Imperial
Although agribusiness, migration and labor are the main narrative of Imperial - El Centro/Mexicali being one of the main ports of entry for daily Mexican laborers working on the fields - border politics often rears its ugly face. Here the Minutemen, Coyotes and drug lords clash for control of the region, leaving residents, migrants and workers to fend for themselves.

Not far from there, however, the Blue Angels’ squadron trains doing aerial-pirouettes above the Salton Sea; an area of deep environmental decay that continues to inspire artists and writers today. In and around the Salton Sea area, a band of outcasts have set shop, creating outsider art in places like Salvation Mountain, Slab City and Bombay Beach.
Highlights
Covet: The Elias Fontes Art Collection
Alonso Elias has collected emblematic work from seminal artists of the Tijuana movement.
The Sublime Frontier Pop World of Pablo Castañeda
Pablo Castañeda's work is a vivid patchwork of all that is beautiful and devastating about life on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Graffiti Row: Outsider Rock Formations in the Imperial Desert
Graffiti Row is an approximately 2 mile stretch of outsider art creations in Imperial Valley, comprised of covert, man-made rock formations depicting anything from animals to names.
Cannibalizing the Biennial: Mexicali's Binational Celebration
Cannibalizing the Biennial: Mexicali's Binational Celebration
The 2013 MexiCali Biennial is an exhibition exploring the social and cultural makeup of immigrant communities in East L.A. and Mexicali.
Surf Nicaragua: The Nomadic Work of Paul Rodriguez
Surf Nicaragua: The Nomadic Work of Paul Rodriguez
Paul Rodriguez is a migratory visual artist producing a colorful, natural array of work utilizing different mediums to a beautifully arresting effect.
Film Forward: Sundance Institute's Advancing Cultural Dialogue
Film Forward: Sundance Institute's Advancing Cultural Dialogue
Sundance Institute's traveling international program, Film Forward, returned to the Imperial Valley and Mexicali, Baja California for a second year in a row.
Dispatches From the Border Reporters: The Story of Sergio Haro, 'Zeta Weekly' and the Documentary Film 'Reportero'
Dispatches From the Border Reporters: The Story of Sergio Haro, 'Zeta Weekly' and the Documentary Film 'Reportero'
Sergio Haro, veteran photojournalist and editor of "Semanario Zeta" is the subject of the documentary film "Reportero."
Norteño Meets Punk on Juan Cirerol's 12-String Guitar
Norteño Meets Punk on Juan Cirerol's 12-String Guitar
Juan Cicerol's music is a bewitching collage of styles and subcultures influenced, a violent clash of regional Mexican music and punk attitude found only in border regions like Mexicali.
Mexicali Rose: Cultivating Art Across the Border
Mexicali Rose: Cultivating Art Across the Border
Mexicali Rose is a creative space exhibiting the work of Mexicali artists, visual art, film initiatives and live musical performances.
section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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