Press Release

Solo Exhibition by Guadalupe Rosales Opens at the Foundation in September

Event Date: 
6 September 2019 to 18 October 2019
Pleasantville, NY
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The Gordon Parks Foundation will mount a solo exhibition of the work of artist and archivist Guadalupe Rosales this fall. The exhibition was developed as part of Rosales’ work as a recipient of the 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship and reflects her frequent collaborations with LatinX and LGBTQ communities to examine the interplay between photography and community. Must’ve been a wake-dream will be on view at the Foundation’s exhibition space from September 6 through October 18, 2019 and is free and open to the public. Also on view during Must’ve been a wake-dream will be a group of Gordon Parks’ photographs, selected by Rosales, from Parks’ celebrated Harlem Gang Leader series, made as the first African-American photographer for Life magazine in 1948. The exhibition opens with an artist reception including a reading by Gabriel Rivera on September 6, from 6 to 8 pm; it is free and open to the public.

“Just as Gordon Parks used the arts to create a better world, Guadalupe’s archival project utilizes photography to tell new stories that bring visibility to a culture and community that faces injustice,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation, “We are proud to support Guadalupe’s artistic and social practice through the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship, including providing a platform for her work through this exhibition.” 

Recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century, Parks showed the face of American poverty with empathy and respect, using the arts to champion social change. Recalling Gordon Parks’ legacy, Rosales said, “My work with archives, like Gordon Parks’ photographs and writing, counters forces of xenophobia, racism and injustice that are perpetrated by mainstream society. I see myself continuing Parks’ charge through my work, collecting and broadcasting the voices of my community.”

Through her careful collecting, preservation and presentation of vernacular photographs, letters, party flyers and ephemera representing Latinx Southern California youth culture, Rosales creates an expanding archive that brings visibility to a community that has been overlooked, misrepresented and criminalized. Through her collaboration and engagement, she forms empowering counter-narratives that resonate in the public memory. Rosales describes her work as “…about paying respect, preserving, honoring, and decriminalizing youth subculture,” and “about unlearning, relearning, and reexamining our history as youth in So Cal.”

Must’ve been a wake-dream expands Rosales’ archive through collaborations with artists and the activation of images, objects and ephemera into a hybrid installation that echoes obsessively decorated teenage bedrooms, and underground parties—both spaces in which Los Angeles area teenagers found refuge from the trepidations of gang violence, the 1992 L.A. Riots, and California Proposition 187. In an installation consisting of layers of photographs, video, party flyers, and a custom-made “go-go box,” Rosales poses questions about the legitimacy of the “Latina SoCal youth” experience. The exhibition also features works by Rosales in collaborations with fellow artists, including a triptych by Los Angeles photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya in response to Rosales’ archive that explores perceptions of the body and the apparatus of the camera and archive. Artist Gabriel Rivera's contribution speaks to the exhibition's more difficult issues — death, grief, trauma, longing — in the form of an intimate reading in response to Rosales' ongoing altar dedicated to those who she has lost in gang violence.

Since 2017, the Foundation has granted two Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowships each year to support photographers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians in the development and exhibition of new and ongoing projects. Applications are reviewed on the merit of their quality, creativity, and the project’s potential to contribute to the legacy of Gordon Parks—through its exploration of themes of representation and social justice, or its engagement with the role of Parks in the artistic, social, historical, or cultural events of his time. During the fellowship period, fellows serve as ambassadors on behalf of the Foundation and promote the legacy of Gordon Parks, including participation in a wide range of Foundation initiatives and programs throughout the year, and contribution of an artwork to the Foundation’s permanent collection. In addition to Rosales, Hank Willis Thomas was selected as a 2019 Fellow.

For more information about The Gordon Parks Foundation and its programming please visit and follow on Facebook and Instagram. 


Must’ve been a wake-dream

September 6 through October 18, 2019

The Gordon Parks Foundation

48 Wheeler Avenue, Pleasantville, NY

Opening reception: Friday, September 6, 6 to 8PM

With a reading by Gabriel Rivera and a performance by Rafa Esparza, cuerpa memoria: fotos y recuerdos; Esparza's performance takes Rosales' archival practice as a point of departure to consider the body as a locus that preserves, carries, moves, and transforms memory, but also intervenes in the continuum of a life archived. 

Rosales will take over The Gordon Parks Foundation Instagram (@gordonparksfoundation) from August 30 through September 6, the week leading up to the exhibition.


Guadalupe Rosales is an artist based in Los Angeles who has been building an archive of vernacular photographs and ephemera representing Latinx culture in Southern California. Her projects exist as both archives of physical objects and crowd-sourced digital archives, assembled on her widely followed Instagram accounts: Veteranas & Rucas (@veteranas_and_rucas) and Map Pointz (@map_pointz). Guided by an instinct to create counter narratives, Rosales tells the stories of communities often underrepresented in official archives and public memory.

Her work has been exhibited at the Aperture Foundation, New York; The Vincent Price Art Museum, Monterey Park, California; the Kitchen, New York’ Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha; Spazio Maiocchi, Milan, Italy; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. In 2016, Rosales took over The New Yorker’s social media account and was one of the top-rated takeovers of the year. Her subsequent role as the inaugural Instagram Artist in Residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was featured in the Los Angeles Times, Artsy, and Artforum. She has lectured at numerous museums and academic institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum, New York; New York University; and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Rosales received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Rosales is a 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow.


The Gordon Parks Foundation supports and produces artistic and educational initiatives that advance the legacy and vision of Gordon Parks for social justice. Recognized as the most significant African American photographer of the 20th century, as well as an influential writer, composer, and filmmaker, Parks used the arts as a vehicle to further what he described as “the common search for a better life and a better world.” The Foundation was co-founded in 2006 by Parks with his longtime friend and editor at Life magazine, Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., to preserve his creative work and support the next generation of artists advancing social justice. 

Through scholarly exhibitions, publications, critical research projects, and public programs organized in collaboration with institutions internationally and at its exhibition space in Pleasantville, New York, The Gordon Parks Foundation provides access to, and deepens understanding of the work and legacy of Gordon Parks for artists, scholars, students, and the public. The artist’s archive of photographs, negatives, and contact sheets is a critical resource for scholars and curators in the development of academic research and institutional exhibitions.

Drawing inspiration from the pivotal role of a fellowship Parks received early in his career, the Foundation’s educational and grant-making initiatives are core to its mission and year-round activities. Through The Gordon Parks Foundation Scholarships and Prizes and The Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship, the Foundation provides vital support to artists and champions current and future generations of creatives whose work continues his legacy. These initiatives are made possible through The Gordon Parks Arts and Social Justice Fund, established by the Foundation in 2019. 


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Mind Crime Hookers party crew on 6th Street Bridge, Boyle Heights, 1993. Courtesy Guadalupe Rosales.

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