Visual Arts

Phoenix-Based Xico Artists Featured in Village Voice Media's "Crossing the Line"

Village Voice Media commissioned artists associated with the Phoenix-based cultural collective Xico to produce a series of covers for its papers -- each one is unique to each city -- for its national story on Arizona SB1070, Crossing the Line.

Founded in 1975, Xico is a nonprofit organization that promotes Chicano, Latino and Native American heritage through the arts. Its programing includes arts classes and workshops for underserved youth, community exhibitions, artist education, printmaking workshops, the valley's oldest Dia de los Muertos/A Celebration of Life festival and small-venue performances.

Phoenix artists Martin Moreno, Zarco Guerrero, Reggie Casillas, El Podrido, Annette Sexton-Ruiz, Mary Ann Rodriguez-Veatch, Irma Sanchez, Joe Ray, Frank Ybarra, Jose Benavides, Cynthia Flores, and Marco Albarran are no strangers to creating political artwork. Guerrero's been performing in protests and public demonstrations for years, and Irma Sanchez began weaving Mexican and American flags and posting stickers of her work since SB1070 was signed in Arizona (both were featured in Borderline Expression, April 2011).

This week, their artwork is featured on covers and inside of print issues of Village Voice Media publications across the country in Crossing The Line.

Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey writes:

In Arizona, brown people, citizen and immigrant, must now prove their papers are in order. We sic badges and dogs on people of color. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's men wear ski masks and arm themselves with automatic weapons to stop Mexicans with cracked windshields. Families are separated, with parents deported and children left to fend for themselves. Those who remain are terrorized.

After one Arpaio sweep through the town of Guadalupe, children were too frightened to attend their Catholic confirmation lest relatives be arrested.

Like the pre-Civil War era of free and slave states, America is about to divide along color lines.

Six states already have a version of Arizona's bill and are awaiting the ruling for implementation. In all, 16 states filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to support SB 1070.

Where once we depended upon the federal government to protect minorities from firehoses and segregated schoolhouses named Booker T. Washington or George Washington Carver, this month, the Supreme Court is poised to tell us how far local cops can go to detain brown people.

Read Lacey's America's War on Mexicans Has Gone Too Far in full and this week's New Times feature SB 1070 Civil Disobedience Must Escalate by Stephen Lemons.

All artwork created for the Phoenix-based Xico artists in this slideshow.

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