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Cuban professor to present art lectures co-sponsored by NMSU

Cuban professor Julia Portela Ponce de León will present art lectures on the diaspora of contemporary visual artists and gender issues Oct. 18 and 20.

During the lecture, "The Cuban Diaspora through Contemporary Cuban Art," at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Nason House at New Mexico State University, Portela will discuss the cultural concept of diaspora, the movement of a group of people who share a national or ethnic identity, away from an established or ancestral homeland, as portrayed by contemporary visual artists from Cuba.

During the lecture, "Gender Issues in Cuban Art," at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Las Cruces Museum of Art, Portela will discuss how the gender perspective has helped female and male Cuban artists from different generations explore and transgress the traditional cultural parameters imposed on women and men in Cuban society.

The lectures are supported by the New Mexico State University Departments of Art, Languages and Linguistics; the Center for Latin American and Border Studies and the Las Cruces Museum of Art.

"New Mexico State University very much wants to expand international understanding and contacts for our students, faculty and the community," said Jeffrey Brown, interim department head for the NMSU Department of Art. "Students, faculty and the public will learn a great deal about contemporary art in multi-cultural arenas by attending Portela's presentations."

Portela has been teaching Colonial and Post-Colonial Latin American art and Cuban and Western art at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana since 1994 and is now the head of the Department of Art Theory. Portela has presented lectures at college institutions in Spain, Mexico and Colombia and was awarded the Orden Nacional por la Educación Cubana in 2001 and Distinción por la Cultura Nacional in 2005.

The lectures will be presented in Spanish with an English translation.

The Nason house is located at 1200 University Ave. across from Kinko's, and the Las Cruces Museum of Art is located in the Downtown Mall in Las Cruces.

For more information, contact the NMSU Department of Art at 575-646-1705.