The Border Collective was founded by two Latin-American artists and friends, Dora Piña-Joffroy and Erika Cordero. They recognized how difficult it can be for emerging artists to gain access as exhibitors in the San Francisco art scene, and wanted to take a step forward in democratizing it, specifically for Latin-American artists like themselves. Hence, the Border Collective – a platform that empowers Latin-American artists to share their work. Their hope is that the Border Collective will inspire the larger community by exposing them to diverse art forms, and pave the way for other artists to do the same.
The first Border Collective showcase took place on November 30th, 2018 at Cambria Gallery where artists and makers came together to exhibit and sell their crafts right in time for the holiday season. Attendees enjoyed a live performance by Mexican-American Pop Singer, Johan Sotelo (he has participated in American Idol and was a finalist in Mexico’s La Voz) while shopping for unique gifts and sipping on delicious mezcal donated by Mezcal Vago. Everyone enjoyed the unique range of products exhibited for sale at the pop up making it a great success. Contributing to the success was that a percentage of the proceeds was donated to JUNTOS Collective, a non-profit organization that uses dance to develop leadership and community building in underserved communities across the US, Mexico, and Central America.
In pursuit of economic empowerment for every small business, Weebly + Square donated use of their products & social media support to the Border Collective for the evening.
Meet the exhibitors and check out a few of the unique creations they make.
Co-Founder, The Border Collective
Collage initially started as a form of meditation for Dora. Having been diagnosed with a mild case of Tourette Syndrome at a young age, looking through magazines and cutting clippings to create works of art provided a sense of calm and focus needed during a time of drastic change. She quickly realized her passion for giving old, recycled images from magazines a new life and meaning through collage. Having grown up on the border of Mexico and now living in San Francisco, her work is greatly inspired by color, fashion, culture and exploration. As an artist, the genre of collage art allows Dora to create an optical illusion for the viewer. While from a distance one sees the full image, close-up the piece reveals a myriad of details. All through the collection one finds the continuous elements of curiosity and whimsy conveying a spirited quality to each piece. Each collage is composed of donated recycled magazine clippings (or paper) making it Mother Earth-friendly.
Erika Cordero, E Lamb, Recycled Clothing
Co-Founder, The Border Collective
Erika grew up in Juarez, Mexico, a city just south of the border with El Paso, TX. Although currently striving to change, Juarez as she was growing up was a big city that didn’t have much regard for the environment. Erika always felt that it was impractical, unreasonable and unfair to expect the government to maintain the city without any involvement from the citizens. This flipped a switch in her that has remained on ever since. Now, Erika lives in San Francisco, a city in which people embrace taking action to affect change and wants to share a piece of her that tries to offer a small contribution in bettering our environment while looking amazing.
Erika developed a brand that takes an environmentally conscious approach to create unique fashion statements. When she was a child Erika used to modify clothing for her dolls, then later as a teenager her own as she never liked wearing something that someone else might also wear. Erika wanted to feel special and different. Because she was, we all are. Now, with that in mind, she has created a line that strives to showcase a different personality and turn heads with every piece. Erika starts with recycled garments and then adapts them to fit that special new owner. Erika’s promise to everyone: “You will not see anything in the line that I would not happily wear”.
Interior & Textile Design
When Fashion meets Interior Design. Apartment 415 was established in 2009 by the Agustin Sanders, a Mexican/San Francisco based interior designer. As creative director behind apartment 415 he brought to life an innovative and fashion forward pillow brand that would merge the glamorous world of fashion with the lustrous realm of Interior Design. The 415 number of the brand is not only San Francisco's area code but it's also the apartment number to Agustin's design studio in San Francisco’s Nob Hill, where he designs all of his work.
As a border child and contemporary artist, Mariel’s interest is to talk about issues concerning life on the US-Mexican border and the ongoing seeking of identity that specifically happens in the region.
Based on the mystical animal hybrids and elements of Mexican folklore and folk art- her body of work includes prehistoric elements combined with contemporary and pop culture iconography. Mariel conveys a conversation of the mixed population so specific that exists in the border and all the social influences implanted from the United States into the Mexican community which creates this sort of “alternative culture” that only exists in this region.
Mariel employs the technique of automatic drawing as well as a meditative process of repetitive movement to create intricate patterns. All of her drawings start from the illustration of the eye and the rest of the Tescuani arise from Mariel’s subconscious, so the process is highly important to the body of work. Mariel has the same philosophy with her sculpture and ceramic works, which is to represent pattern making through the reproduction of shape and animal alteration through the collected images stored in memory.
Itzel Percival, Floral & Event Designer
Itzel’s love for flowers blossomed when she was a little girl. Her grandmother had two flower shops in Tijuana Mexico, so she grew up surrounded by flowers and their alluring scent. Itzel’s grandmother was her mentor- she taught Itzel all her techniques to design beautiful floral arrangements.
Three years ago Itzel moved to San Francisco, where she’s had the opportunity to exhibit her work as a floral designer and discovered her passion for events decoration. She specializes in decorating tables for all kinds of events: weddings, corporate events and private dinners, among others. In her designs and creations, Itzel likes to involve many factors, such as the theme of the event and seasonal colors. She believes that magic is in the attention to every detail, so no matter how small or simple the event is she’s a firm believer it should always have a floral touch.
Penelope Salas-Porras, Photographer
As a proud border town girl from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Penelope has been lucky to travel extensively throughout the world. Once she graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography, Penelope knew her strongest work was always while she was traveling. Since then, Penelope made it her mission to travel as much as possible. This has allowed her to capture the beauty of different cultures and the true essence of the human spirit. We are all connected; whether by the richness in colors we surround ourselves with or by our true inner essence as human beings.
Ana Paola Monroy, Makossa Vintage
Ana Paola’s interest in vintage clothing sparked after visiting San Francisco, CA for the first time over 10 years ago. She instantly fell in love with its culture, weirdness and the unique outfits that people were wearing. Ana Paola always felt she could never dress like that back home, a fairly conventional town named Ciudad Juarez which sits on the border of El Paso Texas, as growing up there were no vintage shops that she knew of and people dressed conservatively.
While in San Francisco. one of her friends took her to a vintage shop and she was in heaven! Ana Paola couldn't afford much back then, but was able to buy this super cool black and white purse from the 80s that she wore until it fell apart. She felt so unique wearing it and wanted people to feel the same way when wearing the vintage clothing she curates. Vintage is a way to express herself and make a statement with every blouse, skirt, pant, hat, purse, fluffy jacket, and puffy sleeved outfit worn. On top of that, it's wonderful to contribute to recycling clothing for a better environment.
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