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Katie Ruiz: 'Border Portals'
Monday: 9 AM
Tuesday: 9 AM
Wednesday: 9 AM
Thursday: 9 AM
Friday: 9 AM
RELATED: Katie Ruiz paints magic portals to reimagine the border (KPBS feature about this exhibition)
The exhibition is on view beginning Nov. 8, with an opening reception Nov. 9 from 5-7 p.m.
From the gallery:
Border Portals are about finding new ways to re-imagine the word, “welcome”. A portal is something that can transport you to another place, to the other side of the border. While a portal that transports people across space and time may not be the real answer to the immigration issues, it offers a moment to stop and contemplate the idea of reimagining.
For this body of work Katie Ruiz has gone back to figure painting after discovering a love for textile and fiber art. The new work still references blankets, with the use of emergency blankets and Otomi patterns that have influenced her work for years. The blanket is a symbol for warmth and protection. The emergency blanket on the other hand, that silver aluminum film, has become a symbol for refugees, oppression, cages, and expendability.
Ruiz has a long history working with refugees, first in Botswana, Africa, where she created a knitting group, mural, and art classes. Recently, she worked as a teaching artist bringing art classes to the migrant shelters in San Diego. The experiences inspired her to make paintings of the border.
Ruiz’s father was born in Tijuana when his mother came to the border to work as a housekeeper and seamstress, eventually gaining five green cards at a time when the American/Mexican border was more open. The border wall is a dividing line between two groups of people; right and wrong, good and bad, desired and undesired.
As Gloria Anzaldua, the great American scholar of Chicana history once said, “The US Mexican Border is an open wound, where the third world grates against the first and bleeds... This is my home, this thin edge of barbed wire.”
Keller Gallery at PLNU
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