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Tanya Aguiniga is creating two temporary commissioned sculptures in Galleta Meadows, constructed from hay bales skinned in clay and natural materials sourced from the desert landscape. Two-spirit Earth is an homage to nature's dualities; Hallowed Mound honors fertility and the generative qualities of nature. The totems emerge from the forms of the landscape surrounding them, rising from and returning to the earth—referencing the cyclical essence of nature and the generative and eternal energies of the materials she uses. Both forms are designed to channel moisture, encouraging growth and transformation of the sculptures themselves as they disappear over time.
Aguiñiga is a Los Angeles based artist/designer/craftsperson who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University. In her formative years, she created various collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop, an artists' group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. Her current work uses craft as a performative medium to generate dialogues about identity, culture and gender while creating community.
Aguiñiga is a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, and a NALAC and Creative Capital 2016 Grant Awardee. She has been the subject of a cover article for American Craft Magazine and has been featured in PBS's Craft in America Series. Aguiñiga is the founder and director of AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides), an ongoing series of artist interventions and commuter collaborations that address bi-national transition and identity in the US/Mexico border regions. Aguiñiga is the inaugural fellow for Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities.