Crossroads Art and Ecology Lab
Rooted on a Desert Mesa that extends to New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley, The Crossroads Art and Ecology Lab is focused on multi-layered inquiry to the US/Mexico borderlands through the lens of artistic practice linked to multi-species environmental justice. Our mission is based on a commitment to nurture the collaborative creative process in direct relation to the underlying forces of the geographic terrain we inhabit, and how we can better serve a Latinx population within a marginalized region.
In a setting that spans the Chihuahua Desert landscape, the work is based on an experiential, hybrid approach to engagement that connects projects generated in a remote underserved rural community to the platforms of museums and educational institutions.
With an emphasis on visual arts-related content, the on-site development of exhibitions, films, workshops, and virtual artist talks are constructed to link with a wide array of art, science, and anthropology museums often in close partnership with the Texas-based Juntos Art Association. The experimental sight has provided a hub for institutional partnerships and creative production since 2012. Co-founded by artist, Diana Molina, the outcomes generated within the surroundings of a unique retreat are designed to foster the cross-pollination of cultures while nurturing the experience of mentorship among generations.
The grass-roots initiative is tied closely to the geographic location of an agricultural zone by connecting people with the contemporary art and craft of the Frontera region with an emphasis on diverse and lesser-known artists; it features the culinary arts that draw from native plants and locally grown foods; it considers sustainable resource management and the foundational architecture derived from ancestral earth building methods for application to the construction and growth of the working environment.
How do we better communicate our borderland identity and experience as an extension to the land we inhabit? How does a historically marginalized community approach the institutions and structures that are meant to serve us? The indoor and outdoor studio space is a launching pad to advance an infinitely nuanced story of place and identity while confronting the challenge of accessibility to the platforms of engagement. Committed to the integration of art to expand the conversation, Molina uses various megaphones to communicate her vision: “Seeking imagery that communicates the experience of our place at the crossroads, our collective work is an evolving quest in search of the connective tissue, art as not only an aesthetically appealing, reflective tool, but also as a coping mechanism and sometimes a counterpoint to extreme views.”