Dear friends and Juntos members,
Federal Express frontline worker delivered an advanced copy of the Icons and Symbols of the Borderland Book to my doorstep on the Mesa Vista with a bottle of wine from Pete Schiffer at Schiffer Publishing. Your work reflects powerfully on Juntos’ long time mission for collective border art that first took root in the late 1980’s. I’m ever-grateful to each and everyone of you for your participation through the years and your amazing art!
Image Credit: Diana Molina | Cris Grijalva celebrates book preview with Diana Rebecca and I envisioned links with new and old partners to host a celebration, artist panels and public events for the book launch but with all in a state of flux we’re reshaping our approach to be in line with safe and phased engagement. Programming and travel budgets have dwindled drastically this year. Yet, together with Rebecca Gomez and Craig Feronti who've invested significantly of their time and talent, we’ve persevered with Juntos goals for much-needed capacity building to better support and feature the work you do in the future. It starts with the monthly newsletter Rebecca is providing here! And to continue with outreach objectives, a percentage of book sales through Juntos will go directly to benefit the organizational efforts. And a website is coming soon!
The books will be available in June and as soon as they arrive in the warehouse, a copy will be delivered to those featured on the pages.
I raise a toast to you and look forward to future connection and celebration, SALUD!
Message from our Administrative Director
The year is going by quickly and we are pleased to share new announcements as Juntos Art Association continues to work towards online expansion. In order to better serve artists, we would like to keep our records up to date. Could you each please take a few minutes to fill out the online form? This will ensure we send the book to the correct address. We look forward to hearing from each of you and promise more announcements soon about the Juntos website.
We are pleased to announce a new series for our monthly newsletter called “Artist Spotlight”, where we feature a new Juntos artist each month. If you are interested in being featured, please email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org. This month we are featuring Alejandro Macias.
Artist Spotlight - Alejandro Macias
Image Credit: Alejandro Macias
Alejandro Macias is one of our newest Juntos Art Association members and has contributed to the group even before that with a dedicated effort to display the Icons and Symbols of the Borderland at the Brownsville Museum of Art and UTRGV in 2018. He was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, along the U.S./ Mexico border, and he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2008, and a Master of Fine Arts in 2-D Studio Art from the University of Texas - Pan American in 2012. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Since 2016 he has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including notable and prestigious residencies at Vermont Studio Center; Chateau d’Orquevaux in Orquevaux, France; The Studios at MASS MoCA; and, most recently Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Arizona School of Art in Tucson.
Left Image: Hidden in Plain Sight, 2020, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30” Right Image: The Space Between, 2020, Acrylic and graphite on cut panel, 21.5” x 16”
According to the artist, his work focuses on topics that not only reflect his own humanity as a Mexican-American, but a wider range of Borderland and Latinx issues. He draws inspiration from Chicana/o artists that have addressed and propelled issues of identity, repression, civil rights, immigration, and cultural misconceptions to a broader audience. Influenced by his background growing up in Brownsville, and life living on the U.S./Mexico border, he reflects about the conflict and merging of two cultures. According to the artist, “my conceptual ideas point out the struggles and dangers of the assimilation process, which can be seen as one of construction or erasure of history, heritage, and culture. On a broader note, under-representation, misrepresentation, and misconceptions of marginalized people along the borderlands is evident across the United States. I explore this by investigating personal socio-political trepidations, and the struggle of migrants across the border.”
Left Image: Nopal en la Frente (II), 2019, Oil and graphite on paper, 30” x 22”
Right Image: Death of a Migrant: Arizona, 2019, Graphite on paper, 20” x 16”
Alejandro currently has plans for upcoming group exhibitions this June at Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX, this September with Amorette Garza at Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, TX, Project MASA-IV, Centro de Artes, San Antonio, 2021, and 4x4: Bonner, Lofti, Macias, Nguyen, Tucson Museum of Art, AZ, 2021. He also has an upcoming solo exhibition this July at Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX and an forthcoming artist residency at Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY, June 2021.
Image Credit: Ruiz-Healy Art
Two Juntos artists were featured in exhibition at Ruiz-Healy Art. More Than Words: Text-Based Artworks II featured San Antonio artists: Richard Armendariz, Nate Cassie, Andrés Ferrandis, Cisco Jímenez, Katie Pell, Ethel Shipton, and Gary Sweeney. Click here to read more.
Image Credit: Ruiz-Healy Art
We are pleased to announce that one of our artists participated in Frieze New York's Viewing Rooms as part of the Diálogos portion of the digital art fair with a dedicated booth of works by Texas-based artist César A. Martínez.
Do you have exhibit announcements you would like to share with the group? If so, please feel free to email email@example.com and we will include you in next month’s newsletter.
Sincerely, Rebecca E. C. Gomez