The Metropolitan Museum of Art Introduces "El Met" T-Shirt, a Project by Civic Practice Partnership Artist in Residence Miguel Luciano

(New York, June 22, 2021)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the launch of the limited-edition "El Met" T-shirt, featuring a graphic remix of the Museum’s iconic logo by Miguel Luciano, Civic Practice Partnership Artist in Residence at The Met. Luciano transformed the logo into “El Met” as a way of reimagining the Museum through the lens of Spanish-speaking audiences, and he created the “El Met” T-shirt as a provocation to increase the visibility of Latinx art at the institution and inspire the acquisition of Latinx art, future exhibition opportunities, and more sustainable relationships with Latinx communities. The shirt is now available exclusively at The Met Store, and all proceeds from the sale of “El Met” merchandise will directly support the acquisition of Latinx art at The Met.
As part of a three-year residency at The Met, Miguel Luciano (born Puerto Rico, 1972) has explored the historic connections between the Museum and the East Harlem community, engaging deeply with the collection and researching the 1973 exhibition The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico: Pre-Columbian to Present, which was a collaboration with El Museo del Barrio and remains the largest survey of Puerto Rican art in any U.S. museum to date. Luciano’s residency will culminate in a pop-up exhibition in East Harlem, featuring works produced by Luciano during his time at The Met, that will open in late July.
The Met’s Civic Practice Partnership Artist Residency is made possible by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.
“Luciano’s ‘El Met’ T-shirt is both a vexation and an invitation,” said Heidi Holder, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education. “We are provoked into examining the historical connections between The Met and Latinx communities and, at the same time, we are striving to strengthen the relationship between the Museum and Latinx people, art, and culture. Luciano will end his three-year residency with an astounding record of artistic production, events, and conversations. ‘El Met’ is exactly the type of complexity Civic Practice Partnership Artists in Residence are engaging with as we seek innovative ways to connect new and existing communities to The Met.”
“‘El Met’ is how we say ‘The Met’ in Spanglish, and it’s how Latinx audiences throughout New York City and beyond colloquially describe the Museum as a destination,” said Luciano. “As a Civic Practice Partnership Artist in Residence, one of the first things I explored was the history of representation among Puerto Rican and Latinx artists at the Museum, asking the fundamental question: Where do we see ourselves at The Met? In response to the underrepresentation of Latinx artists in the collection, I created this limited-edition ‘El Met’ T-shirt as a prompt for the Museum and its benefactors to invest more substantially in the art and culture of Latinx communities, and as a way to commemorate Latinx audiences visiting The Met.”
The “El Met” shirt will be available in The Met Store locations at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, and on the website.
About Miguel Luciano
Luciano is a multimedia visual artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in exhibitions at The Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris; El Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; The San Juan Poly-Graphic Triennial, Puerto Rico; and The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and the Socially Engaged Art Fellowship from A Blade of Grass. His work is featured in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Newark Museum, and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Luciano is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts and Yale University School of Art. He received his MFA from the University of Florida.
About The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
About The Met’s Education Department
Dedicated to making art accessible to everyone, regardless of background, ability, age, or experience, The Met’s Education Department is central to the Museum’s mission and currently presents over 29,000 educational events and programs throughout the year. These programs include workshops, art-making experiences, specialized tours, fellowships supporting leading scholarship and research, high school and college internships that promote career accessibility and diversity, K-12 educator programs that train teachers to integrate art into core curricula across disciplines, and school tours and programs that spark deep learning and lifelong relationships with and through art. The Met’s Civic Practice Partnership was launched in 2017 and is a collaborative residency program for artists who are socially minded in their practice and who will implement creative projects in their own neighborhoods across New York City. The Met invited two dynamic lead artists for the Civic Practice Partnership’s inaugural program: choreographer and performance artist Rashida Bumbray, working in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and multimedia visual artist Miguel Luciano, working in East Harlem. In 2020, The Met welcomed three additional artists to the program: Jon Gray, of artistic and culinary collective Ghetto Gastro; Mei Lum, of the W.O.W. Project, a community organizing and arts space in Manhattan’s Chinatown; and musician and composer Toshi Reagon.



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