An Artist’s Reaction to Today’s Politics

“Art, an enduring record of man’s emotional response to his existence…the communication of emotion rather than of information.”— Peter Hurd, Artist1

It’s been a while since my last blog. Not so much because there was nothing to write about in the turbulent aftermath of Donald Trump’s election and subsequent inauguration as our President, but more because events have occurred so rapidly that it has been hard to stay up with them either intellectually or emotionally.  I have left it to others to put their words on paper (or computer or video) to describe and dissect the immediate events as they have occurred this past year. I think all of us, regardless of our political leanings, felt beset by the almost daily revelations of scandal, bigotry, racial slurs, personal attacks on individuals or entire groups (Democrats, Republicans, Muslims, Blacks, etc), abrupt changes in leadership and policy directions, “fake news”, lies and distortions, etc.—much of which has been fueled by incessant tweets and incendiary remarks by the President. I for one have felt helpless wondering what if anything I could do that would be more constructive in trying to participate in today’s political discourses and debate.

As an artist I have tried to find the answer in my art—to paraphrase Peter Hurd, by communicating emotion rather than simply information. With that in mind I am using this forum to present three recent pieces of my art that, hopefully, convey a sense of the emotions and concerns felt not only by myself but many of us that reside in the southern regions near our border with Mexico. Continue reading

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A Leap Into Political Oceans

Filing Candidacy Papers in Dona Ana County

Filing Candidacy Papers in Dona Ana County

Yesterday, I submitted my formal petition to run for public office as a Democrat for New Mexico State Representative for District 34. While many may not be surprised at my decision to run for public office I’m sure many others would think I am crazy given: the costs just to mount a reasonable campaign, the likelihood of an Anglo (gringo) to win in a predominantly Hispanic district, the challenge in taking on a well financed incumbent , the public exposure, and resultant stresses to my private life.  All of this should I get elected for a job that will require much work, long hours, endless travel and absolutely no pay.  It is hard to justify why I am running in a purely logical sense but I’ll give it a try. Continue reading

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Energy Issues of the US-Mexico Border Region

The following article by guest contributor Dr. Jim Peach is part of a series of articles focused on energy issues of importance to our region and as part of a lead up to the 2nd Annual Re-energize the Americas conference being held on Oct 17 & 18th, 2012 at the Las Cruces, NM Convention Center.

As Abbas Ghassemi, my colleague at New Mexico State University, pointed out in an earlier blog, energy issues are always complex.  In part, this complexity stems from the fact that energy issues are always intertwined with other complex issues –economic growth, technological change, population growth, environmental issues, and political stability.

The international border creates additional complexity for energy issues in the border region. San Diego and Tijuana (or El Paso and Juárez) are cities in two different nations but anyone living in the border region can explain that they have more in common than geographic proximity.  Interactions across the border include workers who commute, trade flows, cross-border investments, families in which some members live on one side of the border while others live in el otro lado.  Traffic flows and long lines at border crossings are almost daily reminders of cross-border interaction.  Continue reading

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