Border Crossing

  • Jami Porter Lara, LDS-MHB-3SBR-0916CE-01, 2016; Pit-fired clay, 16 x 8 in. diameter; Courtesy Central Features Contemporary Art; Photo by Addison Doty
    Jami Porter Lara, LDS-MHB-3SBR-0916CE-01, 2016; Pit-fired clay, 16 x 8 in. diameter; Courtesy Central Features Contemporary Art; Photo by Addison Doty
  • Jami Porter Lara, Icon, AKA JMS-MHB-2LBR-0913CE-03, 2014; Pit-fired clay, 12 x 4 ¼ in. diameter; On loan from Kenji Kondo; Photo by Addison Doty
    Jami Porter Lara, Icon, AKA JMS-MHB-2LBR-0913CE-03, 2014; Pit-fired clay, 12 x 4 ¼ in. diameter; On loan from Kenji Kondo; Photo by Addison Doty
  • Jami Porter Lara, LDS-MHB-FFBR-0615CE-02, 2015; Pit-fired clay, 10 ¾ x 3 ¾ in. diameter; On loan from David and Shelle Sanchez; Photo by Addison Doty
    Jami Porter Lara, LDS-MHB-FFBR-0615CE-02, 2015; Pit-fired clay, 10 ¾ x 3 ¾ in. diameter; On loan from David and Shelle Sanchez; Photo by Addison Doty

Border Crossing: Jami Porter Lara on view February 17–May 14, 2017

Border Crossing presents recent work by Albuquerque-based artist Jami Porter Lara (b. 1969), who hand-builds and pit-fires clay sculptures resembling a ubiquitous icon of modern life—the plastic bottle. Finding both ancient pottery shards and recently discarded plastic bottles along the U.S.–Mexico border inspired Porter Lara to reconsider the bottle as a “contemporary artifact.”

Porter Lara describes her work as a reverse archaeological process in which she digs into issues of the present and the future by applying tools of the past. Through the incongruity of form and material, her works expose the porous nature of “borders” of all kinds, not only physical but also abstract boundaries such as those between art and garbage, and nature and artifice.  

She engages with and adapts shapes that some might consider unattractive. Some of her vessels look like the disposable plastic bottles they reference. Others resemble classical urns, Pueblo pottery, or modernist sculpture. Some evoke organic associations, bringing to mind gourds, organs, birds, or mutants.

Porter Lara’s process consists of little more than mud and fire. She harvests clay from a site near her home, and then soaks, strains, and dries it. Each vessel is built by hand from coils of clay, polished to a high sheen with a stone, and then pit-fired outdoors.

RELATED MEDIA:


Image of Jami Porter Lara in front of a large fire

Border Crossing Online Exhibition

Delve deeper into the exhibition by exploring the artist’s story, including how she became an artist, her philosophy, and process of making.


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Border Crossing Blog Posts

Explore exhibition themes and artworks in depth in this special blog series. Continue to check back as new posts are added.


image of several black clay vessels in the shape of a two-liter plastic bottles

Border Crossing Audio Guide

Hear Jami Porter Lara discuss her work and inspiration. Transcripts available for download.


Jami Porter Lara in a still from New Mexico PBS

Border Crossing Videos

Watch videos related to Border Crossing, including the video on view in the exhibition and interviews with Jami Porter Lara.


Border Crossing is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The exhibition is made possible by the Clara M. Lovett Emerging Artists Fund, with additional support provided by the Judith A. Finkelstein Exhibition Fund.

 

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