Original programming produced in Tucson Arizona for KXCI Community Radio
Julio Morales - Artist, Curator and Executive Director of MOCA Tucson
In this episode we feature Julio Morales, artist, curator, and the Executive Director of MOCA Tucson. Julio takes us on an exploration of his personal life, recounting his upbringing in Tijuana, where he was deeply immersed in the border culture and surrounded by a family of creatives.
Julio Morales' artistry is not only a reflection of his talent but also an embodiment of his multicultural upbringing. In this episode, he shares fascinating anecdotes about his family life, where creativity flowed freely among his relatives, instilling in him a deep passion for self-expression and the power of visual storytelling.
Throughout our conversation, Julio reveals how the border culture left an indelible mark on his artistic voice. The interplay of languages, customs, and identities that define the border region found their way into his work, creating a compelling visual narrative that blurs boundaries and challenges conventional notions of identity and belonging.
We gain insight into his curatorial endeavors and the impact of his work at MOCA Tucson, where he continues to nurture emerging talent and push the boundaries of contemporary art. Stay tuned for an engaging conversation that will undoubtedly leave you with a fresh perspective on the transformative power of art and the importance of embracing diverse cultural influences.
To listen to all this and more, access the full episode above. To listen the the mini version, click below.
Day Dreaming, 2019, permanent pigment print on Hahnemühle 350 gsm paper, 8 x 10 inches.
A series of images of the border wall between Tijuana and San Diego that references the "dreamers" struggle to remain in the US. The photographs also samples graphic colors of debris such as water bottles, clothes, ID cards and items left behind while people attempting to cross the wall, are transformed into abstracted landscapes.
Subterranean Homesick Cumbia, 2016, HD Video with Sound, 15:09 mins.
Shot in the Amazon and is the videographic keepsake of the artists’ journey to trace the mythological birth of Cumbia music, one of the first Latin American hybrid musical form. In the origin myth, a German merchant ship crashed upon the shores of Colombia, spilling its cargo of accordions. These instruments were retrieved by local communities of free people of color and incorporated into their musical tradition to form a new vernacular sound. The relationship of the accordion to the landscape tells the story of the unstriated flow of social exchange and the unpredictable ways in which we engage with our environment.
La Linea, 2022, 4 neons, 6x60 feet.
A neon series that is a neon line-drawing of the southwest border starting in 1622 (Before Europeans), 1845 (Before Mexican-American war), Present 2023, Future 2028 (After New Mexico and California leave the US and open their borders).
Undocumented Interventions, Watercolor and ink on paper, 2012, 30x40 inches.
A series highlights the harrowing conditions migrants endure for clandestine passage into the United States. Rendered in hand-drawn lines and watercolor, these works reference the “interventions” employed by migrants while highlighting their ingenuity, determination, and dedication—qualities the United States purports to seek.
Constelaciones Cayendo/Falling Constellations, 2023, photograph, nc-acrylic, graphite and plexiglass, 20x30 inches.A series based on failed drug traffickers who are "regular people" such as teenagers, abuelas, and teachers that are forced to traffic drugs in exchange kidnapping of family members.
About Julio Morales:
Julio César Morales is an artist, educator, and curator working for over twenty-five years in the contemporary art world. In curatorial practice, Morales has a range of experience: senior curator at Arizona State University Museum (2012-2022), adjunct curator for visual arts at Yerba Buena Center for The Arts in San Francisco (2008-2012)
Anna Flores: Border dwelling poet & Arts Foundation Team Member
Join us as we dive into the world of art and community with the talented Anna Flores! In this episode, Anna takes us on a captivating journey through her life, art, and exciting projects, like Open Studio Tours.
Anna shares her story about growing up in Nogales, Arizona, a border town that has shaped her perspective as an artist. Her unique upbringing has influenced her creative process and fueled her passion for art, something she has in common with her colleagues and Artistories' hosts, Jenea and Ammi.
Flores reveals the inner workings of the renowned Open Studio Tours program by the Arts Foundation, where local Tucson artists open their studios to the public. She shares her experiences leading this year's iteration and what made it truly exceptional compared to previous years.
As she wraps up the episode, Anna opens up about what she has in store for future projects and the art community, what moves hear as a creative and eye opening advice for emerging artists.
Listen to the full episode above! To listen the the mini episode, click below.
I’m a border-dwelling poet and writer born in Nogales, Arizona. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University where I currently teach English & Composition. My recent awards and honors include a 2021 Swarthout Award in Writing, a 2021 Center for Imagination in the Borderlands Creative Research Fellowship, and a 2020 Mabelle A. Lyon Poetry Award. You can read my most recent published work in Red Tree Review and Columbia Journal's upcoming issue.
Prudence Katze: Filmmaker, Sound Producer, and Borderlands Advocate
In the latest episode of Artistories we dive deep into the artistic journey of filmmaker, sound producer, and borderlands advocate, Prudence Katze.
Prudence begins by describing her her path as a filmmaker, her inspiration and struggles behind her documentary The Iron Triangle, her adventures in the borderlands during Covid times, and her eye-opening experience filming Una Linea—a film that explores the desert communities of Sonora, MX, and Arizona, USA and how it is being affected by politics.
Katze's artistic journey takes an unexpected turn as she finds herself drawn to the borderlands after the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic and the decisions taken by the US administration at the time to impose physical and figurative borders. Through her lens, she uncovers the beauty and struggles of overlapping communities living in the borderlands, blurring the lines between physical landscapes and symbolic meanings.
She also discusses her upcoming film, Una Linea, an exploration of the borderlands seen through the eyes of wildlife experts, border advocates, local filmmakers and her new friends who helped bring this thought-provoking project to life.
To listen to all this and more, access the full episode above.To listen the the mini episode, click below.
About Prudence Katze:
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Prudence Katze is an artist and urbanist who is invested in telling stories that make visible the layered histories of political infrastructures and local community resistance. She is an adjunct professor at Cochise College who is also working towards an MFA at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Prudence is currently in post-production on UNA LÍNEA, a feature length, documentary film. The film will explore how the varied, desert communities and ecosystems of the borderlands intersect with the destructive intent of the southern border wall, with a focus on the states of Sonora, MX and Arizona, USA.
She is a co-director of The Iron Triangle: Willets Point and the Remaking of New York. Premiering at the 2017 DOC NYC film festival, it tells the story of how a how a Queens, NYC neighborhood falls victim to the vision of City officials.
She received a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and a Masters in Urban Planning from the City University of New York’s Hunter College.
Nazafarin Lotfi - Artist
In the latest episode of Artistoires, we hear from Iranian-born artist Nazafarin Lotfi.
We go back in time and learn of Nazafarin’s introduction to the arts through moments in her childhood in Iran experiencing architecture, anthropological sites, and the literary arts. She shares what inspired her to study the arts and how her introduction to the gallery/museum world began in college.
Nazafarin provides her perspective on moving to the Southwest in 2017 during a tumultuous time for immigrants at the start of the Trump era, and we learn how the Hamrah Arts Club, a creative mentorship program for refugee-status youth in Tucson, started when she began volunteering as a mentor.
Finally, Nazafarin reveals why she has not spent time in the studio in recent days, and the new opportunity that will surely provide the environment, and time to get back to her studio practice.
To listen to all this and more, access the full episode above. To listen the the mini version, click below.
Alejandra Trujillo - Artist, Muralist and Teaching Artist
We are thrilled to announce the next episode of Artistories featuring the talented Alejandra Trujillo, an artist, muralist, and teaching artist based in Tucson, Arizona. In this upcoming episode, Alejandra shares her journey as an artist, revealing how the Sonoran Desert fills her with inspiration and the artistic influences she drew from her family that shaped her passion for the arts.
Alejandra discusses her excitement in participating in Open Studio Tours for the first time, an event that brings together artists and art lovers alike to explore the creative spaces of Tucson. She also talks about the many projects she has in the works all over the city, highlighting her unique style and creative approach to her craft.
As the episode comes to a close, Alejandra expresses her gratitude for the love and support she has received from her family and community. She recognizes that it is this support that has enabled her to thrive as an artist and pursue her dreams with passion and dedication.
Listen to the mini podcast by clicking the link below!
Coley Curry - Dancer, Multidisciplinary Artist and Social Advocate
In this episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Coley Curry, a Filipinx dancer and creative currently based in Tucson, Arizona.
Coley shares with us her journey from Chicago to Tucson, and how a transformative residency in the Philippines, her mother's birthplace, reinvigorated her art practice. Her art takes many forms, including storytelling, facilitation, collage, craft, and film. In her movement, she aims to create spaces for community, ritual, healing, and taking ownership of personal history and cultural narratives.
Coley's shares sties of her artist trajectory including a recent performance as a dancer during the Super Bowl halftime show with Rihanna. Her commitment to her community is equally inspiring, and she uses her art to advocate for social justice issues.
Listen to the full-length podcast by clicking the link above! To listen to the mini episode, click below!