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Desert ArtLAB: Ecologies of Resistance
Fri, May 19, 2017–Sun, January 28, 2018
Desert ArtLAB: Ecologies of Resistance is an interdisciplinary art collaborative, established by museum curator and educator April Bojorquez (Chicana/Rarámuri) and artist and educator Matthew Garcia (Chicano). The collaborative reconceptualizes desert and dryland ecologies not as post-apocalyptic growth of wasteland, but as an ecological opportunity. The exhibition Desert ArtLAB: Ecologies of Resistance illustrates the artistic process of the collaborative’s site-specific ecological installation in the high desert of Southern, CO, through the use of artifacts, archival materials, and botanical samples. The collaborative is transforming a plot of blighted land into a thriving dryland ecosystem that also serves as an edible indigenous landscape. Informed by social sculpture, the collaborative believes artists have the ability to altruistically transform and shape their environments and society. Regrowing indigenous ecologies in community space allows for the revitalization of ecological practice and a reimagining of an indigenous dryland cosmology and aesthetic.
April Bojorquez has worked in the museum field nationally/internationally as an educator, curator, and researcher. She is based in the San Francisco area and Southern Colorado. Bojorquez is fellow of the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Museum Studies Program. She is a former faculty of American Ethnic Studies and assistant curator at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum at Kansas State University. She also served as a curator of art at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bojorquez works within the intersection of art and anthropology. Influenced by participatory practices and social sculpture, Bojorquez employs diverse strategies to produce immersive and interactive environments exploring place, identity and museum practices. Bojorquez is a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee in Emerging Fields.
Matt Garcia’s artistic practice investigates ecology, its relationship to knowledge systems and how media can connect communities to a reclaiming or re-imagining of lost epistemology. Garcia is currently an assistant professor of Art and Design at Dominican University of California. Garcia was formerly an assistant professor of Digital and Experimental Media in the Department of Art at Kansas State University. Garcia’s work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France) The International Symposium on Electronic Art (2012, 2015), Balance-Unbalance Festival (Noose, Australia) and HASTAC (Lima, Peru). Garcia is a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee in Emerging Fields.
Special thanks to Creative Capital Foundation, Pueblo City-County Library and Archive, Charlene Simms, Special Collections Librarian, and 2016 Dryland Fellows Brandon Ayala, Devlin Caldwell, and Jasmine Montoya.