ESCALA works closely with staff, students, and the wider community to research and promote art from Latin America.
Research over the past twenty years has involved participating in funded projects, symposia, exhibitions, partnerships with museums and universities here and abroad, and the publishing of catalogues and papers.
ESCALA was founded in 1993 from research and teaching of art from Latin America at the University of Essex, by staff and students in the School of Philosophy and Art History (SPAH).
The School’s pioneering work in this field itself developed from the University’s founding focus on Latin American Studies, leading in 1968 to the founding of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the BA Latin American Studies.
SPAH continues to be a focus for postgraduate students of art from Latin America (both Masters’ and Doctoral students) who benefit from the concentration of unique national resources in this field at the University’s Colchester Campus, the large number of Latin Americanists on Campus and ESCALA which is itself engaged in interdisciplinary research.
In recognition of its unique role, ESCALA was selected to be the UK’s only partner to the Institute for Studies of Art from Latin America (ISLAA), a U.S. based philanthropic organisation that offers funding to support the continued growth of the library’s book collection, travel bursaries to students and fellowships for early career researchers who have graduated in Latin American art history from the University of Essex.
ESCALA also has a memorandum of understanding with Tate, in recognition of our long-standing collaboration, the basis of which is the exchange of research in the field of art from Latin America.
Now twenty years old, ESCALA is also well-placed to connect researchers with alumni, artists and other associates who can help to exchange knowledge and continue to further our mission to research art from Latin America. From 2010-2012 ESCALA with current researchers at the University of Essex organised the academic public programme for Pinta, the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art show.