Public Programs

Xican-a.o.x. Body: Artists in Conversation

Tuesday, March 21
6:00-8:00 PM EST

53 Washington Square South
Also live via Zoom webinar

Join us live on Zoom below!


Join the AFA for an artist conversation with Tamara Santibañez and José Villalobos, featured in the AFA’s upcoming exhibition, Xican-a.o.x. Body, in dialogue with Marissa Del Toro, independent curator and Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Programs at NXTHVN in New Haven, CT. 

This unique program will focus on both artists’ ways of addressing the body as a tool through which to challenge stereotypical and marginalized constructions of Chicanx identities while more broadly addressing how Chicanx artistic practices can foreground the brown body as a site of political resistance against Western hegemonic canons. The event will shed light on the multiple ways in which Chicanx artists’ self-representation affirms the uniqueness of their identities and claims their distinctive and integral role among contemporary artistic practices.

This conversation is presented in conjunction Xican-a.o.x. Body, an upcoming AFA exhibition co-curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill with Marissa Del Toro and Gilbert Vicario. Featuring more than 125 works of art by approximately 70 artists and art collectives, the exhibition explores the conceptual and experimental nature of visual practices that focus on the body—both individual and collective—as the site in which imagination and political enunciation are articulated. The traveling exhibition will debut at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA on June 17, 2023.

For more information, contact

Photo: Courtesy of Jayme Gershen


Tamara Santibañez (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and oral historian living and working in Brooklyn. Their work is rooted in storytelling and the visual language of identity construction, exploring subcultural semiotics and the meanings we make from bodily adornment. They approach the body as a site for archiving and accessing personal and collective narratives and view tattooing as a political intervention. As a queer and trans artist, their practice memorializes the language and resistance strategies used by “othered” populations to build alternative worlds.




Photo: Courtesy of Destiny Mata

José Villalobos (he/him) grew up in El Paso, TX and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His work centers around self-identity as he examines gender roles within the family and dismantles traditional modes of masculinity, demonstrating the battle between the acceptance of being gay and assimilating to both American and Mexican cultural expectations. Villalobos’ work has been recognized internationally and he is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant Award and Residency and the Tanne Foundation Award.



Photo: Courtesy of John Dennis

Marissa Del Toro (she/her) is Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Programs at NXTHVN in New Haven, CT. Since 2021, Del Toro has also worked with Museums Moving Forward as Co-Director of Research and Director of Communications. Previously, she served as 2021-2022 Curatorial Fellow at NXTHVN and as the 2018-2020 Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI) Curatorial Fellow at Phoenix Art Museum. She holds her MA in Art History from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is originally from Southern California, where she received her BA in Art History from the University of California, Riverside.




This program is presented in partnership with The Latinx Project at NYU.


AFA public programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. These programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. We are also grateful for the support of the American Chai Trust.



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