Carla began her professional career working as an assistant curator to Fernando Gamboa, the renowned museum builder and a pioneer of “Mexicaneidad” curatorial model who, after a long career in post-revolutionary Mexican arts and cultural institutions, in 1972 was appointed as the director of the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) and the technical directors of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, in Mexico City. (Until 1981).
Assisted with the organization and curatorial script for Expo '67 in Montreal as well as other Mexico pavilions at various World Fairs, predating today’s more focused Art Fairs.
Began publishing art reviews and became an international contributor for art and culture for Excélsior, a daily newspaper in Mexico City. (Until 1973).
Assisted Gamboa with the Mexican Pavilion at Hemisfair ‘68 in San Antonio.
Joined "Salon Independiente," a mostly Mexican artists' group, to protest the Mexican Government's massacre of students at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, in Tlatelolco-Nonoalco, Mexico City.
Assistant curator of the presentation of Rufino Tamayo’s solo at the Mexican Pavilion at the XXXIV Venice Biennale.
Worked as assistant curator for Fernando Gamboa at the Mexican Pavilion at Expo ‘70 at Osaka.
Carla again became involved in art activism during the creation of El Museo Latinoamericano and its subsequent splinter group, MICLA [Movimiento de Independencia Cultural Latinoamericano], publishers of Contrabienal, a printed artist's book designed to boycott the 1971 XI São Paulo Biennial and to draw attention to the Brazilian dictatorship who were using the Biennial for international favorable media of the government while hiding its hard line use of censorship, violence, torture, and the disappearance of people.
Co-founded, with Gamboa, Artes Visuales, the first bilingual (Spanish-English) contemporary arts quarterly journal in Latin America at the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico. Carla edited and directed this seminal magazine until 1981 when it was censored and the offices were sealed off by government officials. The magazine became a forum for new alternative art by introducing conceptual and political works, countering the previously traditional and conservative artmaking methods in Mexico and Latin America. .
Organized the first-ever feminist seminar at the Museo de Arte Moderno to discuss the strategies and artistic expressions of women artists in Mexico. (Reference: Giunta, Andrea (October 2013). "Feminist Disruptions in Mexican Art, 1975 - 1987". Artelogie VI (5).)
Co-curated the first international Video Colloquium at the Museo Carrillo Gil.
Co-curator of the Rufino Tamayo: Myth And Magic Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Deputy director of the newly-built Rufino Tamayo Museum of International Contemporary Art. (Until 1981).
Co-curated Images of Mexico, an exhibit of selected masterpieces of the Banco Nacional de Mexico Collection (BANAMEX) at the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in New York.
Officially moved to New York, where she quickly became an independent contractor-consultant, editor, critic, non-profit director, and curator.
Co-curated with Marta Hellion an exhibition at Franklin Furnace entitled, Mexican Artists' Books.
Co-owner and artistic director of the Stellweg-Séguy Gallery, formerly located on Mercer Street in SoHo, New York, specializing in a mix of contemporary, conceptual, graffiti, and tribal art. (Until 1985).
Carla became the Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MoCHA), an alternative museum in SoHo that showcased underrepresented Latin American and Latinx artists and closed in 1991. (Until 1989).
She was an independent co-curator of The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States, 1920-1970 at the Bronx Museum.
For one year, she was also the Director of the Dorsky Gallery, then located on Broadway in New York.
Founded and became the Executive Director of the Carla Stellweg Gallery, also located in SoHo, New York, which focused on emerging as well as mid-career Latin American and Latinx artists working in various media. (Until 1997).
Co-authored the publication, The Camera Seduced: Portraits of Frida Kahlo, (with Elena Poniatowska) which resulted from an exhibition at her gallery published by Imschoot, Belgium (in Dutch, French, German, and English); after which Lookout, NY published the U.S. book with Chronicle Books followed by an edition in Spanish by La Vaca Independiente, Mexico City. At the same time a 12-venue traveling exhibition went around the world.
Awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities at the UT Austin, Texas, where she conducted research leading to her unpublished text, If Money Talks, Who Does the Exhibition Talking? on the impact of funding of and for Latin American and U.S. Latinx art during the 1980s.
Appointed Executive Director and Chief Curator at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, Texas, and during her tenure the city’s Contemporary Art Month became a registered event. (Until 2001).
Carla moved back to New York and became the Director of Curatorial Funding at the Jewish Museum. (Until 2002).
During this year, Carla began working for Art-in-General promoting their Small Artists' Editions. Art-in-General, located in Lower Manhattan, is an internationally renowned nonprofit that assists emerging and mid-career artists with the production and presentation of new work.
Joined the Board of Directors at White Box Ltd. and also became the Director of Program Funding. (Until 2013 – with interruptions).
Began her tenure as a professor in the Department of Visual Critical Studies and Art History at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where she continues to teach a course on What is Latin American & Latinx Art?
Stanford University Library - Special Collections purchased Carla's 40-year archive based on the criteria of having played a pioneering role in promoting Latin American and Latinx artists.
She moderated one of the panels at the Latino Art Now! conference, coordinated by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), in conjunction with the exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, curated by Evelyn Carmen Ramos.
She presented a lecture entitled "La Contra-Bienal & Museo Latinoamericano 1971 (New York)," at the conference, "Displaying Human Rights: Museums, Archives, and Post-Dictatorship in Latin America," held at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University, New York City.
Presented the opening remarks for the panel discussion "Vistas Latinas: Collective Solutions and Strategies," held in conjunction with the exhibition Vistas Latinas: Archives of a Collective, 1989 to 2014 at the Hunter College Art Galleries.
Her archive of ephemera, artists' books, mail art and rare portfolios was purchased by MoMA’s Latin American archive and library.
Partook in the seminar Archivos fuera de lugar (Files out of place), at Ex Teresa Arte Actual, focusing on “Archivos/activos: las galerías de arte y la comercialización de documentos.” Her presentation was entitled, Future Lives of the Archive: Infinite Applications.
She was a speaker at NYU Institute of Fine Arts - Institute of Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) forum on Jaime Davidovich: Pioneer in Video and Conceptual Art.
She was a guest lecturer for a two-week workshop at SOMA, an internationally renowned non-profit organization conceived to nurture discussion and exchange in the field of contemporary art and art education in Mexico City.
She gave a presentation entitled, “La Teleologia o El Nuevo Evangelio del Problema Latinoamericano? La Prehistoria..." at a two-day symposium in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today at Museo Jumex in Mexico City.
She was a panelist for Dialogues in the Present Tense: Latino and Latin American Art through the Lens of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a day-long conversation presented by the Getty Foundation and Getty Research Institute.
Participated as a speaker in Living Histories of Contemporary Art, a symposium organized by Jennifer Josten PhD held at the University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery. Her presentation was entitled, "New York's Latin American Underground: Art and Artists 1969-1972." The symposium was held in conjunction with the exhibition Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
Together with Eugenio Lopez of Jumex, Mexico City, she was an honoree of Artpace San Antonio's Annual Gala, The Happening, to celebrate Artpace's 22nd birthday in conjunction with a celebration of Contemporary Art from Mexico City.
Presented Fernando Gamboa: Momentos Criticos y Claves de la Obra y Vida del Museografo de Arte Mexicano e Internacional first at the Escuela de Critica, SAPS/La Tallera, Cuernavaca and then at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM) Facultad de Artes, CAC “Estudios sobre la imagen en el arte.”
Her history as a promoter and facilitator of women's art and feminism was discussed in Feminismo Y Arte Latinoamericano: Historia de Artistas que Emancioaron el Cuerpo, by Andrea Giunta; Published in 2018 by Siglo Veintiuno Editores Argentina, S.A. and mentioned in the book review by Diego Parra, Nov 19, 2018, which can be read on ARTISHOCK PLUS, LIBROS.
Walden Gallery in Buenos Aires purchased another part of her archive.
She moderated Game Changers: Women Artists in 1970s Mexico: A conversation with Magali Lara and Mónica Mayer, at the invitation of the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA)'s Latin American Forum, at NY University's Institute of Fine Arts, New York City.
Participated as a leader in a participatory workshop called Severalty, organized by Se habla español, a collective of graduate students enrolled at the School of Visual Arts’ Masters in Curatorial Practice Program, focusing on the breaking and unveiling of the immigration glossary.
Gave a presentation at PROXYCO GALLERY entitled, "Talon<>Salon," in conjunction with the exhibition Talon Rouge: Six Mexican Artists Revisit José Juan Tablada and his New York Circle, curated by Daniel Garza Usabiaga.
Select issues of Artes Visuales were a part of the exhibition Publishing Against the Grain, organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), shown at: The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, United States (August 24, 2018 - December 16, 2018); Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria (April 18, 2018 - May 19, 2018); and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MoCAA), Cape Town, South Africa (November 18, 2017 - January 29, 2018).
Materials from her archive were included in Franklin Furnace: Performance & Politics, co-curated by Martha Wilson and Oraison H. Larmon. This collection is now part of the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library and represents the historical, cultural, and political legacy of Franklin Furnace.
Presented "Memoria, mentira, bruma y realidad: construcciones de un archivo editorial y fotográfico" at the Museum of Modern Art Medellín, at the seminar titled, ¿Qué es una imagen? Miradas contemporáneas a la fotografía, organized by Maria Wills and as part of a larger event titled Encuentro Colombiano de la Imagen.
Included in the exhibition Las Superocheras at the Museo Universitario del Chopo, a group exhibition bringing together experiences by 22 women artists who presented films in Super-8 format, curated by Regina Tattersfield.
Select issues of Artes Visuales were a part of the exhibition Publishing Against the Grain, organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), shown at: McIntosh Gallery, London, Canada (September 12, 2019 - October 19, 2019); Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Toronto, Canada (July 4, 2019 - August 17, 2019; Pitzer College Art GalleriesClaremont, CA, United States (February 2, 2019 - March 28, 2019).