Composed of Christina Patino Sukhgian Houle, Nansi Guevara and Celeste De Luna (pictured above L to R) Las Imaginistas are a socially engaged art collective based in the Rio Grande Valley. The trio have worked together and independently attacking a wide range of community development issues including immigration, housing, women's rights, racial justice and education.
In addition to being practiced artists De Luna, Houle and Guevara are all experienced educators and activists working in collaboration with their community to advance justice and equity. Las Imaginistas prioritize skill sharing, community voice and radical imagination. Using their skills as printmakers, healers, performers and designers they attack civic problems at the local, city and state level. With residents, activists, planers and educators they are building today towards a better, co-created, equitable tomorrow.
Celeste De Luna is a painter/printmaker from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She received her MFA from the University of Texas Pan American in 2008. She has shown artwork in group exhibitions since 2007 in the various cities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, San Diego and Chicago. Additionally, De Luna’s work has been part of nationally and internationally exhibited printmaking portfolio projects. In 2013, her one person show “Nepantla: Art from the Four Corners of the Valley” at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas was part of the 2013 Texas Biennial.
“A true daughter of the borderlands, her art celebrates the quotidian and the exceptional on the border,” writes Ines Hernandez-Avila. De Luna continues to explore the geo-political aspects of post-911 militarization of her environment such as border walls, drones, checkpoints, and bridges. Other influences on De Luna’s work are the writing and art of Gloria Anzaldua, political graphic art, and the nature of evil.
Nansi Guevara is a border artist and activist from Laredo, Texas. Her work is at the core of using her border and rasquache sensibilities to create decolonial public artwork alongside communities. In 2006, she moved to Austin, Texas to pursue a Bachelor’s in Design from the University of Texas, where she focused on creating educational studio based experiences and educational resources for youth of color. Post graduation, she spent one year in Mexico City on a Fulbright, where she co-authored and co-illustrated a children’s book for pediatric cancer patients that is now being used in the Hospital General de México Federico Gómez and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In 2013, she moved across the country to study Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In the last two years, she has created three public art pieces with community members in the Boston greater area, that center the experiences of people of color in a way that is celebratory and creates a call to action. She is now reconnecting with the Texas/Mexico border and is creating work in the region.
Christina Patino Sukhgian Houle works as a socially engaged and time based media artist in the Rio Grande Valley along the US/ Mexico border. Her work places special emphasis on issues of equity, decolonization of the imagination and productive fictions. Houle works collaboratively with communities to build bridges and shift realities.
Houle has performed at The Second City Chicago (IL), Movement Research (NY) and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NY). She is a recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Community Engagement Grant and the Andy Warhol Foundation/ Diverse Works, Idea Fund Grant. Her video immigration protest project Migration Patterns During Wartime: Exodus was exhibited in Alabama, California, Texas, Mexico and the Netherlands. Additionally Houle has completed residencies at Mildred's Lane (PA) and SOMA, (DF, Mexico) and in 2017 she was part of the inaugural Artist Campaign School Cohort (Detroit, MI). She holds a MFA in Visual Art at Columbia University (NY) and an EdM in Education from Harvard University (MA). As a producer and educator Houle has worked with Creative Time (NY), the Center for Urban Pedagogy (NY), 596 Acres (NY) and More Art (NY). At Grand Central Neighborhood Drop-In Shelter (NY) she served as the first Director of Creative Programing.