Cell Series: When the Grass Stands Still. Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Tx. September 23, 2023 - January 13, 2024
Karla García is a Mexican-born, Dallas-based artist that creates installations and sculptures with clay and other symbolic materials to her Mexican heritage and the desert landscape of the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Her research-based artwork connects her history and ancient histories and how these shape her identity. She completed an MFA in Ceramics and a Museum Education Certificate from the University of North Texas in May 2019. See her full bio here.
La Línea Imaginaria, 2022. A project by Karla García. Photo credit: Alejandro Bringas.
"La Línea Imaginaria" was originally exhibited simultaneously at the Chamizal Museum of Archeology and History and the Chamizal National Memorial joining both Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, from August 12, through November 30, 2022. See the project here.
The same desert landscape that I reinterpret through sculpture and drawings surrounds El Paso and Juarez. Cacti forms from the Chihuahuan Desert are created with raw terracotta clay to honor the borderland, the place of my upbringing. The paths between the sister cities of this place follow a borderline that we cross back and forth to see our families and friends, to work, and live. I call this the imaginary line where cultural identity is shared in these two sister cities.
Each cactus form is coil-built, pinched, and left in its ephemeral state. I embrace the roughness of the marks left by my hands to create a visceral response to each form. Without spines, the sculptures appear vulnerable, but to me, they exist as part of the land, teaching and reminding us of our personal and cultural history and being a part of the land.
Born and raised in Juárez, México and El Paso, Texas, artist Karla García is a descendant of Spanish settlers and Native ancestry from the Chihuahua region in Mexico. Although her indigenous familial knowledge is generally lost to her family, García honors and acknowledges the ancestral lands of the native communities in this region. According to the research of the University of Texas at El Paso, Native American communities include:
Lipan Apache, Mescalero Apache, Piro, Manso, Suma, Jumano, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Piro/Manso/Tiwa Indian Tribe of the Pueblo of San Juan de Guadalupe, and Tortugas Pueblo, the Carrizo & Comecrudo, Coahuiltecan, Caddo, Tonkawa, Comanche, Alabama-Coushatta, Kickapoo, and the peoples of Chihuahua and northern Mexico: the Rarámuri, Tepehuan, Wixarrika and Nahuatlaca peoples.