The 1993 art exhibition on the Arts Quad, “Revelaciones/Revelations: Hispanic Art of Evanescence,” by Latino artist Daniel J. Martinez.

'Cornell on Trial' recalls cause of Day Hall takeover 

Twenty-one years ago, Chon Noriega was a visiting scholar at Cornell when he co-curated an art exhibition that sparked a student revolution. He will reflect on those events in a sesquicentennial talk titled “‘Cornell on Trial’: The University and the Creative Arts, Revisited,” Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the English Department Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall.

The 1993 exhibition Noriega curated, “Revelaciones/Revelations: Hispanic Art of Evanescence,” featured the work of Latino artist Daniel J. Martinez and consisted of a series of black walls amid the pathways on the Arts Quad, topped with messages such as, “In the rich man’s house, the only place to spit is in his face.”

Students added their own messages to the artwork – until anti-Latino slogans appeared. The vandalism inspired protests that led to the student takeover of Day Hall and, ultimately, the establishment of the Latino Living Center and the Latino Studies Program.

Noriega’s talk is sponsored by the Latino Studies Program, the Department of History of Art and the Department of English Critical Race Lecture Series. 

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