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Galería Autónoma FAD is the autonomous gallery run by the visual arts and design students of UNAM. Part of the Faculty of Art and Design (FAD), the gallery runs independently of the administration and faculty. That means, it’s student-run and operated. The school also runs, more officially, the nearby Galería Luis Nishizawa.
The school was known as the National School of Plastic Arts (ENAP) until it was renamed the Faculty of Arts and Design (La Facultad de Artes y Diseño) in 2014. It’s been at the Xochimilco campus since 1979. It’s in a neighborhood bordering Santiago Tepalcatlalpan, one of the 14 original settlements of Xochimilco. The property here was donated for use by the school, by Dolores Olmedo, whose former home is now an important art museum.
The school has long been one of the most important art schools in the country, having emerged from the San Carlos National Academy which dates back to the 18th century.
The Galería Autónoma FAD is arguably the most important installation on the campus. Events often spill out, not just into the surrounding grounds, but into other buildings, workshops, and areas. Energy is very high, as one might expect. And murals and similar works of public art will sometimes even be found in the surrounding town. As charming as it already is, a bit of contemporary art and energy just adds to the ambience.