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April 19, 2006


NEW YORK, April 19 - Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest: Selection of Award-Winning Works, an exhibition organized by Centro León, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and CCNY Libraries, opens Monday, April 24, at The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Cohen Library.  The exhibit will be on display in the Library Archives, Room NAC 5/301, though June 23.  Viewing hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Mondays – Fridays. 

The Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest, which was begun in 1964, is the oldest privately sponsored art competition in Latin America.  The exhibit, which is sponsored by U.S. Trust, Grupo León Jimenes and American Airlines, will kick off the 21st contest, which will be held next October in Santiago, Dominican Republic.  The display features 14 award-winning works from previous years as well as all of the participating entries from 2004. 

“This show offers the opportunity to observe the course that artistic production in the Dominican Republic has taken since the second half of the twentieth century,” said Dr, Ramona Hernandez, Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute.  “It also will enable the New York community, in general, and Dominican artists residing in the United States, in particular, to familiarize themselves with the regulations governing the 21st Edition of the contest.”

This year’s edition of the Contest amended the rules with the intention of increasing the participation of artists of Dominican descent born outside the Dominican Republic.  “We hope that by promoting the participation of Dominican artists in the diaspora, the contest will offer greater opportunities for exchange and dialogue between these artists and their counterparts in the Dominican Republic, thus facilitating the artistic encounter across the transnational cultural space,” said Rafael Emilio Yunén, Director of Centro León, a cultural center/museum in the Dominican Republic.

The Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest was established to stimulate visual arts development and creativity among new generations of artists. Since its first edition, it has held to the principle that artistic creation constitutes one of the most authentic expressions of human spirit.

Centro León exhibits visual arts, multimedia, archeological artifacts from the Dominican Republic and other parts of Latin American and the Caribbean.  It was founded by Fundación Eduardo León Jimenes, a private-family institution in the Dominican Republic.  Inaugurated in October 2003, it has become one of the most important institutions of its type in the Caribbean and a hemispheric model for exemplary cultural practices.  It has received various international recognitions, as well.  As part of its multiple objectives, Centro Leon values the role of art, particularly the visual arts, as they reflect the construction of multiple identities as well as emphasizing the expressive roles they articulate in society

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute is an interdisciplinary research unit devoted to the production, gathering, and dissemination of knowledge of Dominicans in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.  The practices and missions that guide the work of Centro León and the Dominican Studies Institute share a common vision of the role of art in society.

“The promotion of these types of actions, strategies and collaborative inter-institutional programs will increase international interests in the great diversity of artistic expression that emerge from the cultural values of Dominicans everywhere in the world,” added Dr. Hernandez.

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Contact: Sarah Aponte, 212-650-7170