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 curator, 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 promoting the work of women in the arts through in-depth conversations, exhibitions, and programming with different community partners. You can learn more about me here.

Thanks for visiting!


“My life has often been washed over by sadness and it has been easy to sink into it. But in the past year, I have worked to put distance between myself and grief. I visit the moments I need to and then I put them away.” – Tricia Rainwater

Don’t miss this conversation between multimedia artist Tricia Rainwater and art historian Claudia Pretelin.

Tricia Rainwater (she/her) is a mixed Choctaw Indigiqueer artist based on Ramaytush Ohlone land. Tricia’s work ranges from self portraiture to large sculptural installations. Her work has been featured nationally and internationally through group shows and artist features. In her work, Tricia, focuses on creating pathways to a resilient and hopeful future by centering the process of grieving and healing. She is a recent recipient of the SF Artists Grant through the SF Arts Commission.



Instruments of Memory en alianza con el Museo de las Mujeres de Costa Rica presenta MEMORIAS Y RESISTENCIAS: MUJERES | ARTISTAS| HISTORIAS AFROLATINAS Y CARIBEÑAS una muestra colectiva con más de diez artistas emergentes y otras de amplia trayectoria que examinan historias visuales de mujeres de la diáspora africana y afrodescendientes en América Latina. Con curaduría a cargo de Claudia Mandel Katz (Argentina-Costa Rica), Adriana Palomo (Argentina), Claudia Pretelin (México-Estados Unidos) y Sussy Vargas (Costa Rica) esta exposición busca reflexionar sobre las diferentes comunidades afrolatinas enfatizando la importancia de comprender el legado de estas comunidades en nuestro continente. 

Da click AQUÍ para acceder a la galería

Instruments of Memory, in partnership with The Women’s Museum of Costa Rica, presents an online exhibition featuring the work of emerging and established artists who examine visual stories of the African diaspora and Afro-descendants in Latin America. Curated by Claudia Mandel Katz (Argentina-Costa Rica), Adriana Palomo (Argentina), Claudia Pretelin (Mexico-USA), and Sussy Vargas (Costa Rica ) this exhibition seeks to reflect upon the different Afro-Latin communities emphasizing the importance of understanding the legacy of these diverse black communities in our continent. 

Click HERE to access the online gallery!



Holly Jerger (she/her) is senior exhibitions curator at Craft Contemporary (formerly Craft & Folk Art Museum) in Los Angeles. Since 2015, she has organized numerous exhibitions including solo presentations of Betye Saar, Kay Sekimachi, Gronk,  Diedrick Brackens, and Beatriz Cortez as well as the surveys: The Body, The Object, The Other and Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ball State University, Indiana, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also taught. Jerger has served on the boards of the Museum Educators of Southern California (MESC) and the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, and is currently adjunct faculty at California State University, Northridge.

Holly Jerger (Image courtesy of the Holly Jerger)

Cecilia Vázquez’s work feeds off situations stemming from the still life and the landscape, and from the invention of elements that encourage the remembrance of something remotely familiar. Be it in painting, drawing, or three-dimensional pieces, Vázquez maneuvers in the interstice of figurative and abstract syntaxes to revalue the image as a territory loaded with subjective possibilities in terms of imagination, and its potential for the articulation of new metaphorical meanings.

Cecilia Vásquez (Image courtesy of the artist)

Stay tuned!



In this conversation, Mexican artist Ileana Doble Hernández narrates the ways she found herself and her true calling in the arts, her actions and activism in a country that still does not recognize her officially as a citizen, and the ways she engages with the communities that like her, still don’t call themselves Americans. Read more…


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.


Instruments of Memory (IoM) was pleased to host unspoken curated by Sarah E Webb.

Thanks to everyone that shared their abortion stories for our online exhibition. Thanks to Sarah E Webb for sharing this incredible project with us, and thanks to the artists that contributed to this exhibition.

unspoken is a collaborative project in the form of a digital commonplace book, interweaving stories written by women who chose to terminate a pregnancy with Cynthia Mulcahy’s series Abortion Bouquet: An Action. Mulcahy makes “abortion bouquets” from traditional abortifacient plants for artists, activists, abortion rights advocates, and allies: contemporary women holding bouquets imbued with the ancient wisdom of midwives.


Sarah E. Webb’s path consists of many stitches, but at heart, she is a storyteller. From the artist studio to the yoga studio, her multi-disciplinary approach considers both spaces as creative sites of corporeal process and practice. Webb is the co-editor of Singular Women: Writing the Artist, UC Press (2003) and was a member of the 2021 Listen To Your Mother cast, Rochester, NY. She received her MFA from Visual Studies Workshop, and is currently completing her CPA in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University. Webb  teaches  at the University of Rochester and  facilitates writing and meditation retreats on Monhegan Island, ME. 

Read more…