Adriana Monsalve: Diaspora Diction

May 28 – July 26, 2019

About the exhibition
About the artist
Artist talk & events
Recommended reading list

Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University presents Diaspora Diction, an exhibition of photography from artist Adriana Monsalve. The exhibition will run from May 28 through July 26, 2019, with an opening artist’s talk and reception on Tuesday, May 28 at 2:00pm in Fenwick Library. This exhibition is presented as part of the Mason Libraries Artist-in-Residence pilot program, co-sponsored by the Mason School of Art.

The first artist to participate in this pilot residency, Adriana Monsalve is a Maryland-based artist and collaborative publisher working in the photobook medium. Along with Caterina Ragg, Monsalve is co-founder of Homie House Press, a radical cooperative platform that challenges the ever-changing forms of storytelling with image and text.

About the exhibition

Diaspora Diction collects Monsalve’s photographs, photobooks, and ongoing research into identity—and illusions of identity—in the African and Latinx diaspora. The exhibition features images from Monsalve’s first photobook, Clear as Black, a deeply personal and investigative documentary of the community and stories of individuals with a rare type of albinism found in Puerto Rico. Diaspora Diction also includes a second, separate body of work in progress, tentatively titled Novena. Photographed during a subsequent visit to Puerto Rico, Novena follows the family of Ricardito, one of subjects of Clear as Black, in the days immediately following the death of his grandfather, the family patriarch.

As part of her artist’s talk, Monsalve will discuss the works included in Diaspora Diction as well as the research conducted during her residency time at Mason, where she continued exploring questions of identity and expanded her scope to the Melungeon communities in Appalachia.

The Mason Libraries Artist-in-Residence program, currently in its pilot year, invites an artist to expand or develop a project through research in the libraries’ collections and dialogue with Mason students, faculty, and library staff. For this pilot year, the residency was co-sponsored by the Mason School of Art and received additional support from University Life. More information on the Mason Libraries Artist-in-Residence program is available on the Fenwick Gallery website.

Diaspora Diction will be on display in Fenwick Gallery through July 26.

About the Artist

Adriana Monsalve is an artist and collaborative publisher working in the photo book medium. She earned a Masters in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London in 2013. In 2018, she was awarded the Lucie Independent Photo Book Prize for her collaborative photo book, Femme Frontera, a project which was funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and was part of the Master Artist Grant for 2017.

The works of Homie House Press, including Monsalve’s photobooks, have been collected in the Library of Congress, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Maryland Institute College of Art, among other private collections. At Mason, you can find Monsalve’s photobooks and HHP publications in the Mason Libraries Artists’ Book Collection, housed in the Special Collections Research Center.

Learn more about her work at

Artist Talk & Reception

Tuesday, May 28, 2:00-3:00pm
Fenwick Gallery Main Reading Room (Room 2001, 2nd floor)
Fenwick Library location (Google Maps)

The Rappahannock Parking Deck is closest to Fenwick Library and offers visitor parking.
Fairfax Campus Parking Map

Recommended Readings