Who Are We?
We are an all-women team of three: Tereneh Idia, Leah Patgorski, and Jennifer Meridian, who formed in the early months of the Trump administration to create work in opposition to the proposed wall at the US/MX border. Our combined strength is rooted in our individual capabilities and successes. Tereneh Idia is an internationally based fashion designer and founder of Idia'Dega, a global eco-design collaboration with OMWA: Olorgesailie Maasai Women Artisans of Kenya and The Beading Wolves, an Oneida family of artisans. Leah Patgorski is an artist and designer working with sculpture and site-specific textile installations. Jennifer Meridian is a visual artist working with drawing, sculpture, and performance. We are continually grateful for the research and planning assistance of Selina Lee, a student at Carnegie Mellon University.
For Phase Two, we partnered with David Janesko, an artist and the curator/director of Flatland Gallery in Houston.
For Phase Three we collaborated with Anita Endrezze, a Mayan, Pima and Yaqui artist and writer based in Washington state.
What Are We Doing?
We are making creative resistance work that is committed to staying in step with the Trump administration's push to fund and build the border wall. Our first action was Phase One, in April 2017, when we submitted our anti-wall, non-wall designs to bid on The Other Border Wall Prototypes through Customs and Border Protection's Request for Qualifications. Our ideas went viral and included a wall of hammocks, lighthouses, and pipe organs for an imagined border of safety, humanitarian relief, and creativity.
In January 2018 we announced Phase Two. This included a Request for Designs for the Other Border Wall open to everyone; a group exhibition and partnership with Flatland Gallery in Houston, TX with these public designs and artworks as well as our work from Phase One; this website; connecting with new allies and partners along the border and elsewhere; and presenting our work at the College Art Association conference in LA.
Phase Three included our exciting collaboration with the Yaqui, Mayan and Pima artist and writer Anita Endrezze. We printed her poem The Wall as a limited edition broadside with Commonwealth Press, and it is the first project of HumanHumane Press whose specific aim is creating limited edition prints with other artists. The work is for sale on our etsy page. All proceeds from these prints go towards Border Angels, a humanitarian organization doing important and impactful work at the US/MX border.
For the next phase, we will stage an exhibition in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District that features the work of artists from the border region, contextualizes it in the story of this project, and sheds light on how border issues affect communities in Pittsburgh.