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Indigenous visual artists have positioned their art as a deeply personal reflection of their knowledges, cultures, and communities. While many artistic expressions from the Andes help preserve its history, Andean art making is as relevant and important as it was over a thousand years ago.
In this guide, visual arts are considered valuable tools of Quechua, Andean, and Indigenous knowledge production. As the following materials from the Library and interviews illustrate, Indigenous art extends past surface-level interpretation. Whether artists are aiming to preserve a specific moment in time, promote a cultural practice, or craft a story through their art, there is evident intentionality both at the root and throughout their work.
Andean creativity transcends pacha, time and space in Quechua, as artists generate a distinct duality of tradition and possibility through their diverse and unique artwork.
The following images showcase Andean people, places, art, and fashion from the perspectives of artists from the Andes. These images are meant to encourage further research about arts that center Indigenous customs, peoples, and stories.
In the following interviews, Quechua and Andean visual artists share their perspectives on their creative processes and their unique relationships to their art. For Megan Rakos and Sam Herscher, art making is a part of their (re)connection journeys to their Quechua and Andean roots. For Suni Sonqo Vizcarra Wood, art can be a tool for decolonization and a way of uniting Indigenous peoples to their cultures, communities, and to one another.
In these interviews, creativity is a reflection of the pride and respect these visual artists have for their Quechua and Andean cultures, identities, and histories. The interviewees also discuss their own vision for the future of Quechua and Andean art making.
Learn more about Megan Rakos and Sam Herscher External
This selection of resources introduce the people, culture, geography, and region of the Andes for general audiences and researchers. Staff in the Hispanic Reading Room can provide access to the materials located at the Library of Congress. If you cannot visit us in person send us a message through Ask a Librarian to further assist you.
Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1 includes:
Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection draws its content from the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, the largest national project ever to locate, preserve and disseminate Hispanic culture of the United States in its written form since colonial times until 1960. The project functions under the direction of Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, founder and director of Arte Público Press, the oldest and largest publisher of U.S. Hispanic literature, and geographically covers all fifty states of the Union.
The site currently includes 5 collections: