Project: Art Made Between Opposite Sides

As the busiest land port of entry, the San Ysidro border crossing sees over 300,000 daily commuters who wait 1–3 hours to enter the United States. As a 14-year border commuter, public artist, educator and craftsperson, Tanya Aguiñiga seeks to activate this unique physical space into a place of engaged transition and community. Through Art Made Between Opposite Sides, Aguiñiga will collaborate with commuters to create a site-specific installation that organically grows out of a rented storefront on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro border. Spanning over two weeks, this pilot project challenges the concept of borders and sets the stage for additional artists to create new commuter-centered works from this hub.

Awardee: Tanya AguiƱiga

Emerging Fields, 2016

“If Beatrice Wood was the Mama of Dada, then Tanya Aguiñiga surely qualifies as the patron saint of the Los Angeles modern craft movement.” (Lisa Boone, LA Times)

Tanya Aguiñiga’s work lives at the intersection of art, craft and design. She was initially drawn to craft as a medium because of function—having grown up in an environment (Tijuana, Mexico) where all was put to use. This led to her BA and MFA in Furniture Design. While studying woodworking as an undergraduate, she was introduced to jewelry/metalsmithing, ceramics, and textile disciplines, culminating in further investigations of craft disciplines and their larger connections to culture, tradition, material, function and community. As a Mexican-American, woman, mother and craftsperson, she has not taken success or opportunity lightly. Adversity catalyzed and shaped her art career and now serves as an example for younger generations that she mentors and helps to educate.