The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility

Eduardo Sarabia Install

January 27 - April 14

Curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims & Ana Elena Mallet

For Digital Program Guide click here 
For US - Mexico Border Essay in English click here   •   For US - Mexico Border Essay in Spanish click here

516 ARTS and the Albuquerque Museum present The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility co-curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims and Ana Elena Mallet. The exhibition presents the work of contemporary artists who explore the border as a physical reality (place), as a subject (imagination), and as a site for production and solution (possibility). The inclusion of artists from various disciplines including design, architecture, sculpture, painting, and photographyreflects the ways in which contemporary artists and designers themselves cross disciplinary borders. Many of the artists featured in the exhibition pursue a creative problem-solving process sometimes described as “design thinking,” which involves invention, social engagement, and the task of making.

This exhibition was originated at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, where it was part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative and supported by major grants from the Getty Foundation. The main exhibition in Albuquerque is hosted by 516 ARTS, and has been expanded into a collaboration with an additional exhibition site at the Albuquerque Museum and accompanying interdisciplinary public programs around Albuquerque. 

The border has come to occupy an intellectual and an emotionally charged space as well as a territorial one. It exists within the geography of memory as much as being a place of transit and transformation. Much of the creative production around the border unearths ways in which artists, architects, designers and makers who live in border states negotiate two divided but interconnected realities. Although this exhibition was conceived before the topic of “building a wall” along the US-Mexico border re-emerged in media headlines, its relevance is more potent and instructive than ever before.

FEATURED ARTISTS: Tanya Aguiñiga, Haydee Alonso, Guillermo Bert, Elvira Bessudo, Margarita Cabrera, Cristina Celis, Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Adrian Esparza, Pilar Agüero-Esparza, Carlota Espinoza, Jorge Diego Etienne, Andres Fonseca, Guillermo Galindo, Rupert García, Bob Haozous, Luis Jiménez, Douglas Kent Hall, Alejandra Antón Honorato, Jami Porter Lara, Francisco Lefebre, La Metropolitana, Lorena Lazard, Andrés Lhima, Los Dos de Los (Yreina Cervantez & Leo Limón), Pablo López Luz, Hector Dio Mendoza, Delilah Montoya, Julio César Morales, Elizabeth Rustrian Ortega, Viviana Paredes, G.T. Pellizzi & Ray Smith, Postcommodity, Daisy Quezada Ureña, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Augustine Romero, Betsabeé Romero, Zinna Rudman, Mauricio Sáenz, Eduardo Sarabia, Agnes Seebass, Elizabeth Sisco, Louis Hock & David Avalos, Studio Rael San Fratello, Van Deren Coke, and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.

A fully illustrated exhibition catalog includes essay contributions by Michael Dear, Gustavo Leclerc, Kerry Doyle, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Jose Manuel Valenzuela Arce, Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman and Jorge Gracia.

Download the press release here

516 ARTS Fulcrum Fund Juror Lowery Stokes Simms 1Co-curator Lowery Stokes Sims, recently named one of the Most Influential Curators by Artsy, is the retired Curator Emerita at the Museum of Arts and Design. She served as the executive director then president of The Studio Museum in Harlem and was on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A specialist in modern and contemporary art, she is known for her particular expertise in the work of African, Latino, Native and Asian American artists. She has published extensively and has lectured nationally and internationally and guest curated numerous exhibitions around the world. Sims holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate School of the City University of New York and has received six honorary degrees. 


Ana Elena Mallet is a Mexico City-based independent curator specializing in modern and contemporary design. She curated Boutique at the Museo de Arte Carrillo, the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to fashion in a Mexican museum; ¡México, México! at the Musée International des Artes Modestes in Séte, France; and she co-curated Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978 at the Americas Society in New York. Mallet worked as a curator at the Museo Soumaya and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, as deputy director of programming at the Museo Rufino Tamayo, and as chief curator at Museo del Objeto. She received a BA in Latin American Literature from the Universidad Iberoamericana and is pursuing an MA in Art History at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Related Articles:

Exhibit Peels Back the Layers of the Complex Relationship Between U.S., Mexico
by Kathaleen Roberts, The Albuquerque Journal

Culture Shock, A Design of Defiance
by Maggie Grimason, Weekly Alibi

See You at the Crossroads: Art of "The U.S.-Mexico Border"
by Grace Parozzoli, Pasatiempo, Santa Fe New Mexican

Tequila Bottle Houses and Border Relations: Interview with Viviana Paredes
by Josie Lopez, Pyragraph

Image above: Eduardo Sarabia, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (detail)

Image Gallery

  • Pablo Lopez Luz, Tijuana-San Diego County III, Frontera USA-Mexico
  • Eduardo Sarabia, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, clay and acrylic, enamel paint on pine wood
  • Daisy Quezada Urena, Untitled
  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Home of the Brave, woven fabric, safety pins
  • Pilar Aguero-Esparza, Tiburon, mixed media
  • Rupert Garcia, Cesen Deportacion, hand-printed screenprint on paper
  • Elizabeth Rustrian Ortega, Cruce de aramas, barbed wire, gold-plated silver, synthetic emerald
  • Tanya Anguiniga, Tierra, nylon, soil, leather, thread, vinyl