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In response to the United States government denying visas to several of our selected Salvadoran artists, SFAI is investigating what it means for Central Americans to have access to the U.S., or not. Join us for an interactive evening with a captivating lineup of international artists from El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, Canada and beyond.

At a time when violence rates in El Salvador – and neighboring Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico – are at astonishing levels, citizens from these countries are increasingly being denied access as they flee their home countries in search of safety. Salvadorans like Mauricio Esquivel, a promising emerging Salvadoran artist, confront living in the place with the highest homicide rate for any country in nearly 20 years, hitting 24 murders a day in February, 2016.

We are bringing together artists, filmmakers, activists, journalists, and cultural producers to explore what it means to have your access to the United States, and access to physical safety, denied. Join us for Access Denied: Creative Responses to Borders.

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Julián Cardona, Journalist, Mexico

Mauricio Esquivel, Artist, El Salvador

Ernesto Bautista, Artist, El Salvador

Allegra Love, Immigration Lawyer, United States

Israel Haros Lopez, Interdisciplinary Artist, United States & Mexico

Erika Harrsch, Interdisciplinary Artist, United States & Mexico

Tings Chak & Sheena Hoszko, Artists, Canada

Nuttaphol Ma, Artist, United States

Carlo Abruzzese, Artist, United States

Emma FitzGerald, Artist, Canada

Lois Klassen, Artist, Canada

Gregory Waits, Architect, United States



Mauricio Esquivel

Mauricio Esquivel has a Bachelor in Visual Arts for the National University in El Salvador. He has participated in artistic residencies in Nicaragua, Cuba, London, and a curatorial residency in Costa Rica. His work has been shown in 2009 X Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador; 2010 XXXI Biennial in Pontevedra, Spain; I Triennial from the Caribbean, Dominican Republic; VI Central American Biennial in Nicaragua; 2011 Change, Mundial Bank Program in Washington and Paris; II Iberoamerican Show, in Spain Cultural Centre in Mexico; XX Contemporary art and Design Anniversary in the MADC museum in Costa Rica; IX Central American Biennial, Guatemala. Mauricio has participated in the talks “Central Themes” coordinated by TEOR/éTica Foundation in Costa Rica in 2012 and in “The day that we came contemporary” in the Contemporary Art and Design -MADC- in San Jose Costa Rica in 2014 in the context of the X MADC museum anniversary.He was nominated for the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation Production Grant in 2010 to 2014.

Ernesto Bautistaasyftobd_NewPromises_ernestobautista

In his work, Ernesto seeks to create moments: spaces of consciousness where the individual becomes aware of itself, exposing relational situations that expose at the same time the particular logic of the individual as part of a larger structure, and that consciousness as a starting point. He is a founding member of The Fire Theory. Recent exhibits include the Shangyuan Art Museum Residency Program – Beijing, China; “X”, Museum of Art of El Salvador; Ernst Hilger Gallery – Vienna, Austri;. VII Biennial of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus; Broken, Reflejos Intimos, ExTeresa Art Museum- Mexico City; The Voice That Reaches You 2 – Kansas, Missouri, EU; and Memento Mori, [e]star Gallery, Lima, Peru. Has been nominated twice for the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation grant and the Paul Klee Summer Akademie by the Paul Klee Foundation on Switzerland. He was selected as the 2015 Harpo Foundation Emerging Artist Fellow at the Santa Fe Art Institute.

Julián Cardonajc_prv-7647 copy

Ten years ago, Julián Cardona, a photojournalist from Juárez, Mexico, began to document the devastating effects of globalization on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Since that time he has amassed thousands of photographs bearing witness to the harsh reality of border life. Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Mr. Cardona was a small child when his family moved to Juárez. He attended school there, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in a maquiladora (a foreign owned factory), where he worked to earn money to buy his first camera.  A self-taught photographer, in 1991 he moved back to Zacatecas to teach beginning photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas. Two years later he started his photojournalism career at the publications El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez.  In 1995 he organized a group show called “Nada que ver” (Nothing to See), which contained the work of photojournalists who document the daily violence, death and poverty that accompanies life in Juarez.  Photographs of that show were featured in Harpers Magazine in 1996.  In 1998 Mr. Cardona’s work appeared in the book Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future, which features essays by Charles Bowden, Noam Chomsky, and Eduardo Galeano.  Mr. Cardona’s photographs of the interior of maquiladoras in Juárez were published in Aperture No. 159, “Camera of Dirt.” Mr. Cardona’s photographs have been featured in exhibits in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

Santa Fe Dreamers Projectstatic1.squarespace

Santa Fe Dreamer’s Project provides free legal representation to immigrant youth and their family members, known as Dreamers, who are eligible to receive benefits through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA provides qualified immigrants with a reprieve from deportation, work authorization in the United States, and valid social security numbers. Those benefits provide Dreamers with the tools to finish high school, pursue higher education, develop careers, participate in the local economy, and, of course, to dream.  Allegra Love is the attorney and director of the project. She began her career at Santa Fe Public Schools in 2005 as a bilingual elementary school teacher and followed her passion for working with immigrants to law school. After graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law, she came to work for the Adelante program of Santa Fe Public Schools, where she founded this project. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She has a BA from Dartmouth College, a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and is a licensed teacher in the state of New Mexico.

Erika Harrsch

Born in Mexico City, Harrsch lives and works in New York. She has been defined as a multidisciplinary artist, employing traditional mediums along with new media and technologies to articulate her concepts and interests. The formal aspects of her oeuvre and languages investigate diverse fields to achieve visual, multisensory, and interactive experiences: a comprehensive reflection about the body and identity, sexuality, desire, the space that defines us and the one we wish for, the limits and vertiginous freedom that lead to a continuous corporeal and ideological migration.Her work has been shown in galleries, festivals, and international artistic residencies, as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City), Museo del Barrio (New York City), Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, Nevada).

Carlo Abruzzese


Carlo Abruzzese was born into an immigrant Italian family and was raised in the greater NYC area. His family encouraged his interest in drawing but being proficient in both math and drawing he was persuaded to study architecture—an art but also a business that could provide income.After degrees from UC Berkeley (Bachelor of Arts in Architecture) and Harvard University (Masters in Architecture) and two years abroad studying Art History to absorb as much diverse culture as possible, Carlo taught architectural design at UC Berkeley and subsequently opened an architecture firm. Over time he began putting more energy into making art than architecture. What had interested him in architecture was not the final built form but the process of visualizing ideas. What he really wanted to do was draw—not build. His art practice has brought him back to map making. It combines the rigors of information analysis and free artistic expression that is perfect for his architect background.

Tings ChakTINGS

Tings Chak is a migrant justice organizer and multidisciplinary artist trained in architecture. Her work draws inspiration from anti-colonial, prison abolition, and spatial justice struggles. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto where she was awarded the Kuwabara-Jackman Thesis Gold Medal for her research on immigration detention centres in Canada. This work was published as a graphic novel, Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention (

Emma FitzGeraldEmma 300dpi

Emma FitzGerald has followed a career path that is part art, part architecture, all the while travelling the world. She has worked on the Mpangubwe Interpretive centre at Peter Rich Architects in Johannesburg, which won Best Building in the World at the World Architecture Festival, 2009. Emma has taught architecture in West Africa, and based her Masters architecture thesis in her birth country of Lesotho, where she subsequently did collaborative textile art work with women working in the textile industry. However, it is drawing that Emma returns to again and again, and is showcased in her most recent endeavour, the best-selling “Hand Drawn Halifax”, published in 2015 by Formac Publishing. The book combines on location sketching and anecdotal text, and reads as “…a love letter to Atlantic Canada’s largest city” (The Globe & Mail). Halifax is where Emma lives and works, but her travels have continued. In 2015 Emma also completed a 6 week residency program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she followed in the footsteps of poet Elizabeth Bishop, documenting her process with drawings and texts. She will bring this keen sense of place and her belief in what drawing offers for learning to her residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute.

Sheena Hoszkosheena

Born in Outaouais, Quebec, Sheena Hoszko examines sculptural materiality as it relates to institutional power dynamics by mapping geographic and architectural sites on a 1:1 scale. She obtains these measurements by walking the perimeter and measuring her steps, by transcribing oral histories, and via access to information requests. Her projects, which translate detention centres and prison measurements, stem from her family’s experiences with incarceration as well as her own work within prisons. She studied at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and obtained a MFA from Concordia University where she received a SSHRC grant for her research. Selected solo exhibitions include Centre Clark and La Centrale (Montreal), A Space (Toronto),  Artspace (Peterborough) with upcoming projects at SFAI (Santa Fe) and The New Gallery (Calgary).

Lois KlassenLoisKlassen_2015

Lois Klassen is a Vancouver-based artist and writer whose collaborative and participatory works have appeared galleries, museums and schools in Canada and abroad. Her texts have explored the impact of performance art on street audiences, the relevance of art coming out of “nowhere,” and the declarations of current feminist practices. Lois Klassen holds a Master of Applied Art degree from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, a Diploma in Art History from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, textile arts training from Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada, and a Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy from the University of Manitoba. She is currently a Cultural Studies PhD student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

Israel Francisco Haros Lopez

Israel Francisco Haros Lopez was born in East Los Angeles to immigrant parents of mexican descent. He brings his firsthand knowledge of the realities of migration, U.S. border policies, and life as a Mexican American to his work with families and youth as a mentor, educator, art instructor, ally, workshop facilitator and activist. Even with a 1.59 High school G.P.A., Israel managed to go back to the community college and raise his grades to get accepted into U.C. Berkeley and receive a degree in English Literature and Chicano Studies followed by an M.F.A in Creative Writing. At formal and informal visual art spaces, Israel creates and collaborates in many interdisciplinary ways including poetry, performance, music, visual art, and video making and curriculum creation. His work addresses a multitude of historical and spiritual layered realities of border politics, identity politics, and the re-interpretation of histories.

Nuttaphol MaNuttaphol.Ma

Nuttaphol Ma’s multidisciplinary works align his dreams, consciousness and memories to compose stories about the dreams of leaving and dreams of roots. Ma connects the seemingly disconnected patterns and sequences of unfolding everyday moments to re-tell empowering stories of becoming. Ma currently runs a nomadic self-imposed sweatshop entitled The China Outpost that migrates throughout Los Angeles and beyond.  As part of his residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, The China Outpost will occupy open lots of big box stores along Cerrillos Road – a major thoroughfare leading to Santa Fe that has eroded its intimacy to a web of megastores.  The sociocultural interventions at these contested sites function as make-shift forums that invite curious passerby to open ended conversations about migration and the labor of adapting to a new home.  Ma is a recipient of the following fellowships and artist’s residencies: Santa Fe Art Institute Thematic Residency on Immigration, École Internationale de New York Residency, Armory Center for the Arts Teaching Artist Fellowship, California Community Foundation Fellowship, The Feitelson Arts Fellowship, Pitzer College Emerging Artist Fellow, 18th Street Art Center Artist Fellow, The Mountain School of Art Residency, the Richter Watson Fellowship Fund and the Walker / Parker Memorial Fellowship.

Gregory WaitsGW pic WEB

Gregory Waits received his MArch at the University of New Mexico in 2001, and prior to graduating he worked at Antoine Predock Architect where he expanded his understanding of large scale award winning civic designs. After graduation Waits worked with numerous architectural firms to gain a deeper understanding of the building process and practice, working on civic as well as residential projects until 2014 when he opened his own studio, Waits Studio Works, in the upcoming Siler Road District. Currrent work is interdisciplinary in nature engaging architecture, fashion, art, and the environment. Coming from a background of chess, multi–media performance, and architecture, Gregory Waits choreographs movement systems that are intent on the creation/activation of form.

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