The People,the Culture,the Land
This blog celebrates the beauty and grace of our southern border, the culturally rich, big sky country we call home. Blog posts illuminate the intersection of arts, culture, and faith with the biological connectivity of the borderlands. Like casting wildflower seeds, the art of the border shown here, is on the wind.
Art & Letters
Essays: Migrant Woman Fleeing Violence Find Beauty and Healing in Embroidery, From The Eyes of Babes: The Art of Asylum , The Migrant Quilt: restitching the fabric of community , Calling All Souls: Spiritual Activism on the Border. Published in America Magazine, Open Democracy licensed under Creative Commons, and The Global Sisters Report, the Society of Southwestern Authors Storyteller Magazine, She Magazine, and The Hummingbird Review. Pre-millennium Arts Editor & Features, The Mendocino Outlook & The Bay Area Reporter.
After a decade and a half of creating collaborative Fiber Arts Memorial sculptures, installations, & altars in the community, more personal Devotional arts reflect the tenor of the times.
2021 Artisans Beyond Borders
Continuing Textile Tradition, Mexico Zoom, WeaveARealPeace.org
Edinburgh, Scotland Guild of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers, Zoom
Simmons College Graduate Program in Public Health, Zoom
2020 Art of Asylum / Artisans Beyond Borders
Artisans Beyond Borders Zoom, The National Cathedral Sanctuary Committee, Washington D.C.
Common Ground on the Border, United Church of Christ, Sahuarita, AZ
AZPersonal, Political, Spiritual: Arts on the Border, Shalom-Mennonite Church, Tucson
Tucson Friends of Artisans Beyond Borders, United Nations Association Center, Tucson
Art of Asylum, Leaving Home: Migration through the Eyes of Children: Patagonia, AZ
Artisans Beyond Borders, Kino Border Initiative, Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Tucson, AZ
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Tucson, AZ
Episcopal Border Summit, St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal, Tucson, AZ
Church of the Apostles Episcopal Church, Oro Valley, AZ
Theology Uncorked, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, Tucson, AZ
“Images from the Border,” Coalition for Immigrant Neighbors (COIN), Indianapolis, Indiana.
“Embroidering the Border,” University Religious Center, USC, Los Angeles.
Art of Asylum, USC Border Immersion at Casa Alitas Monastery shelter, Tucson, AZ.
Sisters of the Holy Cross Bordando por la Paz y Memoria Project, Fuentas Rojas, Mexico City, Mexico
Art of Bordado on the Border Pop-up, 2018 Border Ministries Summit, Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, El Paso, TX.
Un Bordado Destacado en “Voces Fronterizas; Border Voices,” NAU, Flagstaff, AZ.
Skype / Eye Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands in conjunction with Alejandro C. Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena Exhibit.
USC student Border Immersion, UCC Good Shepherd, Sahuarita, AZ
Sisters of the Holy Cross, “Devotional Arts & Immigration Experiential & Presentation, International Conference/Assembly, Notre Dame, Indiana
In the U.S., collaborative Las Madres Sculptural Migrant memorials can be found at Tucson’s Pima Community College & Southside Presbyterian Church.
The Border Art Installation: Hardship and Hope: Crossing the U.S./MX Border (2010 – ) is housed in permanent collections at The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2016, long-time collaborator sculptor Antonia Gallegos and I donated all art & artifacts to the Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. Part of the collection is currently on loan to Filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s worldwide immersive VR Installation
Benedictine Oblate since 2010 of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration recently returned to the Motherhouse in Clyde, Missouri after 80+ years at their Monastery in Tucson, Arizona.
*I began this blog a decade ago as www.AZartsandletters.blogspot.com, stopped to make lots of Art but never stopped documenting my days in the Arizona borderlands. As a former art therapist, I want to dedicate this blog to Freddy, a wayfarer from Oaxaca to Arizona who discovered along the way that he was an artist.
© 2017 Valarie Lee James