First Friday Artist Reception: Erick Antonio Benitez
Members of the public are invited to a free opening reception for artist Erick Antonio Benitez during December First Friday. Benitez’ solo exhibition, “Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra” (This Land is Your Land), is an immersive multimedia installation focusing on the first generation Salvadorian-American artist’s travels throughout cities on the U.S./Mexico border.
The exhibition will be on display Nov. 25, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020.
A free artist talk will be held earlier in the day on Dec. 6 from 4-5 p.m.
“Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra” is an immersive multimedia installation focusing on Benitez’s travels throughout multiple cities on the U.S./Mexico border. Video projections, soundscapes, and found objects illustrate Benitez’s encounters, recreating the sights, sounds, and sentiments of the border for viewers in the Northeast who are far from territories of dualities and national divide. Benitez incorporates interviews with border agents, migrants, and minutemen, along with photographs of migrant shelters, Tent City Jail in Arizona, and Friendship Park in Tijuana. His recreation of the U.S./Mexico border experience within an exhibition space emulates an ofrenda (offering) to those who have lost their lives on their journey to the United States.
Benitez has exhibited nationally and internationally including at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Md.; Metàfora Studio Arts, Barcelona, Spain; Gaddis Geeslin Gallery at Sam Houston University, Texas; and Transformer Gallery, Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Award and the Rubys Artist Project Grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which enabled his journey across the entire U.S./Mexican border, and recently received a MASB Artist Travel Grant to do site-specific research in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. He was also invited to participate in The Studios residency at Mass MoCA, Mass.
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