Artists


Jason Michael Aragón

Jason Aragón

A current member of Pan Left Productions and native to Tucson who has worked in television and independent media for over 10 years. His documentaries have been in SXSWclick Fest and AFI Film Festival, and the recent film Under Arpaio won Best of Arizona at the Arizona International Film Festival. Jason is a MAP fund award recipient, community media educator, and helps grassroots groups produce videos dealing with human rights issues in Arizona.

Cristina Cárdenas

photo by Mamta Popat

photo by Mamta Popat

The paintings of Cristina Cárdenas are in several museum collections in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Mexico — including the University of Arizona Museum of Art and the Tucson Museum of Art.

Cristina earned an M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in painting from the Universidad de Guadalajara. She also studied architecture for three years in Mexico.

Cristina has received numerous honors and awards for her artwork, including a presentation at the Latina/o Images for the 21st Century Conference and Exhibition in Germany; a four-month residency at the Claude Monet Museum and Garden in France; a five-week residency in South Africa with the Africa Program for the Hourglass Project: A Woman Vision; and a painting fellowship with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

More recent exhibitions have been at the ALAC Latina Art Exhibit in Phoenix; Contreras Gallery in Tucson; The Flesh ChimMaya Gallery in Los Angeles; and Amates Universidad de Colima in Mexico.

 

Denise Uyehara

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Denise Uyehara is an interdisciplinary performance artist/writer/playwright whose work has been presented across the United States (the Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Highways Performance Space), and internationally (the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Dokkyo Performance Studies Conference and the Morishita Studio in Tokyo, the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, Women in View Festival in Vancouver). She was a founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls. Recent works include “The Senkotsu (Mis)Translation Project,” and interdisciplinary performance installation which explores the U.S. military occupation in Okinawa; and “Big Head”, links the U.S. government’s incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II with treatment of those perceived as “the enemy” now, including Arab Americans, Muslims, and South Asian Americans. Earlier works include “Hello (Sex) Kitty: Mad Asian Bitch on Wheels,” “Headless Turtleneck Relatives,” and “Maps of City & Body.”

Uyehara has received numerous awards which include the mid-career C.O.L.A. Award from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, a Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program. She was a Poets & Writers ‘Writer on Site’ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Beyond Baroque Literary Center. Uyehara was a member of the California Arts Council Touring Roster. (details below)

She teaches workshops in the community, and has taught performance for the Dept. of World Arts & Cultures at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and for the Depts. of Asian American Studies and Studio Arts at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Education: BA in Comparative Literature (UCI) and an MFA from the Dept. of World Arts & Cultures (UCLA).

Publications: Maps of City & Body: Shedding Light on the Performance and Process of Denise Uyehara (Kaya Press, 2004).  Her work also appears in O Solo Homo, Asian American Drama, Getting Your Solo Act Together, and The Asian Pacific American Journal, and as part of Meiling Cheng’s In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art.

Lawrence Gipe

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Lawrence Gipe (born 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American painter. He is currently an Assistant Professor in 2D Studies at the University of Arizona.

Drawing inspiration from political propaganda, Lawrence Gipe constructs challenging, dense works that encourage the viewer to analyze and to rethink familiar images. Creating oil paintings, drawings, and video installations, he re-appropriates censored pictures and photographs to explore notions of ideology and power. As Gipe explains, “My work is inspired by the visual culture that gets stimulated by fascism and totalitarian governments and propaganda.”

Gipe has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, one in 1989 for painting and another in 1995 for works on paper. His work has been exhibited in numerous public and private collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Melo Dominguez

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Mel “Melo” Dominguez is an artist, muralist from Los Angeles who has lived in Tucson since 2007. Mel’s community outreach began at Self Help Graphics & Art in East Los Angeles where she was a Getty intern. Mel was the Summer Youth Coordinator that headed the community mural project with the youth from the neighborhood. Mel’s artwork is a direct expression of her Chicano/a culture, political issues, social issues and environmental issues. Mel enjoys using creativity and activism to create a difference throughout the Tucson community.

Wesley Fawcett Creigh

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photo by JP Westenskow

I grew up on a rural horse farm in Southern Vermont and have lived in Tucson, AZ since 2005. In 2008 I received my Bachelors degree in Public Art from the Prescott College Adult Degree Program. I am continuously experimenting with art as a form of story telling and social commentary. In 2007 I organized and facilitated an international mural project during the No Borders Camp that took place on the U.S./Mexico border in Calexico, California and Mexicali, Mexico. This project engaged people on both sides of the border in discussion about the ways to visually express feelings and ideas that the border rouses. The challenging process was a valuable learning experience for my future artistic and organizing endeavors.

In 2011, I received a P.L.A.C.E. Initiative grant from the Tucson Pima Arts Council for a project entitled “Painting by Numbers: Women in AZ Detention Centers, Bringing Numerical Statistics to Life”. I worked on this project throughout 2012 and early 2013 eventually culminating with a detention themed art exhibition which I curated. Both the project and the exhibition received widespread media attention (links: Tucson Weekly Article, EFE article, Univision report, Tucson Citizen article, KVOA Channel 4 Report, & Culturestrike article).

My paintings have been shown in galleries throughout Pima County and my artwork is currently on display around Tucson at Pima Community College Desert Vista campus, downtown on Toole Ave, and what once was the Dry River Radical Resource Center. I also have painted custom murals in Mexico, Honduras, and Colombia. When I am not painting, I work as a restoration artist in Arizona, California, and New York City and my experience in this field has greatly informed my public art endeavors; it exposes me to a vast amount of different surfaces, styles, and materials.

Adam Cooper-Terán

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Adam Cooper-Terán is an award-winning visualist and performer originally from Tucson, Arizona.

An autodidact known for his collaborations with the underground and avant garde, from musicians (Not Breathing, Blind Divine, SonicAnta), performers (James Luna, Guillermo Gomez-Peña & La Pocha Nostra), painters (Noah Saterstrom, Daniel Martin Diaz), poets (Anne Waldman, Logan Phillips, Kristen Nelson), to sex-pressionists (Steven Johnson Leyba, Hollie Stevens), and a fire circus troupe (Flam Chen Pyrotechnic Theater).

Adam began his career in the nonprofit arts when he was 14 as an apprentice muralist to the painter Pasqualina Azzarello. Upon her introduction to the artists of Tucson’s Historic Warehouse District, Adam eventually made a name for himself as a volunteer designer and ultimately co-organizer for one of the largest public ceremonies in the Southwest, the annual All Souls Procession.

As a video artist, Adam’s work has appeared across the American continent, in Europe, and the Middle East, mostly in the form of video installations and performance spectacles. He has featured in galleries, theaters, and institutions such as the National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque, NM), UC Santa Cruz, NYU, Universidad Ciudad Juarez, Arizona State College, Prescott College, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, the Phoenix Art Museum, Galería de la Raza (San Francisco, CA), Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica, CA), and the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).

In 2010 Adam was shortlisted for the Guggenheim Youtube Play competition in New York City. In 2011 his group, the US-Mexico collective, Verbo•bala Spoken Video was the recipient of two grants from the Belle Foundation for Cultural Development and Arizona Commission on the Arts. From 2012-2013, Adam completed two residencies in Colombia with the international stilt companies, Carpetbag Brigade and Nemcatacoa Teatro, culminating in an American Southwest tour that took the groups to the Hopi Reservation and San Francisco.

Marc David Pinate

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Marc David Pinate is a poet, playwright, actor, organizer, and activist currently residing in Tucson, Arizona.

Originally from Chandler, Arizona, he received his BA in Communications from Santa Clara University in 1994. Pinate went on to teach ESL Social Studies and Chicano Literature classes at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose. From 1995 to 1997 he worked with the Chicano theater company, Teatro Visión, as production manager, light board operator, actor, and workshop coordinator. Pinate also holds a Master of Arts degree in Theater Arts from San Jose State University.

Pinate is the co-founder and front man-poet of Grito Serpentino, a spoken word and music ensemble which has toured throughout the country. In 1999, Pinate was a member of the San Jose Slam Team which took first place at the National Slam Championships in Chicago that year and which also earned him an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes” when the news program did a feature story on slam poetry. The same year Pinate founded Los Del Pueblo Actors’ Lab, a grass roots NeoChican@ theater company which has mounted several plays written by Pinate including The Mex-Files, The Tale of Johnny Hispanic, Amor Rabioso, The Lunatic and The Journey of Isis.

As a solo poet, he has performed in cities and venues around the nation including New York’s Lincoln Center and Nuyorican Poets Café, Denver’s Su Teatro Cultural Center, the Chicago Theater and Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona. Pinate’s poetry, plays and short stories have been published in The Santa Clara Review, Razateca, Comfusion, Calaca Review, Zyzzyva and StreetLow magazine. With his group, Grito Serpentino, Pinate has recorded and released two spoken word CDs: the self titled debut CD, Grito Sepentino (1999), and the recently released Para La Gente (2001).

Yvonne Montoya

photo by Dominic Bonuccelli

photo by Dominic Bonuccelli

Yvonne studied dance at The University of Arizona. She performed with Tucson modern dance companies FUNHOUSE movement theater and New ARTiculations Dance Theatre. In addition, Ms. Montoya danced for Zeffirelli 8, was a local teaching artist for Ballet Hispanico, and served as the Interim Dance Director for Mountain View HS.  In 2008, Ms. Montoya produced three choreographies as a commissioned artist for the presentation of “Undocumented Historias in the Desert of Dreams” produced by Dr. Ricardo Castro Salazar of the Fundación México and Dr. Carl Bagley of Durham University. In 2009, she founded Safos Dance Theatre where she currently works as the director. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Ms. Montoya worked as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona’s Department of Mexican American Studies from 2006-2012She is currently the Director and Choreographer for Safos Dance Theatre.

Latest Posts


Arizona Public Media ran a story on “Dreams & Silhouettes” for its Jan. 23rd edition of AZ Illustrated. Story by Mary Olivas, produced by Luis Carrion with videography by Andrew Brown.


“La Estrella” covers “Dreams / Silhuetas” for the bilingual edition of the Arizona Daily Star. Story by Joseph Trevino.


Art critic and journalist Margaret Regan writes about the latest production of “Dreams and Silhouettes” for the TWeekly, featuring interviews with Uyehara and her ensemble.