Between Two Worlds

September 25 – November 20, 2020

Between Two Worlds takes its title from a book of selected poems written by Américo Paredes in the 1930s and 1940s. Paredes (1915-1999), a foundational figure in Mexican American studies and Chicano literature, wrote poetry about his upbringing between Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico that emphasized the distinctive way language has informed the cultural overlaps in this marginalized region. The language of the border includes code-switching between Spanish and English, as well as the use of invented words formed by combining the two. This blending of languages, and the artwork that stems from it, is the product of a bicultural experience that is at once fractured and unified, neither here nor there.

This exhibition points to the space between two worlds, highlighting the bilingual aesthetics employed by twelve artists whose identities and artistic practices have been shaped by life in the border region spanning South Texas and Northern Mexico. Through works in painting and drawing (Alejandro Macias, Cande Aguilar, Jesus Treviño, Josie Del Castillo, Marcelina Gonzalez, Noel Palmenez), sculpture and installation (Jessie Burciaga, Mauricio Saenz, Samantha Isabel Garcia), ceramics (Ceci Guzman, Julian Rodriguez), and printmaking (Ruby Garza), these artists engage themes of cultural conflict, identity, folklore, and regional life along the border.

Between Two Worlds is organized by Jesus Treviño, MFA candidate in Studio Art, with Center Space Project.

Bios

Cande Aguilar (b. 1972, Brownsville, Texas) has had solo exhibitions at 81 Leonard Gallery, New York (2020); the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (2020, 2001); the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio (2018); and Cohn Drennan Contemporary, Dallas (2012). His work has been included in group exhibitions at K-Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi (2019); 500X Gallery, Dallas (2017); Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg, Germany (2017); grayDUCK Gallery, Austin (2017); La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain (2017); Kirk Hopper Fine Art, Dallas (2016); The Painting Center, New York (2015); Studio Apothiki, Paphos, Cyprus (2015); MACLA Museum, San Jose (2012); Alexandria Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2012); Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas (2010); and the Wichita Falls Museum of Art (2009). Aguilar’s work was included in the 2017 Texas Biennial in Austin. 

Mauricio Sáenz (b. 1977, Matamoros, Mexico) received his BA in Studio Art at The University of Texas at Brownsville in 2003 and his MA from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain in 2010. He has had solo exhibitions at Terminal 136, San Antonio (2018) and the International Museum of Art and Science, McAllen (2015). He has been included in group exhibitions at the Centro Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo Cerrillos, Santiago, Chile (2019); Antigua Fábrica Estrella Damm, Barcelona, Spain (2017); Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); Musée des Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2016); Cinema Usera, Madrid, Spain (2016); Museo de Arte Carrio Gil, Mexico City (2015); Galerie Art Virus, Frankfurt, Germany (2014); and the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans (2014). Sáenz was nominated for the Dialogpreis of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2017) and for LOOP Barcelona’s Discover Award (2017). 

Alejandro Macias (b. 1987, Brownsville, Texas) received a BA from The University of Texas at Brownsville in 2008 and a MFA in 2-D Studio Art from the University of Texas – Pan American in 2012. He has had solo exhibitions at Presa House Gallery, San Antonio (2020) and Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock (2019). He has participated in group exhibitions at Trestle Gallery, New York (2019); Stephen F. Austin University (2019); The University of Texas at Tyler (2019); Brand Library and Art Center, Glendale, CA (2018); Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin (2018); CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea (2018); Barrett Art Center, New York (2017); Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas (2017); and Artspace111, Fort Worth (2017). He is an upcoming artist-in-residence at Wassaic Project, New York (2021), and has previously held residencies at MASS MoCA (2020), Château Orquevaux, France (2019), and Vermont Studio Center (2018, 2016). Macias is an Assistant Professor in Studio Art at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 

Marcelina Gonzales (b. 1989, Brownsville, Texas) received a BA from The University of Texas at Brownsville in 2013. Her work has been exhibited at Field Projects, New York (2019); the 6th Annual Artspace 111 Regional Juried Exhibition, Fort Worth (2019); ONE: Annual Emerging Artist Exhibit, Glen Ellyn, IL (2018); Freight Gallery, San Antonio (2018); 500X Gallery, Dallas (2018); and the 40 under 40 exhibition at Fort Works Art, Fort Worth (2017). In 2020, Gonzales was awarded a grant by the Brownsville Beautification Committee, in partnership with the City of Brownsville, the City of Matamoros, and the Mexican Consulate in Brownsville, to create a mural for Sin Fronteras/Without Borders

Samantha Isabel Garcia (b. 1988, Matamoros, Mexico) received a BA in Sociology with a minor in Art from The University of Texas at Brownsville in 2009 and a MS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Sociology, Art, and Psychology from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2017. She has had a solo exhibition at Galeria 409, Brownsville (2016) and has been included in group and juried exhibitions including Edificio del Poder Legislativo del Estado, Victoria, Mexico (2013); and the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Tamaulipas, Matamoros, Mexico (2013), 25 Latitude Norte – 97 Longitud Oeste at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Tamaulipas in Matamoros, Mexico (2017) and the 2017 Texas Biennial in Austin. 

Jesus Treviño (b. 1995, San Antonio, Texas) received his BA in Studio Art from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018 and is a MFA candidate in Studio Art at The University of Texas at Austin. He had his first solo exhibition at the Presa House Gallery, San Antonio (2019). Treviño has been included in group exhibitions at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (2019), where he was awarded best in show; Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Arts Center, Brownsville (2019); B&E Art Gallery, Brownsville (2018); the Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene (2018); Rockport Center for the Arts (2018); Galeria 409, Brownsville (2018); and the Kike de la Garza Fine Arts Center, Mission (2017). 

Josie Del Castillo (b. 1992, Brownsville, Texas) received her BA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville in 2016 and her MFA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg in 2020. She has had solo exhibitions at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock (2019) and the Beyond Arts Gallery, Harlingen (2017). She has been included in group and juried exhibitions at the Centro de Artes, San Antonio (2020); the New York Academy of Art, Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago, and San Francisco Art Institute as part of the AXA Art Prize exhibition (2019); Mi Vida Loca Gallery, Corpus Christi (2019); The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, New York (2019); Cactus Gallery, Los Angeles (2019); K-Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi (2019); and the Presa House Gallery, San Antonio (2018). Her work was also included as part of the AXA Art Prize exhibition at the New York Academy of Art, Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago, and San Francisco Art Institute (2019).

Jessie Burciaga (b. 1990, Brownsville, Texas/Matamoros, Mexico) received his BA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018 and is currently an MFA candidate with a focus in Printmaking at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has had solo exhibitions at the Arte Vivo Gallery, Brownsville (2018); the Descencia Gallery, Matamoros, Mexico (2018); and the B&E Art Studio in Brownsville (2017). His work has been included in group exhibitions at K-Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi (2019); Presa House Gallery, San Antonio (2019); ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles (2018); the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (2018); the Tejano Civil Rights Museum, Corpus Christi (2018); La Retama Central Library, Corpus Christi (2017); and Galeria 409, Brownsville (2017). 

Julian Rodriguez (b. 1970, Fresno, California) received a BA from St. Edward’s University in 1994 and a MFA with a focus in ceramics and sculpture from The University of Texas–Pan American in 2007. He has had solo exhibitions at ArteVivo Art Studio, Brownsville (2018); Texas State Technical College (2015); and the Tejano Civil Rights Museum, Corpus Christi (2014). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Rusteberg Art Gallery, Brownsville (2019); Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center, Brownsville (2018); Charles and Dorothy Clark Art Gallery, Edinburg (2018), Titan Studio, Harlingen (2018); and the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts (2016). Rodriguez is currently a Lecturer II of Art at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

Ruby E. Garza (b. 1985, Brownsville Texas) received her BFA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2019. She has had solo exhibitions at ArteVivo Art Studio, Brownsville (2018) and the Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center, Brownsville (2018). Her work has been included in exhibitions at La Peña, Austin (2020); the Rusteberg Art Gallery, Brownsville (2019); PlatForm 204, Harlingen (2018); the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, Brownsville (2018); and Galeria 409, Brownsville (2018). Garza is also an Art Instructor and Gallery Assistant at the Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center in Brownsville, Texas. 

Cecilia Guzman (b. 1993, San Benito, Texas) received a BA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2019. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Rusteberg Art Gallery (2019, 2018); Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center, Brownsville (2019, 2018); and the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (2017). She is currently an apprentice to Julian Rodriguez and a studio aid at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

Noel Palmenez (b. 1970, Quincy, Washington) received a BFA from The University of Texas–Pan American in 1993, a MS from Texas A&M University in 1996, and a MFA from The University of Texas Pan–American with a focus in painting, drawing and sculpture in 2002. He has had solo exhibitions at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art (2019); Texas A&M University–Kingsville (2017); Texas State Technical College Rio Grande City Campus (2014); and the Rusteberg Art Gallery, Brownsville (2012). He is currently an art educator at Homer Hanna Early College High School and an adjunct professor at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

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