Border Art Workshop / Tallér de Arte Fronterízo

1984 - 1996

Drawing by, Berenice Badillo

Border Art Workshop
Taller de Arte Fronterizo
Group born in San Diego, USA and Tijuana, Mexico in 1984. Based at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, San Diego

Since its inception in 1984 the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo has been the active visual arm of the Centro Cultural de la Raza. Its founder members are: David Avalos, Victor Ochoa, Isaac Artenstein, June Eberhart, Sara-Jo Berman, Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Michael Schnorr. During the past ten years a number of artists have joined and left the group. BAW/TAF continues to exist as a collective of artists with a voice of multiple strengths. The purpose of BAW/TAF remains the same as it has from the beginning: we are a multi-national conduit that serves to address the issues we are confronted with while existing in a region where two countries and cultures meet.

As part of its programming over the past six years, the BAW/TAF has committed time and resources working in migrant communities and schools and with high school and college student populations in a variety of projects designed to be descriptive of our bi-national regions' people.

The result of many of these projects have been displayed in art galleries and cultural institutions thereby increasing each community's awareness to the changing parameters of the art world and ways in which diverse points of view can be illustrated. Often the importance of language and how the loss of one's tongue have been the subject matter of our aesthetic investigations. Cultural diversity cannot exist unless it can be expressed.

Concerning subjects such as migration and immigration - recent local and national news events focus on the reactionary elements within society. The ability to use a language, other than the dominant language, appears as a threat rather than an element that enriches society. Diverse points of view are the base for a democratic society. A truly multi-cultural society is one where these differences enrich the dominant culture, not divide it.

One method to examine any culture's attempt to enrich itself would be to look at the mechanisms put in place for individuals from diverse backgrounds to inform themselves about the dominant society. A look into these mechanisms would also reveal the inadequacies inherent in the larger system and reflected in its forms of communication. You examine structures. Stereotypes become more transparent.

BAW/TAF Artists' Biography

Manuel Mancillas, 1951 - lives in Tijuana.

Berenice Badillo, 1973 - lives in San Diego.

Michael Schnorr, 1945 - lives in San Diego.

Alberto Caro, 1968 - lives in Tijuana.

Recent exhibitions: 1990: "Venice Biennale", Venice, Italy 1991: "South=North=South", Hallwalls Contemporary Art Centre, Buffalo, New York. 1992: "Destination L.A.", Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California. 1993: Sydney Biennale, Sydney, Australia. 1994: "ESL English as a Second Language: Tongue Tied, Lengua Trabada", Bohem Gallery, inSITE 94, San Diego, California.

Links to BAW/TAF Sites and Related Sites
1994 biennale catalogue

BAW/TAF Tripod

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