We need kind hearts galore, like the one border artist-activist Nansi Guevara possesses. Her perceptions of life and circumstance are layered. She ascends to each one with care, like her art. A child of Laredo, Texas, a child of the Rio Grande Valley (presently in Brownsville), her life on the border has shaped every fiber of this amazing woman artist’s expression and reason for being and giving.
Nansi’s work has earned her an Interchange Artist, Mid America Arts Alliance w/ Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award, an ArtPlace America, National Creative Placemaking Fund award, A Blade of Grass Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship. She is co-founder of Las Imaginistas (fierce) and a lot, lot more.
One of the things that melted my heart during our talk was her journey into studying design. She evolved her thinking and realized that design as a practice could transfer into social practice, as we can design a better society.
She talked about growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, and the impact it had in shaping her identity—that is synchronous to that of puertorriqueños, in that we are from there and here, but maybe from neither.
We spoke about her time in Mexico, a story that brings tears because it is a tale about the crux of Latinidad if you ask me. We talked about false narratives, and her example just made me love her without reason—by claiming to be the best country in the world, the U.S. of A does not acknowledge “the talent and ingenuity of the rest of the world.”
She has a compañera that is always working/helping the migrant camp near her home, and she helps her get supplies. She has a soft spot for street food vendors, and she shares what she is doing to support street food vendors in Brownsville, Texas, also very moving.
Her art is about and for her community in the form of illustrations, textiles, public art, books, and for her, is about “being a good vecina.” And it shows, and you can hear it in her voice. And I’m so proud of her.
And, she’s selling kick-ass t-shirts, find her on IG @nansiguevara for the full scoop.