Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Fronterizx Collective

Interdisciplinary Social Practice

Phoenix, Douglas, AZ/ Agua Prieta, SON

Instagram @fronterizxcollective

As womxn we identify as Fronterizxs, border crossers whose identity is intertwined with the US/Mexico border and whose artistic practice is exclusively devoted to exploring and interrogating the borderlands, including the materials of this place, like earth from the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert, cacti needles, desert plants and peoples of this region. Our practice is rooted in hybridity and what it means to be Mexican and American living and working alongside the US/Mexico border. As the sociopolitical climate of the US/Mexico border remains controversial, we interrogate how the perception of the actual line of the border can be reimagined as a site of thriving, beauty, abundance and creativity by exploring the materiality of this place. Our cultural production centers the experiences, voices, expertise and contributions of womxn living and working in the borderlands, as we build and lead healthier communities alongside the US/Mexico border.

Gabriela Muñoz & Jenea Sanchez, of Fronterizx Collective, began working together in 2009. Their practice is rooted in their experiences as womxn of color who grew up in the liminal culture between México and the United States. Their projects and collaborations center movements of social justice and uplift the labor, wisdom, and contributions of womxn. From their first project, La Tapiz Fronteriza, weaving a site-specific community offering into the US/México border fence, they have collaborated with borderlands communities, creating nourishing spaces and making visible the abundance and creativity in the borderlands. Their social practice centers participatory budgeting and program co-design processes. Centering collaboration and community voices, they work in video, photography, printmaking, installation, performance, sculpture and socially engaged practice. They are recipients of the 2024 United States Artist Fellowship, the 2023 Phoenix Art Museum’s Scult Award, the 2020–2021 NALAC Catalyst for Change Award, and the 2019–2020 Mellon-Fronteridades Creative Scholar Fellowship. Their work has been exhibited internationally at the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, Phoenix Art Museum, MOCA Tucson, the Barrick Museum of Art, The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mexican Consulate in Douglas, and the United States/México border fence, among others; including an upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “The Shape of Power: Stories of Race and American Sculpture.” 

Gabriela was born and raised in Chihuahua and lived in Arizona, undocumented, for more than a decade. Her practice functions as a growing archive documenting the lives of borderlands and the spaces where they build a counternarrative centering power-sharing and horizontal leadership models. 

Jenea, born and raised in Douglas, AZ/Agua Prieta, Sonora, co-founded Border Arts Corridor, a nonprofit arts organization providing the borderlands community an immersive arts district through bi-national artwalks, workshops, and artist residencies.

Selected Works

A diptych features a woman lying in the sun with a gold disk on her chest juxtaposed against a woman with cactus spines attached to her shoulder plucking individual needles from cacti with cactus spines attached to her shoulder.
Text reading “solo queda el desierto” is traces in dried mud on a woman’s chest.
A view of a gallery features a portrait of a child inscribed on a stack of bricks at the center, with photographic images of women in desert landscapes and portraits drawn directly on the wall.