SMITHSONIAN / Renwick Gallery

I am honored that one of my Mapuche textiles is part of the Renwick collection. It was included in the 50th Anniversary exhibition,
“This Present Moment:
Crafting a Better World”
from May 13, 2022 to April 2, 2023.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcased the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlighted the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism — showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centered more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.

On view at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery, This Present Moment activated two floors of gallery space, highlighting 171artworks from SAAM’s extensive holdings of modern and contemporary craft, in a range of craft mediums from fiber and ceramics to glass and mixed media. These objects deepen the history of the studio craft movement while also introducing contemporary artworks that push the boundaries of what we interpret the handmade to be in the twenty-first century.

Watch the testimonial video.

Tumble Dreams #3 2018, mixed media on plexi with LED light and bar code, 18” x 18” x 24”

Redemption 2012 / Textile with natural fivers & bar code with Mapuche stories. Part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Art & Design in NY.

This piece entered the MAD museum collection a few years ago and it was part of an interesting exhibition called NEW TERRITORIES. How do we preserve tradition and identity in a digital age? How do we find new ways to tell and preserve stories in ways that might connect to youth, without abandoning the oral traditions that have worked for generations? What are the stories of the journeys of Indigenous Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants to the United States? How can we find new ways to hear their stories and bring them more into the ongoing debate over immigration?

Learn more about Encoded Textiles.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

I’m honored to be a part of the LACMA collection with an important piece titled “La Bestia,” which is currently being exhibited on loan as part of my retrospective at the Nevada Museum of Art.

“Guillermo Bert, a Chilean American artist working in Los Angeles, created the multimedia series Encoded Textiles, which conveys powerful messages about immigration and refugees. La Bestia depicts the notorious freight train that traverses Mexico going north. Latin American migrants from Mexico and central America take this dangerous journey riding the roof of the train, often with deadly consequences. The photograph of the train appears as a faded black-and-white image on a textured beige canvas. The brightly colored QR code is made of laser cut squares of brightly colored woven fabric and links to the testimonial of a Guatemalan immigrant’s harrowing journey by bus, foot, truck, and La Bestia from his hometown to Los Angeles. By ingeniously combining emerging technology with traditional craft and embedding a story that touches so many, Bert imbues La Bestia with extraordinary resonance.”

Rhode Island Museum of Art

I am excited to be part of this prestigious institution on the east coast I think my Mapuche #3 textile will be great as part of that collection.

The RISD Museum believes that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies.

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. We interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an accessible and inclusive environment that fosters meaningful relationships across all communities.”