Nothing to Declare but the Clothes on our Backs

collabeditSouth Texas College’s Pecan Campus Library presents “Nothing to Declare but the Clothes on our Backs,” an exhibit featuring collaborative artwork by Phyllis Evans, David Freeman and Leila Hernandez. The exhibit opens Sep. 6 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Talks with the artist will be held the same day at 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Pecan Campus Library Rainbow Room, located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. The exhibit will be on view through Dec, 2013. Admission is free and open to the public.

South Texas College art instructors Evans, Freeman and Hernandez collaborate on an art installation that focuses on the U.S. – Mexico border and the dangers and challenges that have arisen due to the building of the border wall. The installation also speaks of the blending of cultures on both sides of the border as well as the economy of selling mass-produced border kitsch items.

Through photography and Xerox transfers on fabric, Evans documents political divisions created by the border wall as it commands traffic in agriculture, industry, natural resources and international relations. Her work critiques U.S. policy and poses as a reminder that historically and universally, walls have repeatedly failed in their purpose and have only served to create divisions without solving problems.

Freeman also uses photography and transfers to create printed conceptual trophies based on situations that plague the border including drug runners, illegal immigrants and coyotes. “The trophy is a symbol of dedication and hard work in achieving a goal in life and in Mexico today the cartel are the victors, not the police or the citizens,” said Freeman.

Hernandez utilizes fabric from local ropa usada stores (second-hand clothing stores) to create dolls of Mexican and Central American influence or muñecas de trapo. Her work represents the undocumented work force crossing the border to work as maids, gardeners and pickers.

“This work manages to touch on the biggest issues that plague our area, while still maintaining an overall playful and tactile quality,” said STC Art Gallery Associate Dawn Haughey. “The printed scenes of barbed wire, labor workers and large machinery on colorful flowered bed sheets, produces a visually satisfying juxtaposition of imagery.”

STC’s Library Art Gallery exhibits regional, national and international artwork, explores new visions and theories of creativity, and introduces innovative artistic expressions to the South Texas region.

For more information, contact Dawn Haughey at 956-872-3488, or via email at