(Photo by Marcus DeSieno, part of the Transcending Borders exhibit at the Maude Kerns Art Center)

By Randi Bjornstad

The border between the United States and Mexico takes on new, thought-provoking dimensions in a show called Transcending Borders, on display through April at the Maude Kerns Art Center.

The exhibit has three parts, beginning with a collaboration of words and pictures selected from their work by poet Laura Winter and photographer Terri Warpinski. Their combined effort is called Liminal Matter, drawing from series called Fences and Traces. Warpinski lives in the Eugene-Springfield area, and Winter comes from Portland. Their work combines Warpinski’s vast, sweeping photographs of the borderlands between the United States and Mexico with Winter’s poems describing the places and the effects of that divide on the people who live there.

Juan Dios, black-and-white photo by Richard Keis

Added to that is a series of photos by Marcus DeSieno, who examines the concept of government-sponsored spying, particularly on borders, from a collection of work he calls No Man’s Land: Views from a Surveillance State. A description provided by the art center says, “To produce this work, he hacked into surveillance cameras and CCTV feeds looking for images of picturesque and sublime landscapes … to highlight and call into question this type of social control.” DiSieno, who comes from Washington state, has shown his work in New York, Paris, and Greece as well as widely in galleries and museums in the United States.

Rounding out the show is Livelihoods, featuring black-and-white photographs of workers in Oaxaca, Mexico, by Corvallis photographer Richard Keis, who first became interested in the topic when he worked with migrant families in Oregon. In this show, he captures the ways of life of people who chose not to migrate but to make their livings in Mexico, among them weavers, sculptors, folk healers, feather artists, and producers of agave spirits called mezcal.

Transcending Borders is available to viewers in person at the Maude Kerns Art Center or online at mkartcenter.org. In-person viewing is subject to all State of Oregon and Oregon Health Authority guidelines, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

Transcending Borders

When: Through April 30

Where: Maude Kerns Art Center, 1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene (corner of 15th and Villard streets)

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday during exhibits; a virtual artist talk will take place via Zoom from 6 pm. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, via the art center website at mkartcenter.org

Details: In-person viewing is subject to all State of Oregon and Oregon Health Authority guidelines, including social distancing and mask-wearing.The Maude Kerns Art Center is adhering to all State of Oregon and Oregon Health Authority guidelines. The exhibit also can be viewed, and artwork purchased, online at mkartcenter.org.

Information: 541-345-1571 or mkartcenter.org

Above: “Messages From the Fence:” poem by Laura Winter, photo by Terri Warpinski