This week on Arizona Illustrated: Indigenous communities fight against border wall construction near a sacred Sonoran Desert spring; exploring the borderlands through the art of Karlito Espinosa; and a day in the life of Tyson Clark, a Certified Journeyman Farrier.
We Are the Water Missing Home
Nestled a few paces from the U.S.-Mexico border in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Quitobaquito Springs are a rare freshwater source in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Long before the site was National Park Service land, it was a homestead to the Hia C-ed O’odham, a tribe not recognized by the U.S. government that doesn’t have federally protected lands.
In 2020, construction crews building the Trump administration’s 30-foot steel border wall began closing in on the site, and tribal communities across Arizona mounted a months-long fight to stop it. For O’odham poet and activist Amber Ortega, being part of that fight meant following breadcrumbs left behind by her father and forging a path of her own.
Cuando Estoy Contigo
Karlito Miller Espinosa is an artist who creates objects and composes installations informed by the direct relationship between capitalism and the structuring role violence plays in its preservation. Following a very successful MFA show from the UA School of Art in 2018, Espinosa’s work has been exhibited by esteemed institutions around the world including the Newark Museum, El Museo Barrio in Harlem, the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Street Art Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. His work is currently included in the CONTEMPORARY LATIN AMERICAN ART exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Art until SEPTEMBER 26, 2021
Farriers used to be an essential part of American life up until the advent of the automobile, but they are still essential in relatively small social pockets around the nation. Tucson is no exception where they perform a valuable service for professional and recreational riders. We visit one of them, Tyson Clark, who has been getting paid for his skills since he was 12 years old. He is a Certified Journeyman Farrier and has won many awards for his expertise.