From June 1 to September 16, 2018, the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) and the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez (MACJ) will host the Transborder Biennial 2018. This contemporary art exhibition is unlike any other in the world, bringing together artists from the entire US-Mexico border. The exhibition will be at both EPMA and MACJ. The main focus will be a transborder theme, which can range from immigration, politics, economics, violence, and landscape, along with the exploration of personal, cultural, and linguistic identities tied to the border region. The deadline for submissions was in December 2017, and the biennial is open to artists living within 200 miles north and 200 miles south of the US-Mexico border. This area includes major cities like Los Angeles, Tijuana, El Paso, Juárez, and San Antonio. It also includes smaller communities, highlighting the work of lesser-known artists.
The jurors for the Transborder Biennial 2018 are distinguished scholars and practitioners in the field of contemporary art— Gilbert Vicario, a San Diego native who, since 2015 has been the Selig Family Chief Curator at the Phoenix Art Museum, and Carlos E. Palacios, originally from Venezuela and now Curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City. Prizes will be awarded to selected artists, which include one EPMA acquisition award, two solo exhibition opportunities awarded to a Mexican artist at EPMA and an American artist at MACJ, and two binational prizes for residencies at SOMA in Mexico City.
The El Paso Museum of Art first began its biennial exhibition in 2008. In 2011, the biennial program received a prestigious Award for US-Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation from the Border Research Partnership. The last biennial held in 2015–16 received a record number of submissions from almost 300 artists, with work by 21 American artists and 23 Mexican artists shown.
Support for the Transborder Biennial is generously provided by BBVA Compass and the Texas Commission on the Arts.