Jul 11, 2020 12:02 PM

SAC residency explores borders, people who traverse edges of society

Posted Jul 11, 2020 12:02 PM
<b>Surge, a large, cut-paperwork installation by artist&nbsp;Fidencio Fifield-Perez, is coming to the Salina Art Center.</b> Photo courtesy SAC
Surge, a large, cut-paperwork installation by artist Fidencio Fifield-Perez, is coming to the Salina Art Center. Photo courtesy SAC

A man whose artwork examines borders, edges, and the people who must traverse them is scheduled to be the next artist in residence in the Salina Art Center Warehouse.

The Salina Art Center welcomes Fidencio Fifield-Perez to a month-long artist residency, July 1-29, 2020, to create new work at the center’s warehouse, followed by an exhibition, Birdwatchers, July 29-Oct. 4 in the Art Center galleries.

The galleries will open to the public on July 22 and follow current COVID-19 city and state guidelines requiring masks and social distancing.

Fifield-Perez, assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Visual Studies, Columbia, Mo., was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, but raised in the U.S. after his family migrated when he was six years old.  The artist’s current work examines borders, edges, and the people who must traverse them.  Fifield-Perez manipulates paper surfaces and maps to refer to the crafts and customs used to celebrate festivals and mourn the dead, which he learned as a child in Oaxaca.  He uses these techniques to reconnect with a time and place no longer present.  On Wednesday at noon, the Art Center will host a Lunch and Learn discussion with the artist on FACEBOOK Live to explore contemporary issues and society through his lens as an artist.

Dacaments by&nbsp;Fifield-Perez. Photo courtesy Salina Art Center
Dacaments by Fifield-Perez. Photo courtesy Salina Art Center

In addition to new works, the exhibition will include the Dacaments installation, which reflects how the artist’s current DACA status “forces me to be a hoarder” due to the constant need to provide paperwork and documentation of work and education status. Fifield-Perez uses the envelopes sent to him with DACA paperwork to create a collection of plants as portraits of friends and loved ones (who gifted him many of the plants), and symbols of hope for a permanent home here. The house plants have no permanent home, but are moveable, representing the precarious position and constant anxiety of DACA recipients. The Dacaments installation will serve as inspiration for a Plant Propagation Workshop, July 18, 2-4 pm.  Reservations are required for the free workshop. Anyone is welcome to participate and reservations can be made at www.salinaartcenter.org

Another large piece of cut-paperwork titled Surge will be installed over the course of four days, July 22-24. From noon-5 p.m. these days the public is invited to interact with the artist and observe the installation but must reserve a time by calling the Art Center or making a reservation online. The physical act of installing Surge is laborious and tedious, requiring the artist to use hundreds of small red push pins like those used by border patrol agents to mark on their maps where bodies have been found at border crossings. The artist's labor is also representative of the physical body within the work. 

The Salina Art Center plans a Virtual Opening Reception for Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. Details will be announced in the future. Other related public programs include:

July 22, 7 p.m.: FACEBOOK Live Immigrant Experience panel discussion with One Salina, a local group committed to fostering cultural and ethnic inclusions

Aug. 19: Lunch and Learn, Reading to develop empathy with the Salina Public Library

Sept. 16: Lunch and Learn, What is the future of DACA? With Marci Stein, Immigration Attorney, Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas

 Funding for Birdwatchers and the artist residency program is provided through the annual Art Center Gala, a fundraising event by the Salina Art Center Endowment Foundation. Special funding for this project was provided in part by the Greater Salina Community Foundation, YW Legacy Fund and Horizons Grants Program of Salina Arts and Humanities Foundation. Horizons is a private donor group.

Founded in 1978, the Salina Art Center is a 501(c)3 creating exchanges among art, artists, and audiences that reveal life. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Art Center's galleries, Art Center Cinema, and Warehouse are in the heart of downtown Salina, KS. Learn more online at www.salinaartcenter.org. The Salina Art Center’s exhibitions and programs are funded by Art Center donors and members, the Salina Art Center Foundation, grants, business partners, and the City of Salina.