Categories: Justin Duyao, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: Cross-Border Group Exhibition Explores Bi-nationality at Sparks Gallery

By Justin Duyao

December 21, 2022

For the first time, the Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura de Tijuana (IMAC) and Sparks Gallery jointly present Paisanos México, a project led by Luis Alderete, dedicated to developing a discussion surrounding migration and movement between San Diego and Tijuana. Paisanos (or “countrymen”) will be on view at Sparks Gallery from Jan. 27 to Feb. 19, 2023.

Carlos Coronado Ortega, Júbilo, 2011. Acrylic on wood. 21 x 21 inches. Courtesy of Sparks Gallery.

“We’ve been wanting to collaborate with institutions and organizations and artists from Tijuana for a while. In many ways, we can’t think of San Diego without thinking of Tijuana,” said Natalie Gonzalez, outreach coordinator at Sparks Gallery. “It’s our sister city, and it’s been here — and we’ve been there — for so many years. So we’re very excited to be able to support the art that is happening over there.”

The exhibition will feature Luis Alderete, Carlos Castrejón, Laura Lehman, Pablo Castañeda, Francisco Chávez Corrujedo, Carlos Coronado Ortega, Angela González, Ruth Hernández Ortíz, Virinia Lizardi, Daniel Marquéz, Antonio Oceguera Figueroa, Francisco Postlethwaite, Margarita Torres, Gerardo Diego, Ligia Santillan, Tony Beltran and Liz Vaillard. All works on view will be for sale at the gallery.

“Art has created this bridge between our two cities,” Gonzalez said. “Regardless of the diplomatic and political differences between the two cities, I feel like art has managed to find its way to bridge those two cultures to create a multicultural region.” 

Ruth Hernández Ortíz, Tributo a Felguérez, 1999. Oil on canvas. 47 x 36 inches. Courtesy of Sparks Gallery.

Though this is the first time Paisanos has been hosted by Sparks Gallery in San Diego, the broader project, which features more than 28 artists, has been exhibited throughout Mexico, the U.S. and Europe since 2016, with the broad aim to explore notions of transnationality and identity through a mosaic of many styles of artworks. This iteration of Paisanos brings together 17 two-dimensional artworks whose narratives are inspired by proximity to the border, as well as a life lived in continuous movement between two countries. 

“In this wandering collective of creators, each one sincerely responds from their creative order,” said curator Luis Ramaggio. “Understanding that life is movement, we should condemn the concept and the moral construct of permanency. We should create a culture of change and transformation.”

Additional Information:
Exhibition Dates: January 27 – February 19, 2023
Opening Reception: January 27, 2023, 6pm – 8pm (RSVP HERE)

About the Sparks Gallery:

Sparks Gallery exhibits and sells original Contemporary Artwork primarily by Southern California artists who innovate and provide excellent craftsmanship in a multitude of mediums.

Sparks Gallery showcases collaborative exhibitions, curated exhibitions by the gallery owner (Sonya Sparks), and solo exhibitions. With a focus on surreal and impressionistic artwork, the gallery curates towards emotive works in themes ranging from portraiture and figurative to landscape and conceptual. Sparks Gallery champions artistic talent in the region and serves as a nexus for creative conversations to elevate the local artistic community. Website:

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