David Taylor

Professor, Photography | Video | Imaging
Placing an Obelisk at Fremont Pass, north of Leadville, CO, from the project DeLIMITations, 2014-16 David Taylor and Marcos Ramírez ERRE

UA School of Art Professor David Taylor and Mexican artist Marcos Ramírez ERRE have received national attention for their collaborative project, DeLIMITations, an examination of the nature and history of borders, seen at The Photography Show, one of the world’s most prestigious annual photography fairs (April 4-7), and currently on view at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City, through June 1.

Prior to the exhibition in New York, the duo’s project toured widely and was featured in Time magazine and the Los Angeles Times, which detailed their 30-day marathon to place 47 six-foot-six-inch obelisks along the original 1821 U.S.-Mexico border and then the resulting exhibition based on that experience.

The completed work may well be among the most expansive installation art pieces ever conceived.

“One thing that we found really fascinating,” Taylor told Time, “was going to places like Medicine Bow, Wyoming, which would have been a border town. People had no concept of the fact that Mexico stretched that far north.”

Following a year of preparation, markers were placed in the summer 2014. Frequently the artists are asked if the markers still remain where they were installed.

“We can’t know,” Taylor writes on the DeLIMITations blog. “That was part of the plan. Borders move and change.”

DeLIMITations Photos | NYT 2019 review | LA Times 2016 feature | Time 2014 feature

The exhibition, consisting of ERRE and Taylor’s photography, objects and other documentation, was reviewed on May 16 in the New York Times by Jillian Steinhauer, who covers the intersection of art and politics.

“(The obelisks) monumentalize the transitory nature of the border, driving home its arbitrariness and bureaucracy,” she wrote. “The pictures showcase a landscape whose recesses and vistas contain the invisible truths of history, and encourage us to go out in search of them.”

The 2400-mile long site-specific installation project was originally commissioned by SITE Santa Fe for the 2014 exhibition Sitelines. The gallery exhibition, which documents that intervention, has since been shown at venues that include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Museo de las Artes Universidad de Guadalajara; the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington and Oficina de Proyectos Culturales in Puerto Vallarta.

Taylor previously documented all of the obelisks that mark contemporary U.S.-Mexico border in a photographic series, Monuments: 276 Views of the United States – Mexico Border, from 2008 to 2015.

Most recently, Taylor has been awarded a residency at the prestigious La Tallera – Proyecto Siqueiros in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he will embark upon new work.

Dig Deeper: Learn more about the DeLIMITations exhibition from the Rick Wester Fine Art website, including a treasure trove of photos from the gallery and the field. Check it out! 

David Christiana

Professor, Illustration + Design

Professor David Christiana was nominated for a Voila Award for Excellence in the Arts for his PORTRAITS OF PETRICHOR exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Spring 2016.  This short film reflects on the decades-long process for this body of work.

David Christiana born in Huntington, New York, has illustrated more than twenty picture books for children and authored four for international publishers such as Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Harcourt Brace; Little, Brown; Henry Holt; and Scholastic. Reviews of his work have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, People Magazine, Publishers Weekly, etc.

Alfred Quiroz

Veteran, Art Historian and Iconoclast

Note: This article was originally published in UANews. See the original article here.

The UA School of Art professor has gained national and international attention for his satirical artwork.

At the end of his military service with the U.S. Navy, Alfred Quiroz committed himself to formal art studies, which would launch a lifetime of artistic work and teaching.

In his South Tucson studio — a space originally provided decades ago by his mother’s husband, so long as Quiroz took care of the building’s security and maintenance — Quiroz produces narrative paintings that sharply explore the realities of people, whether they are in formal positions of power or are those whose voices are actively silenced.

In his work, whether on canvas or large-scale mural paintings, Quiroz, a University of Arizona School of Art professor, documents cultural symbolism, most often through an exploration of historic events and figures. He engages in a sort of allegorical play as he shapes satirical stories around iconic and popular figures such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, George Washington and even Donald Duck in his artwork.

Quiroz, a Vietnam War veteran who joined the UA faculty in 1989, has gained national and international fame for works exploring issues connected with his own Latin American heritage, and also for his visual explorations of issues related to border tensions, racial tensions and violence, warfare, corporate fraud, and global capitalism.

Also, having been hugely involved in southern Arizona’s mural scene, Quiroz has either designed to co-produced extensive murals, including a piece dedicated to the UA-led OSIRIS-REx mission in 2014 on the Michael J. Drake Building; one produced for the Phoenix Mars Lander Science Operations Center in 2006; and a U.S.-Mexico border project from 2004 to 2010, during which he was a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar. At the UA, he introduced in 1995 the first mural class in the School of Art, resulting in the mural frieze around the Joseph Gross Gallery building on campus.

In working with students, as he has for decades, Quiroz’s direction is offered in no ordinary way. He seems to be much more of a coach, encouraging his students to explore their own narratives and concepts, hoping that he can encourage them to find their own ways of communicating, just as he has.

For his work, Quiroz has received numerous awards and other recognition, including the College of Fine Arts 2015 James R. Anthony Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching and the Dean’s Teaching Award for the 2003-2004 academic year. He also received the LULAC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Quiroz, who is also a UA Faculty Fellow, isn’t merely trying to train students to work in the profession as artists, he says. Rather, he wants to cultivate the creative, deep-thinking capacity in students — something he sees as important regardless of profession or place.

Audra Graziano

Learning Fundamentals, Breaking Rules

Note: This article was originally published in UANewsSee the original article here.

The visiting assistant professor in the UA School of Art says engagement is essential in order for art to have impact.

Much of Audra Graziano’s canvas work lives in abstraction, begging the viewer be ever attentive to light and movement as the mind creates and re-creates meaning embedded within her highly complex, labyrinthine works.

But Graziano’s work is not limited to one surface or domain.

In drawing inspiration for her work, she has investigated data centers, telecommunications networks, relationships between colors and even the wiring of the human body.

The Massachusetts native, a visiting assistant professor in the University of Arizona School of Art who has shown her work across the nation, spent some time in Los Angeles serving as a scenic artist, producing backdrops, props and other commercial artwork. Her work has appeared on various networks and TV series.

At the UA in 2016-2017, Graziano will teach three courses at the School of Art, collectively focused on contemporary drawing, painting, mixed media and collage work.

As an educator, Graziano says it is most important to train students in the fundamentals of form and concept development — “the rules, so that they can break them and create their own way,” said Graziano, who also has lived and worked in New York.

“Fundamental to being a maker and a maker of visual things is that you need to be engaged in what you are making so that you can engage an audience,” she said, adding that it is her responsibility as an educator to help develop creativity in her students, particularly through active engagement.

“There is some sort of alchemy that happens when engagement can happen.”