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.
The Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery: A New Home for Student and Community Art in Imperial Valley
The Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery: A New Home for Student and Community Art in Imperial Valley
The Juanita Salazar Lowe Gallery opened at Imperial Valley College in 2009. Currently on view is, "Mexicali Aqui," an exhibition featuring work by 33 artists from Mexicali, Baja California.
All For Art and Art For All: the Imperial Valley Artist Collective
All For Art and Art For All: the Imperial Valley Artist Collective
Three Imperial Valley artists have created the Imperial Valley County Artists Collective to encourage collaboration and participation between artists.
Around the Counties: Commuting between the Imperial County and Mexicali with Amy Sanchez-Arteaga
Around the Counties: Commuting between the Imperial County and Mexicali with Amy Sanchez-Arteaga
Columnist Amy Sanchez-Arteaga examines the small art scene in Imperial County and shares her experiences in Mexicali, Baja California.
Lessons from the Slab: Slab Sand Cloud Grid, New Works by Sam Kronick and Hermione Spriggs
Lessons from the Slab: Slab Sand Cloud Grid, New Works by Sam Kronick and Hermione Spriggs
Amy Sanchez investigates the project "Slab Sand Cloud Grid," which brings together a set of objects and interventions produced collaboratively in and about one of Southern California's most notoriously off-the-grid communities: Slab City.
A Year in the Life: Manuel Paul López's '1984'
A Year in the Life: Manuel Paul López's '1984'
Manuel Paul López is a writer's writer synthesizing his encyclopedic knowledge of modern and contemporary literature with a border-child vernacular sensibility. His work '1984' comes to life in Artbound's animation.
Pagoda in the Desert: How Chinese Immigration Shaped the Flavors of the Imperial Valley
Pagoda in the Desert: How Chinese Immigration Shaped the Flavors of the Imperial Valley
Chinese food in the Imperial Valley and Mexicali represents a longstanding tradition of cultural exchange across borders and between ethnic groups.
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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