CUNY DSI exhibitions highlight archival and library collections, along with topics of academic interest in the field of Dominican Studies.


Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas

May 22-September 10, 2015

This is a groundbreaking exhibit featuring manuscripts about one of the earliest ancestral groups of Dominicans who trace their origins to black Africans. This exhibit is the first product of a long-term research project undertaken by CUNY DSI, which documents the arrival and lives of the first black Africans in the New World: First Blacks in the Americas.” This exhibit presents images of manuscripts whose originals are currently held at the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. The manuscripts are accompanied by their paleographic transcriptions and English translations, as well as by contextual historical comments that help readers better understand their content and what the manuscripts say about the earliest Black inhabitants in the Americas. The material and visual production of this exhibit would not have been possible without the generous funding provided by grants from the CUNY Diversity Projects Development Fund and the New York Council for the Humanities.

Fighting for Democracy: Dominican Veterans from World War II

October 29-November 11, 2015

This is a pioneering exhibit about courage, valor, and commitment. It consists of twelve panels, in which photographs, documents, correspondence, newspaper articles, and short biographies tell the stories of Dominicans that served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II (WWII). Nine of the twelve panels highlight a series of individual veterans through biographical sketches, providing details about their arrival in the United States, involvement in the war, and post-war experiences. And for many, the end of the war meant risking their lives once again to fight for the ideals of freedom and democracy by trying to overthrow Rafael L. Trujillo, whose rule over the Dominican Republic was one of the strongest and bloodiest dictatorships in Latin America and the Caribbean. Images of this particular post-war struggle are captured in one of the panels. A final panel includes all the names of the Dominican WWII veterans uncovered by our research as a way to remember them and to encourage others to further continue this research and bring their stories to life. In the end, the twelve panels showcase Dominican WWII veterans’ long-lasting contribution to humanity and their example of steadfast hope and decisive action. Click here for the JSTOR Open Collections Site.


El Músico y el Pintor/ The Musician and the Painter: An Exhibit Documenting the Lifetime, Work, and Artistic Trajectory of Two Early Twentieth Century Dominican Artists in New York

February 15-March 27, 2013

The exhibit consists of documents, photographs, musical scores, and paintings from the Dominican Archives collections that highlight the careers of musician Rafael Petitón Guzmán (1894-1983) and painter Tito Enrique Cánepa (1916-2014). Both were enormously influential in their chosen professions, contributing to the development of new hybrid artistic forms that combine traditional and modern elements and incorporate styles from different cultures. Cánepa used his art to express political themes, chiefly his opposition to tyranny and imperialism, while Petitón Guzmán used eclecticism and formal innovation as the vehicle of his revolt. The archival collections of both artists provide a remarkable glimpse of early twentieth-century cultural history of Dominicans and Latinos in New York City. The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute launched a trilogy in 2021 celebrating the brilliant Dominican composer, maestro Rafael Petitón Guzmán. Click here to read the press release.

Identity and Magic: Folk Dances of the Dominican Republic / Identidad y Magia: Danzas Folklóricas de la República Dominicana. Opening Reception photos.

May 17-August 17, 2013

This al fresco exhibition is based on a selection of photographs by Mariano Hernández and Pedro Genaro, from a book with the same title by renowned folklorist Dagoberto Tejeda Ortiz. The book Identity and Magic (VICNI 2012) captures the history and the stories of the Dominican Republic’s folkloric dances through masterly and majestic photographs, engaging and vivid illustrations, and a corresponding documentary. The photo exhibit enables the viewer to follow in detail the historical trajectory and appreciate the richness of the folkloric dances that are part of the cultural heritage of the Dominican people. It was on view on the City College of New York Amsterdam Plaza.

Condition: My Place Our Longing / Condición: Mi Lugar Nuestro Anhelo

September 2013–February 2014

This exhibit highlights the work of two young Dominican immigrant artists living in New York and the Dominican Republic: Julianny Ariza and Leslie Jiménez. It showcases original pieces produced between 2011 and 2012 that explore the subject of living in between, in two worlds, and other conditions of living.

Interior: Harvests of the Dominican Republic / Interior: Cosechas de la República Dominicana

May 9-September 14, 2014

This exhibit is based on a selection of photographs from a book with the same title written by renowned economist Carlos Despradel. The book (VICINI, 2013) reveals the Dominican Republic’s agricultural diversity and promote interest in agriculture in the country. This work offers an overview of the Cibao Valley, the eastern region’s expansive savannas, the climate of the South and the valleys of Constanza and Jarabacoa, among other areas.


Taino: Jewels of Taino Art / Joyas del Arte Taino

October 4-December 14, 2012

This exhibit featured selected images from the collector’s edition book Taino: Joyas del arte taino. Jewels of Taino Art (VICINI 2011) with photos by Victor Siladi and Nemanja Brankovic of outstanding pieces of Taino culture from various private and public collections in the Dominican Republic. The Exhibit provides a unique opportunity to view photographs of Taino artifacts that captures various aspects of life in Taino society. The exhibit travelled to the Center for Worker Education (City College’s downtown campus) and Nre Jersey’s Clifton Public Library. The photo exhibit was organized by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, and photographers and producers Victor Siladi and Nemanja Brankovic, under the auspices of Grupo VICINI and with the support of the organizers of Semana Dominicana/Dominican Week 2012


A Cultural Portrait of the Dominican Republic

May 27-July 31, 2011

A photographic exploration of the country’s cultural and natural beauty through the portrait and landscape photography of Katherine Taylor.

New Perspectives: Dominican Republic. Opening Reception Photos.

September-October 2011

This al fresco exhibit featured aerial images of natural and historic places from the Dominican Republic inspired by the book New Perspectives: Dominican Republic. The images show the Dominican Republic, as it had never been seen before and featured an array of original aerial photographs of landscapes, people and situations that go far beyond the typical images associated with the country and portrays the diversity and beauty the country emanates.


Manifestaciones: Expressions of Dominicanidad in Nueva York

October-December 2010

The 12 prints featured in Manifestaciones are the work of the artists of Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA (DYPG) led by Pepe Coronado, and were shown for the first time at the inauguration of the CUNY DSI Art Gallery. This unique exhibition is of artistic and historic importance as noted by art historians E. Carmen Ramos and Graciela Kartofel in curatorial essays they contributed to the catalog. Although active and productive in documenting their immigrant experience, Dominican artists have generally worked without institutional support.


Dominicans in New York: An Exhibit from the Dominican Archives and Library Collections

October 2008–January 2009

This exhibit is a display highlighting the experiences and contributions of the New York Dominican population using primary source materials from the archival collections of the Dominican Archives as well as secondary source materials from the Dominican Library. It includes documents, photographs and memorabilia that create a visual history of Dominicans as they developed communities that became integral part of New York’s incredibly diverse human landscape. The images display glimpses of the community’s history, culture, traditions, and population changes.

Mujer Dominicana en New York (Dominican Women in New York). Opening Reception Photos. 

August–September 2008

This major visual exhibit profiled the lives, struggles and views of 127 Dominican women from the Dominican Republic and New York City. The display was the largest exhibit of its kind to showcase Dominican women through poster-size photographs. It also included biographical profiles in English and Spanish, a book, and a video. It was sponsored by MERCASID (one of the largest and oldest Dominican food-producing companies in the Dominican Republic), the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, and the City College Libraries (with the collaboration of the CCNY President’s Office and the Campus Planning and Facilities).

Tito Cánepa: 60 Years of Dominican Art in the United States

April–May, 2008

This exhibit showcased 16 of Tito Cánepa’s paintings at the Art Gallery of Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE) in the Dominican Republic. This exhibit is the first ever to take place in the Dominican Republic displaying the artwork of long-time New York Dominican émigré artist Tito Cánepa. It was co-sponsored by FUNGLODE, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Librarian Sarah Aponte coordinated with an international fine arts company the transportation and installation of the art work in the Dominican Republic.


The Artistry of Dominican Carnival: A Multimedia Exhibition

September 2006-January 2007

This exhibit was a collaborative effort to promote the heritage of carnival in various Dominican communities. It featured a radiant display of traditional masks and costumes typically used during carnival in different provinces of the Dominican Republic but created for Dominican carnival in the United States by a crew of dedicated individuals from the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation (JPDF). The opening reception featured a dynamic carnival dance with lechones (masked devils) and took place in the City College Archives Gallery, Cohen Library, on September 14, 2006. The exhibit was organized by the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, the City College Library, and the Presidential Council for Dominicans Abroad. For the occasion, Librarian Aponte designed a brochure about the JPD Foundation announcing the exhibit. 


Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest: A New York Exhibition of Selected Award-Winning Works

April 24-June 24, 2006

The Eduardo León Jimenes Cultural Center (Centro León) opened an exhibit in the Cohen Library of the City College of New York on the occasion of the XXI Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest, the oldest privately sponsored art competition in Latin America, containing fourteen award-winning works from previous years of the Contests and all of the participants from 2004. This show offered the opportunity to observe the course that artistic production in the Dominican Republic has taken since the second half of the twentieth century. The opening of this exhibition provided a context for the presentation of the new rules of the XXI Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest, which took place Santiago, Dominican Republic in October 2006. The 2006 edition of the Contest amended the rules with the intention of increasing the participation of artists of Dominican descent born outside the Dominican Republic. The exhibition was organized by Centro León, City College Libraries, and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library. The exhibition was sponsored by US Trust, Grupo León Jimenes, and American Airlines.

Don Pedro Mir in the Diaspora: A Photo Exhibit

May 12-June 30, 2006

An exhibit featuring the Dominican Poet Laureate, Don Pedro Mir’s visits to New York City during the 1990s. It consisted of black and white photos, book covers, introductory text, and a comprehensive bibliography based on Mir’s work. The exhibit was organized as part of the “First Interdisciplinary Conference on the Future of Dominican Studies: Charting the Course ¿Dónde estamos y adónde vamos? In Memoriam of Pedro Mir Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic” held at Hostos Community College. The event was sponsored by the Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos/Dominican Studies Association and Hostos Community College, CUNY.


Caña Brava: The Bateys of the Dominican Republic

December 1, 2003–January 9, 2004

Jon Anderson’s black and white photos illustrated life within the Dominican sugar cane plantation villages. The exhibit stressed that Haitian immigrants, Dominican-born people of Haitian descent, and native Dominicans share more than the island of Hispaniola. It was organized by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library and the City College Library and co-sponsored by the CCNY Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and the Haitian Bilingual-ESL Technical Assistance Center (HABETAC). It was curated by photographer Jon Anderson and Librarian Sarah Aponte. The opening reception for this exhibition was held on December 11, 2003 featuring photographer Jon Anderson.

Dominican Youth Across Borders: A Photo Exhibit

September 1–October 29, 2004

This exhibit displayed the photographs of Ruben Ramirez and illustrated aspects of ordinary life of Dominican youth in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. It was a cross-cultural visual essay on U.S. Dominican youth and their counterparts in the Dominican Republic. It was organized by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, and the City College Library. Financial support was provided by the CCNY Office of the Provost, the CCNY Alumni Association, and the City College Fund. The exhibit was researched by Librarian Sarah Aponte and the text was edited by Professor Robert Laurich. The opening reception for this exhibition was held on September 22, 2004 featuring photographer Ruben Ramirez.

Dominican Rock: An Audiovisual Experience

December 2, 2004

A Photo/Video Exhibit produced by Harold Martínez and curated by Librarian Sarah Aponte, it provided a general view of the rock scene in the Dominican Republic as a growing alternative movement. Co-Sponsored by: CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, CCNY Dominican Students Association, Remolacha.net, Estudio 828, La Viuda Negra Records, Graph & Graph, and Dimensión Oculta.

Memories of Underdevelopment: A Portrait of the Dominican Republic

November 17, 2004

Photographer: Jon Anderson. A slideshow and discussion featuring photos by Jon Anderson and moderated by Librarian Sarah Aponte on the issues facing the Dominican Republic and its historical and cultural legacy. Co-Sponsored by: CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, the City College Library, and the New York Foundation of the Arts.

Encrucijadas/Crossroads: An Exhibition of Contemporary Dominican-American Art 

March 5, 2004

A one-day fine arts’ exhibit showed the work and talent of New Dominican American Artists at the Aaron Davis Hall, The City College of New York. The exhibit produced a bilingual catalogue presenting a biographical note of all the artists featured in the exhibit, selected paintings, as well as details concerning their paintings.  The exhibit was supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities. Curated by Delsa Camacho, conceived, and coordinated by Sara Tretter, former CUNY DSI’s administrative assistant. 


The Evolution of an Ethnic Community: Dominican-Americans in Upper Manhattan

September 15–November 15, 2001

This exhibit introduced the complexity of the Dominican community in the diaspora, its history, culture, tradition, and changes. It illustrated various stages in the life of Dominican New Yorkers and their American experience. It was organized by the City College Library and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and curated by Librarians Sarah Aponte, Robert Laurich, Julio Rosario and Sydney Van Nort. The exhibit was part of the New York City Archives Week. Additional support was provided by the Simon H. Rifkind Center for the Humanities and the Arts at City College.

The opening reception for this exhibit was held on October 10, 2001 in the Cohen Library Atrium featuring the Dominican-American fiction writer Angie Cruz, who read from her novel Soledad (Simon and Schuster, 2001). La 21 División and Boni Raposo performed traditional Dominican music. The images of this exhibit attracted the interest of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) for the creation of the 2003 calendar.


Hispaniola: One Island, Two Cultures

September 15–November 15, 1999

This exhibit provided a glance at the historical origins of Haitians and Dominicans, the two peoples who share the island of Hispaniola. Among other intellectual issues, the exhibit stressed the central role of conflict as a force that has moved historical change over the last five centuries. It was organized by the City College Library and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and curated by Librarian Sarah Aponte, Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant and Dr. Julio Rosario.

The opening reception for the exhibition was held in October 7, 1999 featuring the renowned historians Frank Moya Pons (Dominican) and Patrick Bellegarde-Smith (Haitian) who discussed the Hispaniola Experience from their Dominican and Haitian perspectives. The former Chief Librarian of the City College Library, Pamela R. Gillespie and the former CUNY DSI Director, Silvio Torres-Saillant gave the welcoming remarks.

Last Updated: 10/27/2023 15:14