real: New Figurative Realism in Chicago” “CelebrARTE”, “Chicago’s Twelve”, “Chicago’s Twelve at Garfield Park Conservatory”, “Style Bombing” and the “National Wet Paint Biannual MFA Exhibition” which has become a catalyst for emerging painters across the country. Additionally, Sergio has established international art collaborations in Italy, Austria, Mexico, Spain, Chile and China. 

More information on Sergio Gomez at

InJung Oh

Culturally and Politically Relevant exhibition has longevity I AM American curated by Sergio Gomez on page 198 in the ACS Magazine January/February 2017 issue at  Published by Renée LaVerné Rose (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief).