The Museum of Latin American Art’s (MoLAA) exhibition Transformations, curated by MoLAA curator of Collections, Carlos Ortega, has received a 2016 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement for “A Museum Exhibit on a Limited Budget” from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), an international nonprofit association.
The Museum will be presented with the award on Saturday, April 22 at the 23rd Annual Thea Awards Gala at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
Transformations, from 2015, told the stories of five Long Beach community members. Videos told of their personal transformations in the face of complex experiences that included battling cancer, surviving incarceration and gang violence. Displayed on the walls were works of art from MoLAA’s collection, selected by each storyteller to visually represent their emotional state before and after their transformative experience.
The common thread in all the stories was the support received from family and friends that led to the transformation of each participant and the importance of their connection to art. Because of its popularity, the exhibit was extended by several months.
“In most art exhibits, the curator receives much of the glory,” Ortega said. “In the case of Transformations, the glory was, rather, the huge emotional connection between the public and the participants’ stories.”