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Juan Sánchez, born in 1954 is a prolific visual artist, community activist, university professor (at Hunter College, in NYC), and has been a central figure in a generation of artists using mixed media to explore, class, racial, cultural identity, colonialism and social justice issues, in the 70s, 80s, 90s, to the present.  On view in Collective Memories is a multilayered print titled Once We Were Warriors. Sánchez has a photograph of the Young Lords, surrounded by iconic images of indigenous (Taino) pictographs from the Island.  The Young Lords were community street activists in the 60s and 70s that mobilized protests to call attention to the poverty and oppressive conditions of the Puerto Ricans living in the ‘barrios’ of New York City.  This work celebrates the Young Lord’s role in raising awareness and creating programs that addressed housing, health, education, and the marginalization of women and the working poor. Sánchez work has been exhibited in major solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa. He is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and El Museo del Barrio; The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and El Centro Wilfredo Lam in Havana, Cuba, among others. Sánchez received grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. He is the recipient of the 2020 CUAA Augustus Saint Gauden’s Award for achievement in Art and a member of The Cooper Union Hall of Fame. 


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