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Other Border Wall Podcast

Other Border Wall Podcast

By Other Border Wall
Inspired by their rejected Art Wall/No Wall design proposal for the “Trump Border Wall” this award-winning multicultural interdisciplinary team of creative women: artist Jennifer Nagle Myers; designer and artist, Leah Patgorski; and designer and writer, Tereneh Idia, presents The Other Border Wall (OBW) Podcast: Bridges Over Walls. Here we will learn about their efforts to create connections between people around the core ideas of building community, welcoming all and considering the intersectional justice issues of immigration, borders, art and creativity in conversation with special guests.
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Episode 12 - Anne Kraybill Takes us on a Tour of Border Cantos!

Other Border Wall Podcast

Jose Villalobos | THE BORDER IS A WEAPON
Join us in our next interview with the artists from the exhibition THE BORDER IS A WEAPON, curated by Gil Rocha. Here, Jose Villalobos speaks with Tereneh Idia in an engaging and illuminating conversation about art, politics, tradition and resistance. José Villalobos grew up on the US/Mexico border in El Paso, TX. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was awarded the Artist Lab Fellowship Grant for his work De La Misma Piel at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.  Villalobos is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant Award and Residency and the Tanne Foundation Award. His work has been exhibited in the nationally recognized exhibition Trans America/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, TX; ArtPace, San Antonio, TX; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX; NARS Foundation, New York, NY; the Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX; El Paso Museum of Art, TX; El Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and The Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, TX. He has two upcoming group exhibitions, one at the Phoenix Art Museum: Desert Rider, curated by Gilbert Vicario, and Xican-a.o.x. Body at The American Federation of Arts in New York curated by Marisa del Toro, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Gilbert Vicario. José Villalobos’s work is included in the collection of Mexic-arte Museum, Austin, TX, the City of San Antonio Public Collection, TX, Albright College, Reading, PA, and Soho House International in Austin, TX. Jose Villalobos is currently represented by Liliana Bloch Gallery. Recommended article: Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom, by Mireya Loza
October 03, 2022
Join us for an amazing conversation with Gil Rocha, curator of The Border is a Weapon and long-time friend and collaborator of the Other Border Wall Collective.  Here he speaks candidly with our wonderful season three host, Tereneh Idia. Gil Rocha is a south Texas artist, educator, and curator born in Laredo. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006), a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio (1999), and is certified as an all-level Texas Educator from Texas A&M International University (2002). For the past 25 years, Rocha’s professional artistic career has led him to engage in a variety of programs taking on roles that span from facilitating workshops for community based projects, participating on panels, and working on public artworks and murals, in  collaboration with galleries and museums on the national and international level. His artwork expands across painting, collage, sculpture, installation, and writing. He focuses on issues about the U.S./Mexico border and takes on a survivalist approach known as “Rasquache.” Rocha’s role as an educator and avid advocate for the arts has positively impacted his students, peers and community. Rocha’s artwork was recently featured in two online magazines, PASSAGE Visions (Issue 6) and Maake Magazine (Issue 11), and in two collective exhibitions, “Son de Allá, Son de Acá” in Albuquerque, NM and “Desde La Frontera” in San Antonio, TX. He curated the traveling exhibition “The Border is a Weapon”, a project of the Other Border Wall Collective, currently on view at the Laredo Center for the Arts. In 2021, Rocha presented his work at the Sixth Biennial Inter-American Studies Conference “Walls, Bridges, Borders” and the International Sculpture Conference “Identity, Race & Culture: Misconceptions along La Frontera.” His artwork has also been exhibited at the Texas Biennial in Austin (2017) and the Trans-Border Biennial in El Paso Museum of Art and El Museo de Arte in Ciudad Juarez (2018). Rocha is currently preparing for an upcoming group exhibition in Austin, TX and was invited to curate the 2023 Contemporary Art Month Perennial in San Antonio, TX.
September 18, 2022
Maritza Bautista | THE BORDER IS A WEAPON
For Season Three, we are featuring the artists of THE BORDER IS A WEAPON exhibition curated by Gil Rocha and presented by Other Border Wall.  The exhibition features five artists from the US/MX border and was curated by Gil Rocha.  First opening in January 2022 at 937 Gallery in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust  the show then traveled to the Laredo Center for the Arts in July 2022. Each interview is conducted by Tereneh Idia. Tereneh is the founder of Idia'Dega, an award-winning journalist, and the co-founder of Other Border Wall Project. Maritza Bautista is a Tex-Mex/pocha multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and cultural worker from Laredo, Texas. She received a Master of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art from Texas A&M International University (2002). Maritza was awarded the SAIC Masters Fellowship in Art Education (2009), and her essay Unique Voices in Youth Media was published in the book Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (2012). Her work has been screened at various festivals including the iFFY: Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti (2022), MIRAAA Media Fest (2021), San Antonio Film Festival (2019), and Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (2015). She has also presented her work at the Creating Justice Symposium (2022), PASSAGE Visions (2022), the Sixth Biennial IAS Conference Walls, Bridges, Borders (2021), and most recently the collective exhibitions The Border is a Weapon (2022) and Across (2021). Maritza started teaching in 2003 and has sustained meaningful, collaborative art practices that explore and create a dialectic milieu inhabited by issues unique to marginalized communities. She is the Executive Director for Daphne Art Foundation.  Her artistic practice explores scavenging, movement and transportation of goods as they relate to wealth along and across the U.S./Mexico border, the economic disparities that are visible and at times ironic, and survival mechanisms of working class people. Links, topics mentioned Gil Rocha, Latino Union of Chicago NAFTA Binational River Park RISC Rio Grande International Study Center No Border Wall Tereneh Idia Design work: Writing: Twitter: @TerenehIdia
August 22, 2022
J. Angel Calabres | THE BORDER IS A WEAPON
For Season Three, we are featuring the artists of THE BORDER IS A WEAPON exhibition curated by Gil Rocha and presented by Other Border Wall.  The exhibition features five artists from the US/MX border and was curated by Gil Rocha.  First opening in January 2022 at 937 Gallery in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust  the show then traveled to the Laredo Center for the Arts in July 2022. Each interview is conducted by Tereneh Idia. Tereneh is the founder of Idia'Dega, an award-winning journalist, and the co-founder of Other Border Wall Project. Angel Cabrales, MFA, is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of Texas at El Paso. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University and Masters of Fine Arts from The University of North Texas. Angel views everything as an artistic resource and utilizes this in all his creations, from his extensive experience with a variety of mediums and styles, to the intangibles, such as his upbringing in the El Paso, Texas Borderlands, his work grows and expands with the requirements presented from each new idea.His father a retired engineer at White Sands Missile Range, instilled Angel with a great interest in science and engineering, while his mother, a politically active stay at home mother, taught him the importance of community and social work through her volunteer work. Angel's work is an amalgamation of his upbringing resulting in social/political commentary with an engineered flare. The artwork’s concept ultimately dictates the medium needed for its creation, so artistic evolution is intrinsic in his philosophy.  Cabrales is an artist fellow for the Looking for America project out of Washington D.C. He is exhibiting in the American Embassy in Mexico City and has exhibited in the International TransBorder Biennial, Texas Biennial, AmoABiennial600, the Chamizal National Memorial, the Mexic-Arte Museum, MAC Dallas, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Mesa, AZ, The Latino Cultural Center of Dallas, El Paso Museum of Art, Wave Pool Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, Grand Art Haus in Phoenix, AZ, Baton Rouge Gallery, and collaborated with the AMBOS Project (an intervention collaboration along the Border) from Los Angeles. He is also featured in the Icons and Symbols of the Borderland book by Diana Molina and La Frontera: Artists along the Mexican/American Border by Stefan Falke. Angel was recently interviewed by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to be included in the Estrellas y Cuentas initiative on Latino Futurism. He is represented by the Ro2 Gallery in Dallas, TX and the Royse Contemporary in Scottsdale, AZ. Cabrales is also a member of the International Sculpture Center, the Texas Sculpture Group, and a board member in the JUNTOS art collective. Angel was also a juror for the 2020 Student Achievement Awards for Sculpture Magazine.Cabrales teaches all levels of Sculpture at UTEP, includingExperimental Systems in Sculpture focused on STEAM elements in art and the Neon Sculpture program. He is head of theEASSI (Engineering + Art + Science = Social Impact) team that works on community engaged projects involving the arts and sciences in the Borderlands of El Paso. Website: Tereneh Idia Design work: Writing: Twitter: @TerenehIdia
August 08, 2022
Episode 19 - Janel Young
Janel Young is a Pittsburgh native, painter, muralist and community leader on a mission to inspire through creativity and play. Her work has been recognized locally and internationally, from New York City – where she resided for 6 years – to the coast of Sydney, Australia. Prior to pursuing art full-time, Janel attended Schenley High School as an International Baccalaureate student athlete, and went on to study Business Marketing and International Studies at Penn State University as a Bunton-Waller Fellow. She relocated to NYC in 2013 to work in public relations as a Digital Content Strategist for industries, including healthcare, tech and non-profits for 5 years.  A year after taking the leap to practice art full-time in NYC, Janel’s passions came full circle in 2019 as her love for visual arts brought her back to Beltzhoover (her old neighborhood) to install the city’s first art basketball court, cleverly coined: The Home Court Advantage Project. The City of Pittsburgh awarded Janel a proclamation for her community-centered effort to wrap the city in color, making October 23, 2019 “JANEL YOUNG DAY” in the City of Pittsburgh. On the anniversary the following year, Janel established the JY Originals Scholarship for Creatives – a $1,000 award for a young adult pursuing the arts.  Now serving as the Community Artist in Residence at UrbanKind Institute in Pittsburgh, Janel utilizes visual arts as a communication tool to connect people to equity and justice values and initiatives. She continues to use both Pittsburgh and New York networks for public art projects, youth workshops and speaking opportunities. Janel’s latest public works in Pittsburgh include the “Pathway to Joy” asphalt mural at Allegheny Overlook, her first curated project, “New Space Spheres” (both commissioned by Pittsburgh Downtown Partnerships), and “Heroes on the Horizon” at Bakery Square, which is the first three-dimensional mural under her belt. Pathway to Joy is now Young’s largest led mural and it kicked off the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival serving as the backdrop for the summer 2021 pop-up park experience. For New Space Spheres she led the creation of social distance artwork from four additional Pittsburgh artists for a total of 10 designs that express physical distancing and the new societal space we are in, with a colorful twist. Heroes on the Horizon was completed alongside a residency program with students from local schools, Lincoln and Urban Academy.  In New York, Young was selected to exhibit in the “Black Lives to the Front” art showcase during the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Her canvas titled “Be Open To…” was displayed in the front row of the Arthur Ashe Stadium behind the likes of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Additionally, Janel was chosen to execute the “Gates of Atlantic” security gate mural in East New York, Brooklyn (on Atlantic Avenue). She was paired with a local small business, Gardenia Flower Shop, for a floral design that inspires passersby to keep blooming. Furthermore, Janel teamed up with youth-focused organizations to host in-person and virtual coloring events, where her self-illustrated Color Your Crown natural hair coloring book was donated to kids. She worked with sponsors and supporters from New York non-profit KaleidoQueens, Pittsburgh-based Learning Loft, YMCA, Neighborhood Allies and the Women & Girls Foundation. IG: @jy.originals
January 10, 2022
Episode 18 - Kinselland
Join us in our illuminating conversation with Kinselland! As collaborators Anqwenique and DS work in the areas of performance art, visual art, and music performance. The work is intimate and shares pieces of their personal lives as a married artist couple while also challenging them to create in new ways and explore intimate everyday activities as artistic expression. DS Kinsel expresses his creativity through the mediums of painting, installation, curating, action-painting, non-traditional performance and #HASHTAGS. Kinsel’s work puts focus on themes of space keeping, urban tradition, hip-hop, informalism and Cultural Re-Appropriation.  As a visual artist working primarily through the mediums of painting, installation, hip-hop, and web based media platforms, he uses these mediums as weapons and tools towards cultural space keeping and creative place making.  He explores self perspective and personal awareness through place and how association with locations can shape perceptions.  D.S. has a deep community based practice and is the co-founder of BOOM Concepts, founded in 2014. BOOM Concepts is a creative hub dedicated to the advancement of black and brown artists representing marginalized communities. BOOM serves as a space for field building, knowledge sharing, mentorship, and storytelling. BOOM Concepts consistently challenges artists and communities to find new and innovative ways to share their own narratives. Anqwenique is an extremely versatile vocalist and educator specializing in opera, classical music, jazz and soul. Anqwenique has performed lead operatic roles, recitals, immersive theater experiences, jazz combos and more. As the founder and director of Groove Aesthetic, a Pittsburgh based multidisciplinary artist collective experimenting with contemporary performance and collaborative processes. Groove Aesthetic and partnerships with organizations like Chamber Music Pittsburgh have given a platform for artists across identity and discipline to collaborate and create wonderful experiences for audiences. In recent years, she has taken a wellness approach to singing and performing, hosting workshops that share with everyday folks how to use their voices for self-care practice. Anqwenique has also been very active in the arts and education community as teaching artist, consultant, program manager and advisor. Currently she serves asDirector of Programs for Arts ed Collaborative. She has also served as the Studio Manager of BOOM Concepts working to provide affordable studio space and resources to artists and creative entrepreneurs. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art established a new Artist-in-Residency Program, made possible by generous support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, in collaboration with BOOM Concepts in September 2020. The program, which will feature 4 to 6 artists annually, emphasizes the Museum’s commitment to engaging and supporting Black and marginalized artists, to promoting equity in the arts, and to sharing compelling and meaningful cultural experiences with the regional community. Inaugural artists selected include Anqwenique, D.S. Kinsel, Gavin Benjamin and Madame Christiane Dolores.  W.A.G.E.
December 06, 2021
Episode 17 - Christiane Dolores
We had the great honor of speaking with Madame Christiane Dolores.  Do not miss this!  Multi-platform cross-disciplinary artist, Christiane Dolores, a.k.a. Madame Dolores, employs sound, vision, text, and performance as storytelling tools to create radical, sometimes controversial, cultural engagements. At the heart of r work is a humanistic empathy that questions our inability to coexist and reimagines new mythologies of inclusion and belonging. Her practice is rooted in responding to compelling questions about cultural definitions, the root of hatred, cognitive dissonance, binary systems, and the ongoing social conflicts of Us vs Them. She thinks of what she does as social-cultural anthropology, employing the ethnographic technique by culling audio, text and images to create a record of our struggle to be human. Her textual, visual, musical work responds to burgeoning questions about human behavior and inhuman cruelty. How are these confounding, at times, disturbing actions seen through the lens of justice, compassion and understanding and how will that propel us to evolve? Madame Dolores has earned many accolades and opportunities for her work. In 2017, she received the Pittsburgh Business Times Women First award, and in 2014, was commissioned by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to create a song and lead Pittsburgh’s inaugural Complaints Choir during the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. She has also been recognized as the winner of an 2010 August Wilson Center Fellowship; an awardee of a 2011 and 2020 grant from Advancing the Black Arts in support of solo musical releases; a 2007 honoree at the New Hazlett Theatre “Celebrating Women in the Arts; a 2003 winner of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship for World/Jazz/Blues musical composition; and a 2002 Pittsburgh Magazine “40 under 40” award winner. She received funding from Sprout for two MiniM Music Festivals for the Blues and Jazz genres and for “Listen to This, featuring poetess, Ursula Rucker; a commission from Pittsburgh Foundation to write her first play, Saffronia; funding from Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative to produce Saffronia: the Mulatto Slave, which came in 2nd place at the Trinidad Theater Festival, in 2016. Madame Dolores is the founding member of the #notwhite collective, a group of 13 femme artists who use their art to make their stories visible as they excavate histories, expose realities, and exorcise oppression. She has also been very dedicated to the arts community as the artist relations manager at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, where she worked for 15 years leading several landmark programs and increasing engagement and support of typically underserved artists, especially people of color and women, and is now currently working at the Pittsburgh International Airport’s Art as their technical assistant of arts and culture. Music site is:  Sondra Woodruff  Soma Mestizo  Boom Concepts  Westmoreland Museum of American Art  Billboard Project - Lead Artist Sheila Cuellar-Shaffer.  Zhiwan Cheung Seeing Colour Pod  AS220 
November 22, 2021
Episode 16 - Gavin Benjamin in Conversation
Continuing our theme with Season 2 that focuses on the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, we spoke with the artist Gavin Benjamin about his recent artist residency at the museum and his own practice.  Tune in to a great conversation between Gavin, Leah, and Tereneh! Gavin Benjamin is a multifaceted artist who combines original analog photography and appropriated images with collage, paint, and varnish to create rich and luxurious works that call back to baroque traditions while incorporating  elements of current culture to provoke, critique, and explore. Born in Guyana, South America and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Benjamin received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. During this time, he worked as an interned for the legendary portrait photographer, Arnold Newman. Benjamin also worked as black and white and color printer at LTI and Baboo color labs. From there, he went on to work at Edge Reps and Exposure NY, agencies representing commercial and advertising photographers, prop stylists, and hair and makeup artists. After Exposure NY, he worked as a freelance production coordinator/photo editor with stints at Kenneth Cole productions, Esquire Magazine, Hachette Filipacchi Media, and Good Housekeeping magazine. “I am very inspired by the work of artists  during the 15th to 17th centuries, especially the Dutch and Italian masters. There is something very romantic, dark, mysterious, and brooding about these works. I find this period fascinating because of the deep, luxurious colors and intense light and dark shadows. I am drawn to the juxtaposition of objects and compositions that come together to tell a story” Benjamin investigates the intersection of culture, media, politics, fashion, and design, addressing questions that (continue to) confront a men of color in America today. “My work reflects everything that I’m thinking – it includes everything that I love and everything that I’m challenged by. It’s honest and curious and bright and thoughtful. And sometimes a little dark. It’s all of the things that made me want to be a professional artist in the first place.” His work has appeared at the Slick Paris, Sotheby’s NY, Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Art Hampton, Affordable Art Fair, Scope Miami, Palm Beach Modern, Context Miami, Context NY, Art Silicon Valley, and the LA Art Fair. Links: Website: Mentions in episode: Penguin Court: Polaroids: Haltson Netflix Series: Upcoming Exhibitions: Mattress Factory: Contemporary Craft:
November 02, 2021
Episode 15 - Stephen Towns in Conversation
We had the great opportunity to sit down with Stephen Towns in August.  We talked about his artistic practice, his residency at Falling Water, and his upcoming show at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art curated by Kilolo Luckett.  Tune in!! - Stephen Towns was born in 1980 in Lincolnville, South Carolina and lives and works in Baltimore. He trained as a painter with a BFA in studio art from the University of South Carolina, and has also developed a rigorous, self-taught quilting practice. In 2018, The Baltimore Museum of Art presented his first museum exhibition, Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning. His work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Artforum, The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, Cultured, AFROPUNK, HYPEBEAST and American Craft. Towns was honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2016 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore Travel Prize, and in 2021, Towns was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council’s Individual Artist Award. Towns’ work is in the collections of The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Art + Practice, Artist Mark Bradford’s nonprofit based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, The Petrucci Family Foundation, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the City of Charleston, South Carolina, The Nelson Atkins Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, and is held in private collections nationally and abroad. . More about Stephen Towns: @ The Westmoreland Museum of American Art @ Fallingwater: A fantastic video: His website (under re-construction)
October 04, 2021
Episode 14 - Kilolo Luckett in Conversation with Tereneh Idia
In August, Tereneh had the great pleasure of speaking with Kilolo Luckett.  It was a very special conversation between just the two of them, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  This is part of our Season Two series that is focused on looking at what the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is doing to build bridges both internationally and regionally.  Kilolo plays a big role in this story! Kilolo Luckett is a Pittsburgh-based art historian and curator. With over twenty years of experience in arts administration and cultural production, she is committed to elevating the voices of underrepresented visual artists, specifically women and Black and Brown artists. Luckett is founding executive director and chief curator of ALMA|LEWIS (named after abstract artists Alma Thomas and Norman Lewis), an experimental, contemporary art platform for critical thinking, dialogue, and creative expression dedicated to Black culture. She recently served as an Art Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh’s Art Commission for twelve years. Luckett is guest curator of the upcoming exhibition titled, Stephen Towns:  Declaration & Resistance, which opens January 30, 2022 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. She is also currently writing an authorized biography on Naomi Sims, one of the first Black supermodels. For more information on some of the many wonderful things discussed in this conversation, please follow these links:
September 15, 2021
Episode 13 - Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo in Conversation
We had the great opportunity to be in conversation with Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo earlier this summer.  It was a real treat to get them both on the call and hear their thoughts on Border Cantos | Sonic Border as well as bigger larger questions and complexities that come with being alive on planet Earth today as artists and humans.  They spoke of their collaborative process as well as their individual artistic practices.  The entire conversation was refreshing, illuminating, and very fun.  Lots of laughs and humor as a bridge through the heaviest subjects.  Enjoy!  This episode is co-hosted by Leah and Jenn.  Tereneh was away. Border Cantos I Sonic Border runs through September 5, 2021 at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  It will then travel on to other museums throughout the country. Border Cantos I Sonic Border is a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor/composer Guillermo Galindo. Photographer Richard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Galindo began collaborating in 2011, after both artists had created bodies of work inspired by the Mexican-American border region and its human impact. Misrach’s large-scale photographs beautifully capture the various types of landscapes, textures, and experiences found across the almost 2,000-mile dividing line. But, by showing moments of disruption on the land, they also introduce a complicated look at policing the boundary. Galindo’s installation Sonic Border is an original score for eight instruments, created out of discarded objects found and collected at the border. The composition embraces the pre-Columbian belief that there was an intimate connection between an instrument and the material from which it was made, with no separation between spiritual and physical worlds. Based on the Mesoamerican “Venus calendar,” Sonic Border plays for a total of 260 minutes and is separated into 13 cycles of 20 minutes. Within these cycles, the instruments play in small groups of two or more, or all together as an orchestra.
August 23, 2021
Episode 12 - Anne Kraybill Takes us on a Tour of Border Cantos!
Welcome to Season Two! We are dedicating this second podcast season to The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania- focusing on the ways they are building bridges in the community in a multitude of local and global ways.  In our first episode, Tereneh and Leah talk with Anne Kraybill, the Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art since 2018.  In this role, she has implemented a new strategic plan, which centers Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion and holds an unwavering belief that the arts can improve lives and strengthen communities, and should be accessible and celebrated for all. Anne takes us on a tour of Border Cantos I Sonic Border, a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor/composer Guillermo Galindo. Photographer Richard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Galindo began collaborating in 2011, after both artists had created bodies of work inspired by the Mexican-American border region and its human impact. Misrach’s large-scale photographs beautifully capture the various types of landscapes, textures, and experiences found across the almost 2,000-mile dividing line. But, by showing moments of disruption on the land, they also introduce a complicated look at policing the boundary. Galindo’s installation Sonic Border is an original score for eight instruments, created out of discarded objects found and collected at the border. The composition embraces the pre-Columbian belief that there was an intimate connection between an instrument and the material from which it was made, with no separation between spiritual and physical worlds. Based on the Mesoamerican “Venus calendar,” Sonic Border plays for a total of 260 minutes and is separated into 13 cycles of 20 minutes. Within these cycles, the instruments play in small groups of two or more, or all together as an orchestra. The exhibition runs through September 5, 2021 after which it will continue to travel throughout the US.
August 09, 2021
Episode 11 - Season One Finale with Tereneh, Leah, and Jenn
Hello! We are wrapping up our first season with a conversation between us three co-founders here at Other Border Wall Project and Podcast - Tereneh Idia, Leah Patgorski, and Jennifer Nagle Myers.  We are sharing our thoughts on the many creative pivots we had to do in 2020 and what it all felt like, as well as more in depth conversation about what our own creative practices look like.  Join us! And here's a deeper look into who we are individually and what we do.... Tereneh on issues of social justice especially in environment, design, arts and culture as designer and writer.  She launched IdiaDega, a global eco-design collaboration of Indigenous women artisans in 2014 and became a journalist in 2018.  The IdiaDega eco-design collaboration has presented work in Amsterdam, Paris, New York City, Nairobi, Copenhagen and Pittsburgh, including exhibitions at August Wilson African American Cultural Center, The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Tereneh was Pittsburgh Style Week’s Designer of the Year for 2019, an inductee into the Taylor Allderdice High School Hall of Fame inductee and awarded the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artist.  As a writer, Tereneh began publishing regularly in 2018 and her work has appeared in Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh PublicSource, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - among others, she is a multiple award-winning writer: Winner of the Golden Quill 2019 and 2020 for best columnist in daily paper and nominated again in 2021; The Robert L Vann Pittsburgh Black Media Federation Award; and the Billy Manes Award in 2020. Leah a Pittsburgh-based artist who was born in Virginia Beach, VA. She earned a degree in Architecture at the University of Virginia followed by an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her studio practice includes sculptures, partitions, and painting-like objects made of textiles. Her work process moves back and forth between rule-following and improv, color experiments and found hues, and it reflects on intangibles like growth, loss, intimacy, shadows, and the history behind materials. Leah enjoys collaboration with other artists and designers in order to realize large-scale projects. She is part of a collective known as Other Border Wall that is focused on creative resistance to harmful border practices. She has also been exhibiting her individual work with many venues over the years including the Strohl Arts Center in Chautauqua, NY; Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA; and ADDS DONNA in Chicago, IL. Jennifer Nagle an artist and collaborator based in Southeastern VA after living almost ten years in Pittsburgh.  She is mostly interested in the crossover between sculpture and drawing and how that can express the connection and continued desecration of our human imprint on earth.  Working outdoors and/or with natural materials as much as possible allows her to establish and maintain a working reciprocal relationship with the earth.  She received her BA from Hampshire College and MFA in Intermedia/Drawing from the University of Iowa. Her work has been shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art,The Sculpture Center, The International Print Center, The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA, and MUDAC in Lausanne, Switzerland, and original performance works have premiered at The New Hazlett Theater, The Festival for New Music, and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.  She continues to collaborate with artists and visionaries in other fields especially with her most VIP muses, the dancers.
May 17, 2021
Episode 10 - In Conversation with Alberto Tlatoa
Join us for a powerful conversation with Alberto Tlatoa: food justice advocate, social entrepreneur, historian, artist, and community organizer based in South Central, Los Angeles.  When Alberto was a child, his family had a farming plot in the largest urban farm in the nation in South Central Los Angeles. However, it was destroyed in 2006. Since that time, he has helped organize community residents to challenge irresponsible developments. He co-founded the South Central Farm a grassroots organization that promotes the establishment and preservation of green and open space in South Central Los Angeles, a community where green and open space is rare, as well as promote urban farming, public health, and effective participation in the planning of developments that intimately affect every one of the residents that reside nearby. Be sure to follow Alberto and South Central Farm on IG: South Central Farm Website: Link Tree for South Central Farm: Watch The South Central Farm Film (MUST SEE)
May 03, 2021
Episode 9 - In Conversation with Asa Martinez
We recently spoke with Asa Martinez: writer, immigration-support worker, and creator of Brushfire Press - a small-scale zine press and information distro centered on QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color).  Their message is Fight Back: Read Radical, published out of Pittsburgh, PA.   Their recent work has focused on mutual aid, immigrant rights, and harm reduction. Asa is our friend and ally.  In 2020 we commissioned Brushfire Press to dream up a project with a small amount of funding we had available, and what was born is the ongoing, growing Pittsburgh Solidarity Guide.  This Solidarity Guide was created as a directory of groups that center the most marginalized among us and work to make Pittsburgh a more livable city for all.  What follows is an open, honest, and extremely urgent conversation between all of us.  Asa speaks truth in each breath and it was a great treasure to have them in conversation. Here are just a few of the many amazing things we touched on that we wanted to include in the show notes: BrushFire Press on Instagram Trans Asylum Support Network The Pittsburgh Solidarity Guide The Black Unicorn Library and Archives Project AK Press
April 20, 2021
Episode 8 - In Conversation with David Janesko
Join us in rich conversation with Houston-based artist and collaborator David Janesko. As the former curator of Flatland Gallery in Houston, he invited us in 2018 to present our work as Other Border Wall Project.  Speaking in February 2021 with Jenn and Leah (Tereneh was not on this call), we touched on many topics including art and mental illness and collaboration.  David Janesko is an artist exploring the emergence of complexity using an experimental approach that encompasses a wide array of mediums, technology and subject matter. He is specifically interested in the genesis of life, and death, from the early Earth, the emergence of the Self and how the senses and mental illness shape reality. David grew up in Western Pennsylvania and worked for a number of years as a geologist before attending the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA, 2013). From 2013 to 2015 David was a Graduate Fellow then Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Artist in Sausalito California, and the curator for Flatland Gallery in Houston from 2017 to 2019. David is represented in Houston by Gray Contemporary.  From 2019-2021 he was a Studio Artist in Residence at the Lawndale Arts Center in Houston, where he collaborated with the choreographer Jacqueline Boe on a series of work and explorations at the intersection of dance and art.
April 05, 2021
Episode 7 - In Conversation with Shellee Laurent
This week, we spoke with Shellee Laurent: an activist, artist, mother, and a proud Guatemalan-Mexican-American woman/queen living in Laredo TX. We first met Shellee during our visit to to Laredo in 2018. We stayed connected via social media and then profiled her on our Laredo on the Line publication. We wanted to speak with Shellee here as well, to find out more about how her roles intersect and learn about her work with the No Border Wall Coalition. This is a grassroots organization based in Laredo that works to counteract border wall construction through protests, education, legal action, and art. They sometimes travel to join forces with other allied groups in the Rio Grande Valley who share common interests in resisting the wall and protecting communities and the environment. Symbolic of this moment in which Covid has brought so many of our spheres to overlap in one space: the home… Shellee sat down to speak with us from her kitchen where her kids were nearby doing their tasks. So we ask for your patience with the sounds as we move through our conversation with a true QUEEN! Shellee IG/FB Cultiv-Arte Group: No Border Wall Coalition And our interview on Laredo on the Line:
March 22, 2021
Episode 6 - In Conversation with Zhiwan Cheung
Hello!  In Episode 6 we are sharing our rich conversation with Zhiwan Cheung: artist, educator, and podcast host currently living and working in China.  We know Zhiwan from Pittsburgh, and Tereneh has been a guest on his podcast 'Seeing Color' twice now.  So we thought it was time to have him as the guest to talk about all things art, politics, identity, and life.   Zhiwan's artist statement: The intersection of national identity and the personal psyche is complex, not always clear nor fixed; as an artist, I probe these paths and how and where they join and diverge. As an odyssey toward a home that does not exist, a rite of passage with no destination, I use my work to search for a critical understanding of an impossible homecoming. Through sculpture, film, and performance, I focus on the meaning and space between identities, examining the feeling of a liminal displacement. It is a journey guided by an allusive visual language, with a mix of pop cultural, art historical, and aesthetical signals and choices that also guide audiences into finding their own rites of passage. He is also the host of the Seeing Color Podcast, a show that talks with cultural workers and artists of color in order to expand the area of what is a predominantly white space in the arts. Find out more here:
March 08, 2021
Episode 5 - In Conversation with Gil Rocha
We are super excited to share this conversation with Gil Rocha, artist, educator and curator from Laredo, Texas.  Gil is a phenomenal contemporary artist who shows around the United States and in Mexico, most recently in a solo exhibition at Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, Texas.  Gil brings together his profound abilities to mix the absurd, poetic, and political into works of art that span sculpture, drawing, painting, language and sound to really speak to the place and time he is living and working in.  As an artist from Laredo who left and returned, he is both insider and outsider and his work really speaks to the depth, humanity and experience that encompasses.  Gil teaches art at Vidal School of Communications and Fine Arts in Laredo, Texas and continues to be an ally to the No Border Wall Coalition who actively and creatively make work and actions that speaks truth to power to protect the river and her people.   He is an ongoing friend and ally to the OBW Project, welcoming us with open arms in 2018 when we visited Laredo.  Gil and Leah met during graduate school at School of the Art Institute in Chicago and became fast friends!   Gil also came to Pittsburgh in 2019 to work on a mural project called Disrespecting the Border/Irrespetando la frontera: a weekend-long collaboration with the community and as part of the University of Pittsburgh's Year of Creativity initiative. We recorded this interview (without Tereneh unfortunately) in October of 2020, before the election and so many other things to follow.  We sound anxious and optimistic for 2021 to be a "new" year....and in more than one hour of talking we discuss a wide range of topics including what happens when you buy MAGA hats for art projects, the future of robots vs. truck drivers, making art in times of great crisis, the impact and experience of coming to Pittsburgh in 2019 for the 'Disrespecting the Mural' project.  Enjoy, share and let us know what you think! Gil Rocha Website Presa House Gallery Solo Exhibition: The Things We Carry Disrespecting the Border / Irrespetando la frontera  No Border Wall Coalition
February 22, 2021
Episode 4 - In Conversation with Ebtehal Badawi
We are honored to share our conversation with Ebtehal Badawi, a Pittsburgh-based artist, activist, mother, and inspiration to many.  Ebtehal is a prolific and passionate artist who creates to build bridges and showcase the innate human connection we all have to one another.  In 2019 she began an anti-bullying campaign as a direct response to two racist attacks against Muslim students:  one was targeted at a student in a neighboring township while in her own high school bathroom, and the other was against her own son on his hockey team.    Using love and creativity in defiance to hate and fear, Ebtehal created a poster that now hangs in local schools and colleges that is intended to remind us that we are all connected, in the city of bridges, as brothers and sisters in peace and love.   We hope you enjoy this powerful conversation with someone who came to art later in life, and is now using all her spirit and energy to create a world where we all belong. Ebtehal Website Ebtehal and her anti-bullying campaign in the news, 2019
February 08, 2021
Other Border Wall Podcast Trailer
A very short introduction for what you can expect from this podcast.  We welcome you here!  Join us as we redraw borders and dissolve walls.
February 04, 2021
Episode 3 - In Conversation with Anti-Flag's Chris Dos
We are thrilled to share our conversation with Chris Dos, the bassist for the Pittsburgh-based legendary punk band Anti-Flag. Launching in 1988, Anti-Flag’s powerful live performances match their intense lyrics, imploring the world and their fans to work in solidarity for justice for all. They have released 12 studio albums, their most recent, 20/20 Vision, a pointedly anti-Trump, anti-Fascist album that portended the former president’s 2020 election defeat. Chris Dos joined Anti-Flag in the late 90s. Co-host Tereneh follows Chris on Twitter and when he followed her back she nearly fell off her chair. Through this “meeting” he agreed to sit with the OBW pod. This just goes to show you that social media isn’t all bad.
January 25, 2021
Episode 2: In Conversation with Jaime Guerrero
Here we speak with the brilliant and enigmatic artist and craftsman Jaime Guerrero, known internationally for his work in glass.  Jaime has been at the forefront of using his work to connect to marginalized communities through empowering them to the incredible world of glass art. Visit Jaime's website! See his solo exhibition at the Pittsburgh Glass Center
January 05, 2021
Episode 1: We Are Creative Resistance to Borders, Since 2017
We introduce ourselves and provide a short condensed history of how we began in early 2017 when the Trump administration, newly in power, sent out a Request for Proposals to design and build ‘Other Border Walls’.  We go back to those early days and what got us started on this project and how it has evolved since then.
December 17, 2020