American Culture graduate George Vargas (Ph.D., 1988) recently accepted a teaching position at Texas A & M University after working as an activist, artist, and writer in Austin, Texas, for the last decade. His book, Contemporary Mexican Art: New Art of the New Americans is forthcoming from the University of Texas Press. Even better for us, his artwork is currently on display in the American Culture seminar room, and has been much appreciated by faculty and students. Other pieces will be shown at the University of Michigan art gallery as well. Professor Vargas works in a variety of media, and his art often cites and adopts vernacular forms and expressions.
Professor Vargas has generously donated to the University of Michigan and the Bentley Library his archive of art, ephemera, and documents relating to the formation of Latina/o art and culture in the state of Michigan. Thanks to the cooperation of American Culture, Latina/o Studies, the Bentley and Professor Vargas, the University of Michigan can now boast one of the only collections dedicated solely to Latina/o art and culture. Professor Vargas visited American Culture last October as part of the King/Parks/Chavez visiting lecturer program, offering a compelling and well-attended public talk on Latina/o artists and muralists.