Distinguished Alumni Artist-in-Residence

During IEW, the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS), will be hosting Brazilian-American Symbolist artist, author, and academic, Jonatas Chimen, as its first “Distinguished Alumni Artist-in-Residence”.

LACIS is truly looking forward to welcoming Jonatas back to campus! We have been working with him to develop a robust week of activities that will allow him to engage with various audiences including those on campus, within the greater Madison area, and at the K-12 level.

We encourage you to review the list of activities we have planned and make some time to come and meet this truly globally-minded, multi-talented alum!


Jônatas Chimen Dias DaSilva-Benayon, or simply “Jônatas (b.1981), is a Brazilian-American Symbolist artist, author, and academic. His work explores personal and collective identity amidst a complicated and ever-changing cultural landscape. The artist’s exploration of identity is often drawn from his own family history of migration, adaptation, and hybridization. ​

Jônatas‘ art is process-based, ranging in technique from traditional Spanish Realism to contemporary approaches in 2D, 3D, and Time-Based formats. Jônatas often makes use of pastiches of immigration documents, DNA exams, Inquisitional archives, and personal diaries. Overall, his message of embracing one’s cultural identity and disclosing personal beliefs is a recurring theme in his art.

For the past 17 years Jônatas has been featured at numerous biennales, museums, art galleries, and auctions, such as The Jerusalem Biennale, The MONA Biennale, The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Basel Art Week, and Artexpo New York. In 2015, Jônatas Chimen was awarded the title of Artist of the Year by the Anti-Defamation League for his art series titled The Journey. Jônatas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from The University of Madison-Wisconsin, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University. 

You are cordially invited to the official exhibit opening reception! The evening will begin with a meal which will be followed by a lecture by Jonatas. All are welcome.
Friday, November 16th
7:30 p.m.
Harvey M. Meyerhoff Lounge, 2nd Floor, 611 Langdon Street
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hillel Foundation