Presentation: Hotel Mariachi

In conjunction with the exhibition At Home in the World, 516 ARTS welcomes photographer Miguel A. Gandert, author Catherine L. Kurland and folklorist Enrique R. Lamadrid to talk about their book of photographs and essays titled Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Landscape in Los Angeles, which depicts the mariachi musicians of East Los Angeles and the eighty-year-old mariachi culture centered in the 1889 hotel on Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. Gandert’s photographs, which are featured in At Home in the World, "joyously and heartbreakingly capture this dichotomy of a regal band at play and the harsh reality of the struggle for work," writes Evangeline Ordaz-Molina. Lamadrid delves into the origins of mariachi music and offers a deep account of mariachi poetics. Hotel Mariachi provides insight into the challenging lives of mariachi musicians. It is also a story of valiant efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of the mariachis and the historic hotel, built by great-grandparents of Kurland, whose efforts to save the building led to the discovery of her family’s role in the birth of Los Angeles.

This collaboration was awarded the 2015 Latino Book Award.

Miguel Gandert
Miguel Gandert, a native of Española, New Mexico, is a fine art and documentary photographer and Distinguished Professor of Communication and Journalism and Director of the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media at the University of New Mexico. His recent work explores the contrast between the Indo-Hispano rituals in Bolivia and Latin America and Old and New Mexico. His photographs have been shown in galleries and museums throughout the world and are in numerous public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Beinke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection at Yale, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe.

Catherine L. Kurland
Catherine López Kurland left her hometown of Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Southern California, returning to the West in 2004, when she moved to Santa Fe. For nearly two decades prior, she lived in New York, where she co-owned Kurland•Zabar, the first gallery in the United States to specialize in the British Arts & Crafts movement. In New Mexico she pursued graduate work in historic preservation and regionalism at the University of New Mexico, which she put to use helping to save the endangered 1889 “Mariachi Hotel” in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Kurland is award-winning executive editor of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail Association’s journal, Chronicles of the Trail.

Enrique R. Lamadrid, PhD
As a folklorist based at the University of New Mexico, Enrique Lamadrid's research on mestizo cultures culminated in his acclaimed book Hermanitos Comanchitos: Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption (UNM Press, 2003), awarded the prestigious Chicago Folklore Prize for ethnographic writing. The American Folklore Society granted him the Américo Paredes Prize for his cultural activism, and the Historical Society of New Mexico awarded him the Gilberto Espinosa Prize for historical research and the Pablita Velarde Prize for children's literature. Distinguished Professor at UNM, Lamadrid recently retired as Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He has collaborated on many field-based projects with photographer Miguel Gandert.

Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Landscape in Los Angeles, Miguel A. Gandert, photographer, Catherine L. Kurland and Enrique R. Lamadrid, authors, with an Introduction by Evangeline Ordaz-Molina, University of New Mexico Press, October 2013.