Stonehenge in East Harlem: El Museo del Barrio Series Takes Latino Art to the Streets

By Sarah McNaughton and Ines Perez on Nov 16th, 2011

Rafael Sánchez and Kathleen White wanted to see a dolmen—the archetypal stone structure found at Stonehenge—and thought everyone else would, too, so they decided to build one that could travel. The Cuban and American artists erected their “Somewhat Portable Dolmen” on a knoll in East Harlem’s 103rd Street Community Garden for a few hours on a recent Saturday; then the wood-and-foamcore structure disappeared as quickly as it went up.

Sánchez and White’s urban dolmen is part of El Museo del Barrio’s (S) Files art series, which features the work of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American artists in New York City. In this, the sixth biennial series, a record 75 artists work in almost every medium, including performance, paintings and murals, multimedia and sculpture. Also known as the Street Files, the series began in June and continues into early January. (S) Files exhibits and performances have been hosted by galleries, museums and, in collaboration with the New York Restoration Project, community gardens across the city. Take a look at the Sánchez and White outdoor exhibit below:


The (S) Files continue until Jan. 8. See the El Museo calendar below:

Wednesday, Nov. 16:
The Artists Speak: The (S) Files 2011
7 to 9 p.m., BRIC Rotunda Gallery | 33 Clinton St., Brooklyn
“An artist-led tour and discussion at BRIC Rotunda Gallery featuring Armando Mariño, Lisa Iglesias, Alicia Grullon, Jessica Mein, with a special performance by Rafael Sánchez.”

Now through Nov. 30:
(S) Files (S)cavenger Hunt
El Museo del Barrio | 1230 5th Ave., New York
“Get in on the game as we challenge you to follow the clues around NYC to satellite venues and events surrounding El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files 2011. Learn about the artists, their work, and what inspires them as you go. Each week we’ll be posting 3 featured clues on El Museo’s Facebook page, with a complete listing of clues and details available at Find answers in our galleries, online videos, and special events. Be one of the first 25 lucky participants to win an (S) Files prize package when you visit three of the four featured venues.”

On view through Jan. 6:
Lehman College Art Gallery | 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx
“The artists featured at Lehman College Art Gallery share an affinity for illustration and the narrative force of images. The exhibition itself becomes a picturesque walk through the city, a catalogue of people, objects, out-fits, daily and imaginary cityscapes. The urban environment is the setting for social and political exchanges of all kinds, and a place of compelling crossings—symbolic and real. When the street becomes the starting point, the images don’t just portray urban scenes. They also depict details that often translate into the global remains of consumer society, the resilience of urban dwellers, or the tools for a crime.”

On view through Jan. 8:
The (S) Files main exhibits
El Museo del Barrio | 1230 5th Ave., New York and Bric Rotunda Gallery | 33 Clinton St., Brooklyn


1 Response for “Stonehenge in East Harlem: El Museo del Barrio Series Takes Latino Art to the Streets”

  1. We love their mindset! “If we can’t go to the dolmens, we’ll bring the dolmen to New York City.” It’s great to see this global feeling start its journey in Harlem! Can’t wait to see the dolmen up close!

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