Shipping container art exhibit opens in Budd Park

Artist Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia inside his traveling art exhibition. Photo provided by KC Parks.

For those wondering why there is a red shipping container in Budd Park along St. John Avenue near Brighton Avenue, their answer finally comes today.

The traveling art exhibition, housed in a 40-foot red shipping container, is an ever evolving project by Kansas City-based artist Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia.

“Borded Carnosos | Border Carnage” documents Garcia’s perspective on the immigrant experience, focusing on how Latinx peoples secure and maintain their cultural identities in a hostile environment rooted in systemic racism and segregation.

The exhibit includes two types of work: a selection of photographs, audio, and video from Israel’s body of work over the last 20 years, and a curated assemblage of ephemeral objects left along the United States/Mexico border by migrants.

Garcia retrieved the objects used in the exhibit during a 2,000-mile border fence research and development journey in the fall of 2018. 

The mobile exhibit has been designed to travel to several parks throughout Kansas City, Mo., allowing Garcia the opportunity to share the histories of Kansas City’s Latinx neighborhoods — which have inevitable, painful ties to the borderlands of today — and to document the daily struggle of fighting against gentrification and maintaining culture heritage. 

Virtual public programming will be developed in collaboration with the Kansas City Museum with partial funding from the Trust for Public Land through a creative placemaking grant awarded to the Kansas City Museum Foundation. 

Garcia is an artist, curator, and visual storyteller. His work is layered with personal experiences and unanswered questions that attempt to understand the process as a reflection of self. His studio practice is a manifestation of internal emotion, stored memories, pertinent socio-political issues, and raw passion for creation. His body of work narrates his autobiography through visual translation, telling the stories of his ancestors, elders, peers, and community.

The exhibit will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays through Nov. 20.

“Borded Carnosos | Border Carnage” is supported by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Garcia Squared Contemporary, MoLCA (Movimiento Latinx Contemporaneo de las Artes), the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art and ArtsKC.

Funding was also provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mary C. Maker Family Fund, the Mike + Carol Pittman Family Fund, and the Kansas City Museum Foundation.

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