The Oak Cliff Cultural Center is pleased to share Fronteriza, a collaborative project by Nuestra Artist Collective featuring nine women artists exploring concepts surrounding the U.S. Mexico border. Curated by Texas-based Nuestra Artist Collective, participating artists are Melissa Gámez-Herrera, Karla García, Sara Herrera, Tina Medina, Analise Minjarez, Eliana Miranda, Tesa Morin, Lupita Murillo Tinnen, and Sarita Westrup.
Curator’s Statement: The title “Fronteriza” reflects our conversations about being “of the border” -a broader concept that encompasses family heritage and cultural history. While some of the artists in the exhibition grew up in the Texas borderlands, others find border issues to be relevant in their work because of the proximity of Texas to Mexico. Many of the artists identify with the concept of Nepantla: a Nahuatl word that means, in between or in the middle of it. Mexican Americans often describe the experience of life in the US as living in the middle and not belonging fully to each culture. In this regard, we are experiencing life on the US side while being cognizant of what is happening along the border in relation to Mexico.
Nuestra Artist Collective is focused on creating a platform that includes only women artists in order to support and empower the often-excluded voices of Xicana and Latina artists. As women, we approach art and themes about the border in a collaborative way. The interconnectedness in our work includes aspects of the female perspective about our family history, culture, place, and politics. During the past year, we have been fortunate to experience group meetings with the artists in the exhibit. This was an opportunity for us to exchange thoughts, share information, and learn from each other. Throughout our studio visits we discussed cultural identity, family history, socio-political issues, the environment, migration, and immigration policies. We realized the border is not just a line separating two countries, but it is also a cultural entity that unites us and informs the art we make.
Nuestra collective’s objective to create opportunities and to engage with the community prompted us to organize interactive events tied to the exhibit including a Dreamers Mercado and Conchas y Conversaciones. The goal of these events is to provide access to opportunities and resources and bring the local community together. Dreamers Mercado is a market-style event that includes women vendors from the surrounding community and representatives from activist organizations providing immigration information. At Conchas y Conversaciones with the socially conscious culinary force Break Bread Break Borders, we hope a healing conversation about the border and immigration will take place among the attendees who are able to hear and tell stories about these experiences.
A reception for the artists will be hosted at Oak Cliff Cultural Center on Saturday, October 1 from 6 – 8 pm. Artists Tina Medina and Sara Herrera will present a performance alongside the exhibition at the opening reception.