Artist collective Xingaderas Leads Conversations About Identity at SDSU

February 8, 2024
Artist Collective Xingaderas seen here wearing papier-mâché masks similar to those that will be constructed in their SDSU workshop

The artist collective Xingaderas will be at SDSU from Monday, Feb. 19 to Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, leading critical conversations about their use of papier-mâché art as a medium to express individual layers of identity. 

Papier-mâché artist Manuel Urueta and photographer/filmmaker Celina Galicia of Xingaderas will first lead a 3-day student workshop. Then, with the support of One SDSU and the Arts Alive SDSU Discovery Series, they will present an artist talk and panel conversation discussing their work, which often focuses on themes of transformation, empathy, and magic. 

In their art, Xingaderas explore border identities by constructing wearable masks from papier-mâché and objects from the international border. Both identifying as transfronterinxs (El Paso/Ciudad Juarez), Urueta and Galicia pull inspiration from regional folklore to question and understand the border and those who coexist in the borderlands. 

Associate Professor Kerianne Quick from the SDSU School of Art and Design originally proposed that Xingaderas visit SDSU as guest artists for a Student Success Fee project.  

Having redeveloped and served as a curatorial consultant for a traveling cross-border exhibition that includes art by Xingaderas, Quick believed that Xingaderas’ art would be well-received by SDSU students, and encourage them to view art off-campus as well.

“This project connects our SDSU students with a prominent cultural institution like the Mingei,” said Quick, “It is where our field shows its professional outcome, where students see a possible career trajectory for their degree.”

That exhibition, entitled La Frontera, is currently open at the Mingei and opened Saturday, Jan 27, 2024, with a  a concurrent exhibition opening at CECUT in Tijuana on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. The Mingei is offering free entry to the exhibition for SDSU students for faculty who arrange visits for their classes.

Xingaderas Workshops at SDSU

Hosted over the course of three days, Xingaderas is leading 20 SDSU students in a mask-making workshop that explores themes of self and layers of identity. Students will learn to construct their unique papier-mâché masks, based on inspiration from their own experiences.  

“We have so many students who cross the border, are from the border region, or are impacted by border issues,” says Quick, “We wanted it to feel representative and inclusive of the students’ experience.”

At the end of the workshop, all student work will be presented in an on-campus exhibition that will be open to the public. The exhibition, intended to be a celebration of the collaboration, will also display a collection of work by Xingaderas. 

“I felt strongly that Xingaderas would be a good fit because their art incorporates and expresses the body with an object, which is in jewelry, performance art, theatre. . . There is so much crossover,” said Quick.

The workshop is open to all students, and no previous experience in any art form is required. Students wishing to participate may sign up online, and any questions regarding registration for the workshops can be directed to Kerianne Quick at [email protected]

Constructing Borderlands Personalities: Xingaderas Panel at SDSU

Informed by the students’ work in the workshops, Xingaderas will present an Artist Talk on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6:00 p.m. at Scripps Cottage. Immediately following the talk, an interdisciplinary panel of artists and scholars will join the conversation.

The panelists include Xingaderas, as well as Shelley Orr, Associate Professor in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film, and Carlos Figueroa Beltran, Lecturer in the Department of Latin American Studies.

The panel, which is also supported by One SDSU, will explore art’s role in expressing bi-national cultural, political, and gendered identities. It will also include discussion about creative performances and photography.

“Thinking through ways that we represent ourselves symbolically can be really generative creatively,” said Quick. “We want to help students to be inspired to explore and tell their stories through symbols.” 

The artist talk and panel conversation is a free event and is open to the public. No pre-registration is required, but students are encouraged to arrive early to check in at the registration desk.

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