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Arts Council’s June exhibit is ‘La Frontera: Hopes and Fears’


The June 2022 exhibition in the Doña Ana Arts Council (DACC) gallery is “La Frontera: Hopes & Fears,” in which five artists from the U.S.-Mexico border shed light on the migration of people across La Frontera, the world’s most frequently crossed international border.

“All five artists, in their own unique voice and in a range of media--painting, drawing, mixed media, video, and photography – document the emotional landscape facing those who cross La Frontera,” DAAC said in a news release. “The combined work of the five artists tells a larger story of what the border really means to those who cross it and contributes to our understanding of the reality of their experiences.”

The featured artists are:  

  • Adrián Aguirre grew up on both sides of the El Paso/Juárez border, crossing the bridge daily to attend school, DAAC said. This experience influenced his perspective on borders and immigration and is reflected in his work, which consists of portraiture and representations of life as experienced by the immigrant or refugee. There is also a political agenda in his work, sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle.
  • Cleo Arévalo is a conceptual multimedia artist who creates prints, ready-made objects and installations that examine what she describes as the globalized oppression of the masses, primarily through an analysis of the cultural meanings of language, the news release said. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio arts from UTEP and moved on to multimedia at the graduate level at NMSU. Arévalo teaches at El Paso Community College.
  • Elizabeth Calil Zarur holds a BFA in printmaking and drawing, an MFA in fiber arts and a Ph.D. in philosophy of art. During her 30-year career teaching art history at NMSU and Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Zarur published extensively and curated several exhibitions. Her artwork in this exhibition is inspired by the combination of traditional 19th-century Mexican retablos and santos and present-day photographic documentation of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, all of which represents the very few possessions displaced populations carry with them when crossing La Frontera, DAAC said.
  • Paul Ratje, originally from Mesilla, studied photojournalism and foreign languages at NMSU. After living in Taiwan, where he began his career in photojournalism, he returned home to the El Paso area. He feels his true calling is documenting immigration and border issues and revealing the humanity in the immigration story. His collection of images is part of his “Crossing the Line” storytelling project which focuses on the lives of present-day immigrants living in the U.S.
  • Sterling Trantham is an award-winning photographer, photojournalist, documentary

photographer, photographic educator and a National Geographic Faculty Fellow. He lives in La Mesa, New Mexico, and teaches photography at El Paso Community College. Trantham, who first photographed the border wall separating Mexico and the U.S. in 1995, describes the wall as a complicated phenomenon, one with multifaceted economic consequences as well as deeply human consequences.

The exhibit will be available for viewing June 1-28 at DAAC, 250 W. Amador Ave.

DAAC hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-8 p.m. during First Friday (June 3) and noon-5 p.m. during Second Saturday (June 11).

Call 575-523-6403. Visit www.daarts.org.