The International Museum of Art and Science announces the exhibition “Uncovered Spaces”, in collaboration with the Center for Latin American Arts at UTRGV. The exhibition will be on display March 26 through July 10, 2022, and it is curated by Raheleh Filsoofi of Vanderbilt University and directed by Dr. Katherine McAllen of UTRGV.

“Uncovered Spaces” is an exhibition and event series centered on female artists and LGBTQIA+ artists to explore the social structures that mediate our everyday experiences. The project serves as space for artists and scholars to discuss their art practice related to gender, identity, and social norms. As a project, Uncovered Spaces has brought together artists, art historians, educators in universities across the country, faculty at UTRGV, UTRGV alumni who are now art instructors in K-12 schools in the upper and lower Rio Grande Valley, students in high school as well as the university, and our community to create a groundbreaking event series at the IMAS museum in McAllen. This exhibition seeks to connect the creative process, shared knowledge, and feminine solidarity in a collaborative and community-based arts research project in South Texas.

The participating artists are Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Wendy Red Star, Margarita Cabrera, Erika Diamond, Vesna Pavlovic, Zac Thompson, Natalia Arbelaez, Jana Harper, Maria Fernanda Barrero, Melissa Potter, Daisy Patton, Lauren Sandler, and Linda Behar with scholarly contributions by art historian Rebecca VanDiver.

An opening preview reception will be held at IMAS on Thursday, March 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Clark Family Gallery. Artists Linda Behar, Margarita Cabrera, Erika Diamond, Jana Harper, Zac Thompson and art historian Rebecca Vandiver will be present. “Not the First, Nor the Last,” a performance piece by Jana Harper, will be presented by the artist and UTRGV students at the opening. The reception is free for IMAS members and $10 per non-member guest. Advanced registration is recommended through the IMAS website. UTRGV students, faculty, and staff may attend the opening courtesy of the Center for Latin American Arts (CLAA).

The UTRGV Center for Latin American Arts will be hosting and artists’ roundtable “Navigating Your Own Space: Artistic Identity and Social Interactions in the Artist’s Practice” on Friday, March 25, at 1:00 p.m. Visiting artists will participate in the roundtable and discuss the exhibitions and share ideas.

The IMAS will be hosting the “Uncovered Spaces” Opening Day events on

Saturday March 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the International Museum of Art & Science. This includes interactive Gallery Talks with artists Linda Behar, Margarita Cabrera, Erika Diamond, Jana Harper, and Zac Thompson. Curator and Director talks by Raheleh Filsoofi and Katherine McAllen with scholarly discussions from art historian Rebecca Vandiver will also be presented. Learn more about the exhibit at along with information about each participating artist.

Below: Margarita Cabrera, Space in Between – Nopal (Rosa E De Los Santos), 2016, repurposed materials. Photo courtesy of the Talley Dunn Gallery.

Three generations of student-educator relationships and UTRGV alumni support have also made Uncovered Spaces a successful arts-based community project. Our former students and Fine Arts Instructors, Cristina Correa (IDEA Public Schools San Juan) and Fatima Lai (of Rivera Early College High School in the Brownsville Independent School District), are leading high school students across the upper and lower Rio Grande Valley to participate in the concurrent student art exhibition at the IMAS sponsored by H-E-B. This exhibition is titled “Student Crossroads: Contemplating Uncovered Spaces,” and it opens May 19, 2022. By creating opportunities for past, current, and future students to create art together, Uncovered Spaces functions to inspire students and members of our community to connect with their creativity in the museum space.

As Raheleh Filsoofi has stated about the exhibition, “Considering the geographical location of the IMAS and UTRGV, the enhancement of community engagement and cooperation with local, regional, national, and international artists and scholars outside of the Rio Grande Valley has a high priority in this exhibition. Also, the Rio Grande Valley has the potential to become a hub for intellectual, creative, and cultural exchange in the northern and southern hemispheres, so many artists and scholars around the world can also benefit.”

“As an artist and educator who lived and worked in this area for over four years,” Filsoofi states, “I have seen the impact of this place on my own practice. My story as an immigrant coalesced with the stories of many people here and gave me a pivotal perspective about the political landscape of this country.”

Katherine McAllen comments about the exhibition: “The study and advancement of creativity in the arts is a critical part of the fabric of our community and the success of our students. We need to promote these values in art and education at the IMAS and our universities to elevate the arts and inspire innovation to make the world in which we live on the U.S-Mexico border a more dynamic and beautiful place.”

Dr. McAllen states, “It is with profound gratitude that I have been able to serve as Director of Uncovered Spaces to create a stronger community of artists in the Rio Grande Valley with national and international networks of exchange between artists in the U.S. and Latin America.”

“We want Uncovered Spaces to help artists and viewers feel more empowered through their creativity and open up new perceptions and create a safe place to engage with art and value it in our community. By creating a space for artists and students to learn and have confidence in their expression through art, they can break through boundaries of space and identity and support diversity and inclusion,” says Dr. McAllen.

For more on an interview with IMAS Director Ann Fortescue and Raheleh Filsoofi and Katherine Moore McAllen, see

“Uncovered Spaces” is made possible by the generous financial support of grants from The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, The Raul Tijerina Jr. Foundation, H-E-B, the Hollyfield Foundation, the Brown Foundation, the Vanderbilt Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies, the UTRGV College of Fine Arts, and the UTRGV Center for Latin American Arts.

“Uncovered Spaces” is directed by Dr. Katherine McAllen, Assistant Professor of Art History and Director of the Center for Latin American Arts at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX.

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