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New exhibit at UNR’s Lilley Museum reflects on immigrants along the border with Mexico


By Maria Palma
This story was originally published by Noticiero Móvil

Every year, thousands upon thousands of people attempt to cross the southern border into the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. This route is a symbol of courage, fear, uncertainty and abandonment, but also of hope. 

What made you leave? What did you have to abandon? How did you leave? What did you take with you? What happened when you arrived? Using various artistic mediums, En Medio: Senses of Migrations attempts to stimulate dialogue and raise consciousness about issues related to the act of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The exhibit, which can be visited until January 15, 2022 at The Lilley Museum of Art at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), includes artists from all over the world who explore the theme of this show through music, photography, painting, video and performance art.

Some of the artists who collaborated include Guillermo Galindo, Kiara Aileen Machado, Ana Teresa Fernández, Tom Kiefer, Xandra Barra and Rafael Blanco, a Fine Arts alum from UNR.

During the opening event, museum director and En Medio’s Chief Curator Vivian Zavataro, along with Dr. Debbie Boehm, professor of Gender, Race and Identity (GRI) and Anthropology at UNR, explored the concepts of immigration, detention and deportation, and the relationship of some of their research to this exhibition.

The GRI department of is collaborating with The Lilley and several units across campus for a year of programming related to two exhibits about borders, migration, injustice, and activism — En Medio, curated by The Lilley’s director and Hostile Terrain 94, a participatory exhibit created by Jason De León, a recipient of the MacArthur genius grant and director of the Undocumented Migration Project.

The Lilley Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The use of face masks is mandatory.

Vivian Zavataro, director of the Lilley Museum at the University of Nevada, Reno, presents the new art exhibit “En Medio” about the systemic problems that exist for immigrants eager to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Credit: Claudia Cruz / Noticiero Móvil

Upcoming activities during the semester:

September 15: Conversation with Xandra Ibarra and Sayak Valencia / The Lilley, 6-8 p.m.

September 17: Immigrants Get the Job Done / Barbara Hall Music Hall, 6-8 p.m.

October 2 to 5: Artist Visit with Julio Salgado

November 5: Sonic Borders Performance by Guillermo Galindo

November 5: Guillermo Galindo – Art Bite / Nevada Museum of Art, 12-1 p.m.

January: Talk by Jason De León / TBA

February: Film Screening and Faculty Panel Discussion / TBAx

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