Claudia Pretelin, New York City, 2016. © Image by Bryan Murray

Hi! Welcome to Instruments of Memory. I’m Claudia Pretelin. I’m a Mexican art historian, independent researcher, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles, California. This site is my long-term art history documentation project. It has evolved with time and I find myself now focusing on personal interviews with women in the arts. I ask about their work, their interests, and future projects. If this intrigues you, I encourage you to subscribe and maybe even take a dive into the archives.



“I think most of the projects I’ve developed over the years have stemmed from some sort of history of my family, or of New Orleans. I am interested in keeping history alive– while connecting it as much as possible to the present.” – Gabrielle Garcia Steib

In our first interview in 2022, we talked to Gabrielle Garcia Steib, a multidisciplinary artist & educator based in New Orleans with roots in Mexico and Nicaragua. For this interview, we discuss her work documenting Latinx communities through photography and film as well with @imagenesdenicaragua, an Instagram feed featuring vernacular photographs and ephemera connected to the social and political history of the country. Read more…

Gabrielle holds a B.A. in English and Digital Media from Loyola University. Her work has been exhibited at NOMA, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, and Museo de la Ciudad and Los 14 in Mexico City. Her films have been screened at New Orleans Film Festival, Taxco International Film Festival, and Baja California International Film Festival. In 2019 she participated in residencies at the UnionDocs, Joan Mitchell Center, and Antenna. She has written and translated for various magazines including Terremoto Magazine, and Antigravity Magazine where she started the first bilingual column about the Latinx community in New Orleans.



Photo by B. Neimeth

IoM and Studio 203 are pleased to announce Instruments of Memory, a group exhibition curated by Mexican art historian, Claudia Pretelin. Featuring new and recent works, this exhibition showcases multidisciplinary work by four artists based in Los Angeles, California. Exploring the connections between history, memory, and placemaking in ways that are tied to the diasporic nature of their own identity, these artists address issues of personal and collective memory through photography, ceramics, fiber art, sculpture, and printmaking.

An extension of our site, which began as an online project documenting the work of women in the arts, Instruments of Memory is a growing community that seeks to promote the work of women from different latitudes through in-depth conversations, exhibitions, and programming with different community partners. This exhibition is the first of our collaborations with Studio 203, an artist-run space in Los Angeles founded by Aneesa and Grant Zizzo.

Stay tuned for our programming events, including an artist talk. 

Dates: February 26 – April 30, 2022

Venue | Lugar:

Studio 203  

3440 Motor Ave Suite 203 Los Angeles, CA 90034



Instruments of Memory (IoM) is excited to announce our first online exhibition featuring archival and family photographs called Above and Under the Surface. Photo collectors, photo lovers, and the general public were invited to submit digital images of their photographic objects that memorialize or help trace the history of the image, a moment worth remembering, or a historical occasion for our Online Exhibition & Catalog juried by the Rijksmuseum Photo Conservator, Rosina Herrera and Art Historian, Claudia Pretelin. Selected participants will have their images included in this online exhibition, on social media, and in a catalog. Accepted participants will receive a catalog of the exhibition to be released in 2022. The catalog will be available for sale to support Instruments of Memory!

Online Exhibition Dates: October 15, 2021 -NOW MARCH 15, 2022!

Curators: Rosina Herrera & Claudia Pretelin


Alberto Guerreiro (Portugal)
Alicia Shahaf (Israel)
Ana E. Nuñez (United States)
Barbara Justice (United States)
Cristina Béjar (Mexico)
Bruno Bresani (Mexico)
David Torrez Pruneda (Mexico)
Deborah Orloff (United States)
Emma Norman (United States)
Greg Townson (United States)

Hadi Khani (Iran)
Heidi Aguilar (Mexico)
Iyo Kamimura (Japan)
Jane Waggoner Deschner (United States)
Julie Blankenship (United States)
Louise Weinberg (United States)
Lucia Cabrera Flores (Uruguay)
Malú Block Cabrera (Mexico)
Mandy Ware (United States)
Merce Ferrero Pedrosa (Spain)

Mirasol Estrada (Mexico)
Muriel Hasbun (El Salvador/United States)
Nino Memanishvili (Georgia)
Penny Oliphant (United States)
Randall deRijk (United States)
Stacy Morrison (United States)
Temel Yilmaz (Turkey)
Virginia Morant Gisbert (Spain)
Viviana Beltran (Mexico)


Ileana Doble Hernández’s socially conscious practice expands to photography, video, installation and new media.  Her works are part of public and private collections and have been shown in publications and venues  in North America, Europe and Asia. Ileana believes that art has the power to make people care, she  provokes the audience to think about systems of inequality and the effect of gun violence on  children. Through her installations more than 400 postcards have been mailed to U.S. elected officials  advocating for gun control. Her practice is influenced by her perspectives as a mother and as an  immigrant living in the U.S.A. for a decade.

Stay tuned!

Before you go…

Don’t miss:


Claudia Mandel Katz, PhD.

Claudia Mandel Katz is a professor, researcher, curator and the founder and director of the Women’s Museum in Costa Rica since 2009. Professor of drawing and painting from the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National Academy of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received a Bachelor degree in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, graduated with a Master of Arts, and a double PhD in History and Society Studies and Culture from the University of Costa Rica. She is the author of the books Map of the female body. A deconstructive reading of visual creators in Costa Rica and Aesthetics of the border Aesthetic practices and violence against women in Latin America.

In 2009, Claudia Mandel Katz created The Women’s Museum in Costa Rica. Established as the first feminist museum in Central America, this online exhibition initiative found its physical space in Mandel Katz’s family home and since then has carried out important work for women’s rights in South America. To speak about the background and mission of this organization that now is part of The International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM), Instruments of Memory reached out to Mandel Katz to conduct this interview. Read more…


Muriel Hasbun

Muriel Hasbun has established her practice not only as photographer but as an educator and an active promoter of Salvadorian art. She has explored the complexities of identity and the legacy of her family history in an extraordinary body of work that sees through the lens of photography with an intergenerational, transnational, and transcultural perspective.  Learn more about her work in our new interview BETWEEN MEMORIES here

Muriel Hasbun’s expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on cultural identity, migration and memory. Her work has been internationally exhibited and is in private and public collections: American University Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Centro de la Imagen, Civilian Art Projects, Corcoran Gallery of Art, FotoFest, Lehigh University, Light Work, Maier Museum of Art, Mexican Cultural Institute, Museo del Barrio, Museum of Photographic Art, Rencontres de la Photographie, Smithsonian American Art Museum, University of Texas-Austin, Whitney Museum, 50th Venice Biennale. Building upon her career as a socially engaged artist and a photography professor, Hasbun is currently the founder and director of laberinto projects, a transnational, cultural memory initiative fostering contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its U.S. diaspora. She is Professor Emerita at George Washington University and the 2021 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at Rutgers University. Her work is represented by RoFa Projects.


Dana Funaro
Photo by Gina Clyne

As an artist, Dana Funaro’s practice is rooted in printmaking. But she incorporates a diverse mix of media and techniques related to time capturing, creating devices that allow the viewer to find a place of common refuge in a body of work that acts as an interlude between loss, growth, and transformation. Last year, at the beginning of  the pandemic, the artist found refuge in her art studio in Chinatown near downtown Los Angeles. In this historic neighborhood also impacted by the health crisis,  Funaro created a beautiful, peaceful, and calm space that she now shares with her partner and that allowed her to focus more fully on her practice and cope with the craziness of the outside world. Read more about her work and projects here.

Dana Funaro is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her work is a meditation on the human experience and an attempt to understand our relationships to one another within the cosmos. In search of balance between control and chance, she uses materials as metaphors to explore themes of time, memory, grief, acceptance and healing. Loss, growth and transformation all leave behind memories that are powerfully symbolic. Materials with these inherent qualities are intrinsic in her work. 


Kristiina Lahde

𝔽𝕠𝕣 𝕞𝕖, 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕠𝕨𝕖𝕣 𝕠𝕗 𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕚𝕟𝕧𝕚𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕖, 𝕧𝕚𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕖 – 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕡𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕕𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕝𝕪. 𝕀 𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙 𝕞𝕪 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕜 𝕥𝕠 𝕣𝕖𝕔𝕠𝕘𝕟𝕚𝕫𝕖 𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕤𝕥 𝕙𝕦𝕞𝕓𝕝𝕖 𝕠𝕣 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕒𝕝𝕤.– 𝕂𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕚𝕟𝕒 𝕃𝕒𝕙𝕕𝕖

Check out our new interview with Canadian artist, Kristiina Lahde. For this interview, Lahde talks about her process, work inspiration, and her most recent exhibition 𝐅𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐚 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐂𝐢𝐫𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐊𝐆𝟏𝟐𝟕. Read more…

Kristiina Lahde is an artist from Toronto, Canada. She alters and re-formats ordinary objects and materials to make collages, photos and sculptural constructions. Lahde received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1999. Since then she has been exhibiting across Canada and in the USA. Recent exhibitions include PLAY/GROUND in Medina, NY, In and Out of Order at OBORO in Montreal and at MKG127 in Toronto. She has also exhibited at the Koffler Gallery and The Power Plant in Toronto, and at La Biennale de Montréal. Her works are held in several private and public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, and she was long listed for the 2013 Sobey Art Award. Kristiina Lahde is represented by MKG127 in Toronto.