ArtCenter Student Walks from Tijuana to Her Art Exhibit in Chinatown

Published : Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | 7:33 PM

Jacqueline Amezquita, via Facebook

It was a journey and a destination. It was a long, long walk. It was performance art on the theme of immigration.

It was the Jacqueline Amezquita’s eight-day silent trek from the border of Tijuana to an art gallery in L.A.’s Chinatown district. It was the Pasadena ArtCenter College of Design student’s contribution to the group show “Decentralizado,” or “Decentralized.”

As described and photographed in local media, including the LA Weekly and, she began the performance art walk, titled “Huellas Que Germinian” (Footprints that Sprout), on April 5 and arrived at the exhibition site after 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, as a crowd of some 70 people gathered in a semi-circle around a water-filled barrel.

As the artist rounded the corner, the crowd applauded and shouted her name as cameras flashed. The crowd fell silent again as Amézquita, in a crocheted white garment, immersed herself in the barrel, as if in a baptismal ceremony, until only her black hair bobbed on the water’s surface.

When she emerged, the crowd applauded again, and she gave a short message of thanks before retreating into the gallery.

As an artist and designer, Jackie Amézquita is currently based in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and migrated to the U.S. in 2003. She holds an associate degree in Visual Communications from Los Angeles Valley College and is pursuing a major in Fine Arts at the ArtCenter, scheduled to graduate with honors this month.

Amézquita plans to expand her research in migration and colonization in different areas of America and Europe. In her last year as a senior, she has created various collaborative installations with the group Ambos project (Ambos stands for art created between opposite sides) in different locations on the U.S.-Mexico border, where she has studied the issue of migration.

She uses rhythm, repetition, research, and different found objects that hold a cultural significance, weaving and collaging these elements together and creating tension or balance to manifest cultural, political, economic, and social factors.

“I had the privilege to go back to the scar that divided me from my family and continues to tell the same story for more than three decades,” Amézquita writes on the Huellas Que Germinian website. “This is not just physical barrier between the U.S. and Latin America. It goes beyond that, keeping U.S. citizens in fear of what is on the other side. And what we have on the other side affects everyone in a positive and negative way physically and psychologically.”

Decentralizado was on exhibit at 936 Mei Ling Way in Chinatown from April 12 to April 15.

Amézquita’s work will also be featured at ArtCenter’s Graduate Show on Thursday, April 19, from 6-10 p.m. She will present 85 salt prints rendering the negative spaces in the border fence separating Tecate and the United States. The graduation show takes place at ArtCenter’s two Pasadena campuses, Hillside and the South Campus

ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus is at 1700 Lida St., Pasadena; the South Campus is at 870 & 950 S. Raymond Ave., 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena; (626) 396-2200.

For more information about Jackie Amézquita visit or her Instagram page,




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