I organize programs and performances for my independent creative practice, institutions, and the intersection between the two. These experiences prioritize mutuality, elevate lived and alternative expertises, and frequently take surreal and whimsical forms.
Sploot-Fruit – April 2022
Launched at WORD! poetry reading organized by Raashan Ahmad, Sploot-Fruit is an ongoing experiment in redirected reciprocity. By giving gifts of hand-made, up-cycled soft sculptures in the shape of goatheads (fruits also known as bindii or puncturevine), the project is intended to initiate a social contract to pay it forward. Drawing on the painful propensity of goatheads to stick around, Sploot-Fruit prompts recipients to reconsider the infamous thorns as open arms eager for embrace.
Yucca goes to group – November 2021
As part of the ASAP 12 conference on Reciprocity, I explored the conditions under which softness, vulnerability, or trust can thrive in hostile environments with histories of systemic violence. Yucca goes to group is a surreal performance of safely expressing vulnerability, setting reasonable boundaries, and caring for ourselves and others. Conceived around themes of softness, the panel also featured work by Maggie Unverzagt-Goddard, Tyler French, Lindsay Garcia, and Helis Sikk.
Tortilla Baby – August 2021
Presented as part of Axle Contemporary’s summer series of performance art, Tortilla Baby is a tenderly absurd performance of viviparity, wherein I built myself in to an horno-like structure in order to be born (or perhaps escape) to ruminate on birth, belonging, and the fraught yet intimate relationship between parents and children.
Acequia Madre: Acequia Tours with La Llorona – September 2019
As part of the PASEO Festival in Taos, New Mexico, Acequia Madre was a series of educational tours I led through the Kit Carson cemetery and acequia as La Llorona, or “the crying woman.” These tours blended the history and ecology of acequias with local and global Chicanx folklore to humanize La Llorona, asking participants to connect to culture, history, and nature on a personal level [Resource Guide].
*If you’re a listening person rather than a reading person, there’s more information in this New Mexico Council for the Humanities panel on Storytelling & Poetry.
moonhaus – March 2018
Co-hosted by Julia Renaud, moonhaus was an installation and event series at the John Nicholas Brown Center Public Humanities Gallery LAB from March 16-20, 2018 that engaged with the resurgence of traditions of wisdom like astrology, crystal healing, and earth magic in contemporary popular culture. Visitors, or “companions,” were invited to consider how these practices inform how we make sense of ourselves, each other, and the world around us using guided meditation, a themed library, crafting activities, birth chart interpretation guides, an altar to spring, multiple lounge and conversation spaces, and a spring equinox celebration. For more information, please peruse our podcast episode on Public Work.
*moonhaus was supported by funding from the Brown Arts Initiative Student Grant as well as from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage
RISD Museum – Spring 2018
I collaborated with the RISD Museum’s Public and Family Programming departments, RISD Art Circle, and Museum Guild to design a cohesive set of public programs highlighting the Creative Time Pledges of Allegiance flags. These included a communal installation of Alex da Corte’s Friends flag honoring museum volunteers, an informal showcase of two local artists, an information session on running for local office with two young candidates, a congressional letter-writing workshop for kids, and a public conversation and gift-wrapping activity lead by Alex da Corte.
Llevando la Cultura: Conflicting Narratives in Mexican Art – Spring 2018
This exhibition expanded the gallery’s collection of Mexican art with the accession of three new photos by Graciela Iturbide and highlighted the complexity of the social and political conversations occuring through art in 20th century Mexico. The exhibit text was available in both English and Spanish, and through delivering gallery lessons to undergraduate and high school students, I was able to facilitate the publication of student reviews in Spanish on the gallery blog. To close the show, I invited a local mariachi band into the show to comment on the intertwining musical conversations happening at the time. For more information, please peruse this review in the Providence Journal and the Brown Daily Herald.
Carrie Mae Weems Kitchen Table Series – Winter 2017
Co-curated by Jo-Ann Conklin, this exhibition featured a selection of Carrie Mae Weems’ pivotal Kitchen Table Series, examining the polyvocal, musical qualities of the visual narrative. For more information, please peruse the exhibition announcement on News from Brown and the gallery website.
National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum – Summer 2017
I worked with the curatorial and programming departments at the NHCC Art Museum as well as artist, farmer, healer, and historian community members to develop public programs for exhibitions Outstanding in His Field (San Ysidro – Patron Saint of Farmers) and The Piñata Exhibit (Sure to be a Smash Hit!). These included mindfulness tours of Candelaria Organic Farms, artist lectures and workshops, film screenings, and several Double Take Tours – which the museum continues to utilize. I also collaborated on a development strategy to finance programs associated with The Piñata Exhibit, drafted the guidelines for Coca Cola’s High School Balloon Fiesta Piñata Design Contest, and developed interactive exhibits.
Santuario – November 2016
Hosted by the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and funded by the Brown Arts Initiative, Santuario was a domestic-style shrine exploring the legacy of El Santuario de Chimayó and collecting offerings of emotional baggage. Participants were invited to exchange an emotionally taxing object or memory for ‘holy’ pink sand, symbolizing change and the passing of time. To scaffold participation, I hosted a number of talks and workshops exploring different catharsis rituals and polling participants on their desired resting place for their objects. After archiving all contributions, I entombed them in a public artwork evoking roadside descansos. For more information, please see the project website, this Brown Daily Herald review, my piece in Vagabond Magazine, and my piece in Post-.
CARTharsis – April 2016
(mobile), LA, CA, Apr 2016
Supported by in kind donations from the University Religious Center, CARTharsis was a chest of drawers-cum-shrine that mysteriously wandered the University of Southern California’s Main Campus. Inspired by El Santuario de Chimayó, CARTharsis aimed to act as a whimsical closure mechanism by collecting offerings of emotional baggage and spurring public discourse on different forms of emotional release. Per participant requests, I coordinated a ceremonial destruction and burning of the shrine as well as a funeral for the offerings after archiving them. For more information, please see my piece in the Daily Trojan.