Upcoming Mesa Arts Center Exhibition Made Possible Through $60,000 Grant

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Posted By on January 16, 2020
Cannupa Hanska Luger. Photo by Brendan George Ko.

Grant From National Endowment for the Arts Paves the Way for “Passage” Exhibition Set for May 8 – Aug. 2

An immersive, socially relevant art installation is coming to the Mesa Arts Center thanks to a $60,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Passage,” an exhibition of the work of multidisciplinary, New Mexico-based Artist Cannupa Hanksa, will feature “Something to Hold Onto,” the second project in his “Counting Coup” series, which examines socially relevant and regionally specific topics through hands-on workshops, collaborative artmaking and similar efforts. The central installation on display from Friday, May 8 through Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, “Something to Hold Onto” combines 7,000 clay beads created at community beadmaking workshops, with each bead representative of one of the roughly 7,000 lives lost along the U.S./Mexico border over the last 30 years.

The artist’s hope is that the installation will help rehumanize abstract data and shine a spotlight on ancestral migratory routes and the ways in which geographic borders impact indigenous lands and populations. Because the number of lives lost at the border over the last three decades is a rough estimate, guests at the exhibition will also have an opportunity to add their own beads to the gallery.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with a national treasure like Cannupa, and thanks to the NEA, we are able to host this ambitious, dynamic installation,” said Chief Curator of Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum Tiffany Fairall. “Cannupa and his team of talented artists bring another perspective to the border conversation that gets lost amongst the political noise. Through their art, they refocus our attention back to the human element as well as the Indigenous people, who live in border states and whose lives are most impacted.”

“Passage” will be available for viewing from Friday, May 8 through Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum at the Mesa Arts Center (1 East Main Street, Mesa). Admission is always free. For more, check out MesaArtsCenter.com.

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