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Sandy Rodriguez at Charlie James Gallery


On view: January 25–March 7, 2020

In Chinatown, Sandy Rodriguez’s solo exhibition honors the seven child migrants who died while in custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection between 2018 and 2019. Each child has been rendered in a loving watercolor portrait, made with indigenous materials (she uses hand-processed watercolors and a ceremonial handmade bark paper). The exhibition traces these children’s border crossings via a large hand-painted map that pinpoints various events, flora, and fauna along their route. The exhibit also depicts ingredients for a 16th-century indigenous recipe used to treat trauma. Several works on paper feature medicinal plants from the Codex de la Cruz-Badiano — a medical manuscript written by an indigenous doctor — that Rodriguez pairs with portraits of healers and collaborators whom she interacted with during her research. The exhibition not only exposes the humanitarian crisis happening now at our borders, but it offers space as well as a potential approach to healing deep traumas.