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Janire Najera's triptych, Traveling Light, 2018

Exploring the Border Experience Chapman's semester-long La Frontera - The Border program celebrates the opening of four art exhibitions.

The realities – and concepts – of borders and border issues are complex. When words fail, art can help. With the opening of four new art exhibitions as part of a semester-long arts program, the Chapman University community now has a unique opportunity to engage with border issues.

Drawing from multiple perspectives, these exhibitions lay the groundwork for La Frontera – The Border programming, which includes film screenings, lectures from scholars and artists and related coursework for students. Throughout the semester, the campus and wider community are invited to participate in this exploration of border issues, share ideas and experience borders through art. A cornerstone of the program will be a three-day conference.

People gather outside on a sunlight afternoon on Chapman's campus.
Students and faculty gather to celebrate the opening of La Frontera – The Border.
Students take food from an outside table.
Students enjoy food and drink to celebrate the opening of the four new art exhibitions.

“Art Across the Border”

“The Border: Art Across the Border” at the Guggenheim Gallery features multimedia artists including Tanya Aguiniga, Natalia Anciso, Raul Baltazar, and Ingrid Leyva, whose works are influenced by the border and its effects.

Man observes artwork.
Chapman University Provost Glenn Pfeiffer pauses in front of Tanya Aguiniga’s piece, “Border Quipu/Quipu Fronterizo, 2016-2018,” located in the Guggenheim Gallery.
Woman gazes at photographs.
Ingrid Leyva’s photos intrigue a passerby.
Visitors observe the gallery.
Students and faculty alike engage with various works of art in the Guggenheim’s open gallery-setting.
Man looks at artwork.
An observer ponders Ingrid Leyva’s photographs of border-crossings.
Women look at embroidery hoop artworks.
Natalia Anciso’s “Smile Series” causes two guests to stop and think.
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Guggenheim Gallery coordinator Marcus Herse, right, describes the exhibit.
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Raul Baltazar’s “Botanica Casa Venado Conejo Coyote” gives this observer an opportunity to pause.
A woman in front of an artwork resembling a map.
Quipu Fronterizo/Border Quipu engages U.S.-Mexico border commuters on both sides of the border by asking them about their experiences and having them anonymously tie a knot.

Escalette Permanent Collection of Art

Selections from the Escalette Permanent Collection of Art are also included in the exhibition. Among them is the photography by Tom Kiefer, a former custodian for the U.S. Border Patrol.

A man looks at a photograph.
An observer studies Tom Kiefer’s photograph, “With Makeup,” inkjet print, 2018. Purchased with funds from the Escalette Endowment. Kiefer was a former custodian for the U.S. Border Patrol and photographs objects confiscated from migrants

Borderclick: Tijuana/ San Diego

Displayed in the Henley Galleria on the second floor of Argyros Forum is “Borderclick Tijuana/ San Diego,” a photography exhibit by transborder people that aims to give lyrical visual representation to transfronterizx life.

A staff member looks at art.
A staff member views photographs from “Borderclick Tijuana/ San Diego,” located in the Henley Galleria, Agyros Forum.
A student pauses to look at art.
The Henley Galleria is lined with photographs expressing the experience of transborder individuals.
Many of the photos in the “Borderclick” project are taken by transborder students, who cross the U.S.-Mexican border daily to attend school.
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By capturing feelings, memories and experiences living between two cultures and nations—Mexico and the United States—these images challenge the stereotypes of “border-crossers.”

The Border Door Performance

“The Border Door Performance,” a photo documentary installation of Richard Lou’s Border Door Performance from 1988, is accompanied by an introductory video by Guisela Latorre, Ph.D., associate professor at Ohio State University. It can be viewed in the first-floor entrance of Beckman Hall.

Students hustle through Beckman Hall.
Richard Lou’s original art installation consisted of a free-standing door hinged on a frame placed on the border, just a few miles from the Tijuana International Airport.

Stephanie House

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