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Art Across the Border

August 26 - November 17, 2019

Opening reception on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Partake in Libre Mobile Consulate, a performance by Omar Pimienta during the reception.

Tanya Aguiniga, Natalia Anciso, Raul Baltazar, Los Anthropolocos: Richard A. Lou & Robert J. Sanchez, Nikki Darling, Luis G. Hernandez, Ingrid Leyva, Roy Martinez, Omar Pimienta.

Richard Lou,  Border Door , 1988; Performance; Documentary photograph by James Elliot

Richard Lou, Border Door, 1988; Performance; Documentary photograph by James Elliot

This exhibition shows artworks, created around and influenced by the Mexico - U.S. border. The artists explore the implications of the physical border, which is at the same time informed by and feeding back into popular sentiment and psychological borders. From artivist aesthetics* to personal histories, the ramifications of the border on the lives of the communities on both sides of it, as well as the broader political significance of this delineating landmark are under investigation. The term Border-Art is a young art historical category and dates back to the formation of the Border Art Workshop in 1984 with their conceptual works, performances and site-specific installations. While the group was active during the 1980's their initial impulse still resonates in the fabric of artist communities today. Considering recent political and humanitarian developments the border and its effects continue to be subjects of artistic inquiry. 

During the opening reception visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the Mobile Consulate, a performance work by Omar Pimienta. To become a citizen of the Colonia Libertad bring an expired/voided passport and a photograph:

In the current political climate the concept of immigration and citizenship remains a label used to describe the others, enhancing the vulnerability of a population already susceptible to exploitation and abuse. Come partake in the Mobile Consulate, a participatory action art piece that emulates the bureaucratic practice of citizenship acquisition-renunciation. The Libre Consulate is installed for you to interchange your current passport (voided) for the Libre passport that grants you Colonia Libertad Citizenship. The Libre passport is created in situ, your photograph and your fingerprint are required for the process. Your current passport gets framed and becomes part of the Libre Citizens’ Archive. Be part of this beureaucrartistic performance and become part of a post-nation that believes that migration can itself be a form of citizenship. - Omar Pimienta

Tanya Aguiñiga (b. 1978) is a Los Angeles based artist/designer/craftsperson who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University. In her formative years she created various collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop, an artists' group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. Her current work uses craft as a performative medium to generate dialogues about identity, culture and gender while creating community. This approach has helped Museums and non-profits in the United States and Mexico diversify their audiences by connecting marginalized communities through collaboration.

Recent solo exhibitions include Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (currently on view) andCraft and Careat the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Aguiñiga is a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, a NALAC and Creative Capital Grant Awardee. She has been the subject of a cover article for American Craft Magazine and has been featured in PBS's Craft in America Series. Aguiñiga is the founder and director of AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides), an ongoing series of artist interventions and commuter collaborations that address bi-national transition and identity in the US/Mexico border regions. AMBOS seeks to create a greater sense of interconnectedness while simultaneously documenting the border. Aguiñiga is the inaugural fellow for Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities. The award supported her creative work in communities over 2018.

Natalia Anciso (1985, Weslaco, TX)  is a Chicana-Tejana visual artist and educator. Anciso was born in Weslaco in 1985, and raised in Mercedes, a border town in South Texas. Her work has been exhibited at various venues including the San Jose Museum of Art, Movimiento de Arte y Culture Latino Americana of San Jose, the Oakland Museum of California, the Vincent Price Art Museum of Los Angeles, the Mexic-Arte Museum of Austin, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Center for Book and Paper Art in Chicago.

Her contributions as an Artist have been acknowledged by The Huffington Post, who identified her as one of "13 Latina Artists Under 35 You Should Know," as well as Latina Magazine, which named her as an Innovator in their Latina 30 Under 30 list of Celebrities, Style Stars, Innovators, and Influencers. She was featured in ELLE Magazine's 30th Anniversary Portfolio, titled, "This is 30." The portfolio highlights 35 women who are recognized as "outstanding musicians, comedians, politicians, artists, activists, novelists, athletes, and actors" who turned 30 in 2015. TVyNovelas (USA) named her to their "Lideres de la Hispanidad/Los 50 hispanos más importantes de hoy" (Hispanic Leaders/Top 50 Latinos) list of accomplished Latinos from all over the world. Recently, she was featured on the cover of Caliber Magazine (University of California, Berkeley), which ran a story on her life as an artist, educator, and mother. She has also been covered by the likes of Travel+Leisure, Daily Kos, and Fortune.

Anciso has taught art to a diverse array of youth through non-profit organizations and has facilitated various art workshops as a guest lecturer and speaker to undergraduates, Master's and Doctoral students. Her work has also appeared in several publications including The A-Z of Leadership (Iniva Creative Learning, 2015), Bringing Human Rights Education to US Classrooms: Exemplary Models from Elementary Grades to University by Susan Katz and Andrea McEvoy Spero (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), New Art, New Marketsby Iain Robertson (Lund Humphries, 2018), and the forthcoming book, Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor by Norma Elia Cantú (The University of Arizona Press, 2019).

Raul Baltazar (b.1972, Los Angeles) is an artist who works through aesthetic notions given in Mesoamerican and Western culture. Baltazar often mixes performance, video, photography, drawing, painting, murals, and community-based projects, to create new relations for the decolonial art object. His work is often driven by the struggle of Mestizo, Xicanx, POC and Mesoamerican Indigenous communities and their revolutionary vision for change in the context of Los Angeles. In addition, his work postulates responses to trauma and the body, examining the experience and rational abuse of power and authority by means of sanctioned or unsanctioned reiterations of violence in contemporary life. Baltazar challenges this by participating in the creation of contemporary cultural production rooted in an artistic research of ancient cultures.  Where his work opens up a space for healing, communication and reflection; in order to engage publics and communicate the value of a self-reflexive identification with indigeneity.

Raul Baltazar received his MFA in Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design in 2013, and his BFA in Sculpture and New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design in 2008. He has exhibited extensively in Los Angeles, and internationally in Mexico, Australia, Vienna, Egypt, and Taiwan, and was the 2015 recipient of the California Community Foundation, Fellowship for Visual Arts, LA County Arts Commission Short List, 2015 and recipient of The Armory Teaching Fellowship, 2016

Los Anthropolocos: Richard A. Lou & Robert J. Sanchez

Richard Alexander Lou was born in San Diego, CA. and raised in San Diego, CA and Tijuana, BCN, MX. Richard grew up in a biracial family which was spiritually, and intellectually guided by both an anti-colonialist Chinese father and a culturally affirming Mexicana mother. Educated at Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA receiving an A.A. in Fine Art in 1981; California State University at Fullerton, CA receiving a B.A. in Fine Art in 1983; Clemson University, Clemson, SC receiving an M.F.A. in Fine Art in 1986.
As a Chicano Artist the consistent themes he has explored are the subjugation of his community by the Dominant Culture and White Privilege. Lou has exhibited in venues that would include: DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA; Landmark Gallery, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City DF, Mexico; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA; Cornerhouse Art Gallery, Manchester, England; the 3rd International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; Dong-A University, Busan, South Korea; Miami Museum, Miami, FL; Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Mexican Fine Arts Museum, Chicago, IL; Otis School of Art and Design, Otis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, MA; Aperto 90' Section, La Biennale Di Venezia, Venice, Italy; Grey Art Gallery, New York University, NY, NY; Dia Foundation, NY, NY; Artist Space, NY, NY.

His art work has been published and/or cited in various newspapers, magazines, catalogs, electronic media, and over 30 scholarly books that would include: The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Popular Culture, edited by Frederick Aldama, Routledge Press 2016; Born of Resistance: Cara a Cara Encounters with Chicana/o Visual Culture, Edited by Scott L. Baugh and Victor A. Sorell, University of Arizona Press 2015; War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art, Edited by Laura Kina and Wei Ming Dariotis, Washington Press 2013; ARTE≠VIDA: ACTIONS BY ARTISTS OF THE AMERICAS 1960-2000, El Museo Del Barrio, NY, NY, Edited by Deborah Cullen 2008; "Islas y Puentes", essay by Richard A. Lou, TDR's (The Drama Review) 50th Anniversary Issue, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; POSTBORDERCITY: Cultural Spaces of Baja Alta California, edited by Michael Dear and Gustavo Leclerec, 2004. Whiteness: A Wayward Construction, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna, CA. 2003. Essays by Tyler Stallings, Ken Gonzales-Day, Amelia Jones, David R. Roediger; Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art, Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University, Included in two separate entries, one as an individual artist, another with collaborator Robert J. Sanchez as Los Anthropolocos; Hecho en Califas: The last Decade, Plaza de la Raza, Los Angeles, CA., 2000. Curated exhibition and wrote curator's essay "The Secularization of the Chicano Visual Idiom: Diversifying the Iconography"; AMERICAN VISIONS/VISIONES DE LAS AMERICAS: ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL IDENTITY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, Arts International (NY), Fall 95, co-edited by Mary Jane Jacob, Ivo Mesquita, and Noreen Tomassi; MAPPING THE TERRA IN: NEW GENRE PUBLIC ART, University of California Press, fall 95, edited by Suzanne Lacy; ENGLISH IS BROKEN HERE: NOTES OF CULTURAL FUSION IN THE AMERICAS, The New Press, New York City, COCO FUSCO.

Robert J. Sanchez American, Born Austin, Texas, 1952. Residence, San Diego, California. RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS: Robert J. Sanchez:New Interiors for a Restless Border, Porter Troupe Gallery, San Diego, CA 1999; Border (Meta)Morphosis, Terrain, San Francisco, California, 1998; Los Antropolocos, Cetys Universidad, Tijuana, BCN, Mexico 1998. RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS: Photographic Memory and Other Shots in the Dark, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco, California, 2002; Third Istanbul Biennial, Greater Istanbul Municipality Nejat F. Eczacibasi Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, 1992; Venice Biennale/XLIV Esposizionale D’Arte, Venice Biennale: Italy, 1990. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alvarado, Joaquin, “Robert J. Sanchez,” Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art – Volume II, Bilingual Press, Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, 2002, pp. 254-255; Johnson, Katytie, “Los Anthropolocos,” Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art – Volume I, Bilingual Press, Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 2002, pp. 44-45; Letellier Pascal, “Robert Sanchez/Le Demon De Anges-16 Chicano Artists,”Le Demon De Anges, Nantes, France and Barcelona, Spain, 1989, pp. 130-138 and 212-214. SELECTED COLLECTIONS: Quincy Troupe/Margaret Porter Troupe Collection, La Jolla, California; Irwin/Taka Weinberg Collection, Chicago, Illinios; Posti-Tele Museum, Helsinki Finland.

Nikki Darling is a writer, artist, and performer based in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from CalArts and is a PhD candidate in USC's literature and creative program. Darling's music criticism and essays appear regularly or have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Art Book Review, Tomorrow Magazine, and Public Books. She is also a columnist at KCET Artbound. Her essay "Appropriate For Destruction" was included in Best Music Writing 2010.

Luis G. Hernandez is an artist and curator who lives and works between Southern California and Mexicali, Mexico. Hernandez’ aesthetic production consists of sculptures, paintings, drawing, collages, and installations that respond in subtle ways to the space where they are exhibited. The artist makes provocative, humorous, and many times absurd associations between context, materials, and language, working through these elements as if they were sculptural spaces, and incorporating subject matter that points to art history, politics, and international border issues.

In 2006 Luis Hernandez and Ed Gomez founded the MexiCali Biennial, a non-profit that grants exposure to artists and locations often overlooked in the contemporary arts of Southern California and Mexico. The MexiCali Biennial remains to serve not only as a curatorial/art project, but also as a satirical platform upon which to question the abundance of biennials occurring around the globe and the impact they have on the art community. The last edition of the MexiCali Biennial took place in 2013 and was held at the Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles; Jaus Gallery, Santa Monica; Mexicali Rose: Centro de Artes/Medios, Mexicali; and Facultad de Artes, UABC, Campus Mexicali. 

Recent exhibitions include: 4 Projects in Mexico, Kunstverein, Munich, Germany; Acciones Territoriales, Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City; Secondary Inspection, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Radical Localism, Artist Space, New York; III Bienal, Ciudad Juarez-El Paso, Biennial 2013, El Paso Museum of Art and Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez; Facing the Sublime in Water, CA, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; and Signos, Sentidos y Deseo: Arte Contemporaneo en Baja California, la coleccion Elias Fontes, IIC-Museo UABC, Mexicali, Mexico

Ingrid Leyva, 1987, is a transborder artist who grew up between Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas. She has been developing her ability for portraiture in order to explore her own identity and the one of the world around her.

In the present exhibition, she is showing part of a collective portrait of the Mexican Shoppers on their way back to Mexico after shopping in the United States, an ongoing project that has been working in an independent way since 2017.

Her work has been included at the Transboder Biennial, the Contemporary Art Month in San Antonio, the Barrio Art Space PS 109 in New York City, the Museum of Human Achievement in Austin and the Alianza Francesa in Mexico City. She was also part of the editorial team at Zone Zero Labs photo magazine from Fundacion Pedro Meyer and her work has been at public conversations such Fast Forward from @womeninphoto funded by Maria Kapajeva. Also, she has appeared on different magazines such as the Texas Observer, Melí Meló, Remezcla, Vice Mexico, Apocrypha Magazine and in the books Migracion 2.0 edited by Francisco Mata Rosas and Vision del Norte edited by Adél Koleszár and Erin Lee. One of her portraits is part of the permanent collection at the El Paso Museum of Art and she is exited to participate as one of the 5 scholarship recipients at the Northern Exposure program to have a portfolio review at the Medium Festival of Photography next October. 

Roy Ténoc Martinez (b.1984) was born en Chicago and raised en Tejas. They’re first generation born Xicanx (Mexican-American), marica and gender non-conforming. Their art practice consists of disciplines ranging from ceramics, sculpture, screen printing and on-site installations. Generally their focus is on cultural and gender identity sexuality femme-ness, domesticity, death, ritual, the nepantla state dystopic futures and technology. Along with various DIY spaces cultural centers and galleries they have exhibited work at the LGBTQ Center of LA Consulado de México LA, Museum of Latin American Art Long Beach Southwest Workers Union San Antonio and most recently the San Diego Art Institute. They’ve lead workshops and been on panels at the Women’s Center for Creative Works. UCSan Dieg and the College Art Association Conference. They received both their BFA (‘16) and MFA (‘18) from Cal Arts and currently lives/works between Tejas and Califas.

Omar Pimienta is an artist and writer who lives and works in the San Diego / Tijuana border region. His artistic practice examines questions of identity, trans-nationality, emergency poetics, landscape and memory.  His work as a visual artist has been shown at the 3èmeBiennale Internationale de l'Art Contemporain de Casablanca Maroc, the museum of Latin Amierican Art Long Beach,  the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; Encuentro Internacoinal de Medellín Colombia, Centro Cultural de España in Buenos Aires, Argentina; among other events and venues.  He has published four books of poetry in México the U.S and Spain. He holds a Ph.D in Literature from the University of California San Diego and a MFA in Visual Arts from the same institution.


The exhibition in the Guggenheim Gallery is part of an initiative by Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. During Fall 2019, Chapman University will embark on a campus-wide interrogation of border issues, particularly those surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Drawing from the humanities, social sciences, journalism, law, and visual and performing arts, courses will examine borders through interdisciplinary perspectives. A number of public events will also encourage the campus and wider community to examine the controversial issues around borders. Throughout the semester you are invited to join a book club, tour the art galleries with a student Art Ambassador, attend lectures, and more.

This project will culminate in a conference from November 15h-17th that will bring leading scholars, artists, and journalists to Chapman University, and offer space for student presentations. By engaging in multi-disciplinary examination of this topic, we hope our community will come away better informed and prepared to be engaged global citizens.


* From Border Consciousness and Artivist Aesthetics: Richard Lou's Performance and Multimedia Artwork, by Guisela Latorre.