Chapman University is dedicated to providing its students, faculty, and community with engaging topics of conversation and educational experiences. In Fall of 2019, Chapman University will be heading a campus-wide project that is committed to exploring border issues, LA FRONTERA – THE BORDER: An Interdisciplinary Examination. The Escalette Permanent Collection of Art, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Leatherby Libraries, the Guggenheim Gallery, LatinX and Latin-American Studies, and many more are collaborating in this exploration of borders. Students will be able to participate in courses that analyze border issues and instigate cross-border conversations. Throughout the semester, public events will provide discussion on trans-border issues, undocumented students, global migration, and more. Events will include art tours, lectures, and presentations. This project will culminate in a conference from November 14th-16th that will bring leading scholars, artists, and journalists to Chapman University, and offer space for student presentations.
In March of 2019, we announced the The Border: Selections from the Escalette Permanent Collection of Art, an exhibition that showcases art on the subject of borders from the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art. This exhibition is currently on display in Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room, Leatherby Libraries, Second Floor. Artists include Pablo López Luz, Janire Najera, Tom Kiefer, and Bovey Lee. There will be several other art exhibitions dedicated to the perceptions of borders, specifically focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border during the fall semester.
Borderclick is a “a digital living archive” that was created by transborder individuals. This project displays snapshots of the lives of those who cross the border on a daily basis as well as demonstrating the emotions, realities, and perceptions that surround the concept of the border. It explores the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico and gives a voice to the transfronterizx community. Chapman University is proud to display a selection of the photos from this project. The exhibition will take place from September 4th, 2019 – January 15th, 2020 in the Henley Galleria, Argyros Forum, Second Floor.
The Guggenheim Gallery is displaying an exhibition that includes artwork from many different artists in many different mediums, all exploring the Mexico-U.S. border. These works analyze the physical border as a barrier between nations, as well as exploring the concept of metaphorical borders within society, cultures, and individuals. The artists instigate political thinking and explore the intersection between art and activism. The pieces include many different forms and perspectives, and delve into social significance. The term Border Art is a young art historical category and dates back to the formation of the Border Art Workshop in 1984 and their conceptual works, performances and site-specific installations. Artist communities around the border are influenced by this group today. This project connects the recent political events surrounding the border with artistic perspectives. This exhibition will take place from August 26nd – November 17th, 2019 in the Guggenheim Gallery, Moulton Center.
Featured artists include Tanya Aguiniga, Natalia Anciso, Raul Baltazar, Los Anthropolocos: Richard A. Lou & Robert J. Sanchez, Nikki Darling, Luis G. Hernandez, Ingrid Leyva, Roy Martinez, and Omar Pimienta.
The Guggenheim Gallery is also producing a photo documentary installation of Richard Lou’s Border Door Performance from 1988, accompanied by an introductory video by Guisela Latorre. Lou’s Border Door Performance comes from the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF) in 1988. BAW/TAF invited him to contribute to their annual show at El Centro Cultural de la Raza, San Diego’s premier Chicana/o, Latina/o, and indigenous exhibition space. Lou decided to use the border as his prime location for the project. The installation included a free-standing door hinged on a frame. This door is placed directly on the border in Tijuana. “Aside from providing a symbolic portal into a dignified existence in the United States, The Border Door also transformed the space of the border itself thus disrupting the desolate and inhospitable environment of the region.” (From Border Consciousness and Artivist Aesthetics: Richard Lou’s Performance and Multimedia Artwork by Guisela Latorre.) This installation will take place from August 26th – December 15th, 2019 in the Entrance Hall, Beckman Hall, First Floor.
This campus-wide project will include many events such as an opening celebration, screenings, lectures, the border conference, and more. This inter-disciplinary investigation of the border will strive to educate our Chapman community and spark critical thinking about the world that we live in. As a Californian University, we strive to educate ourselves about social issues that effect our communities.