Artist Talk

Zeke Peña Artist Talk and Conversation

Mon. Apr. 5 at 6 PM MST

The Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the UNM Art Museum is pleased to announce a public talk by storyteller and cartoonist Zeke Peña. Late last year, the Center appointed Zeke Peña as its inaugural Art & Ecology Artist-in-Residence for the 2020-2021 academic year. This zoom webinar is FREE and open to the public, but registration is required.

Link to register:

Zeke Peña is a storyteller and cartoonist born in Las Cruces, New Mexico and grew up in El Paso, Texas. Peña makes comics and visual narratives to reclaim stories and remix history. While doodling in the margins of his notebook, he received a degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. His transmedia work uses a mash-up of political cartoon, border rasquache and Hip Hop culture to address universal themes of identity, politics, ecology and social justice. He has won awards for his book illustrations and, his work is in several collections of American and Xicano art.

Zeke Peña is one of the most exciting illustrators of his generation. The manner in which Peña addresses ecological and social tragedies through visual narrative, including comedy, is exemplary, thought-provoking and uplifting, as is evident in his illustration The River, which was included in the Fall 2019 exhibition Species in Peril Along the Rio Grande (516 ARTS in partnership with UNM Art & Ecology).

Peña’s illustrations in the book Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide honored legendary Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide’s life and art (Getty Museum, 2018). Last year, his illustrations accompanied Maria Esquinca’s article “Climate Change is Disproportionately Affecting Black & Brown Communities in Texas” published in Remezcla.

During the Art & Ecology residency, Zeke Peña is creating comic illustrations for his ongoing River Stories.

The creation of the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities was made possible with a five-year (2017-2022) seed grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the long-standing financial support from the Lannan Foundation. The Center also acknowledges and appreciates the support of Dr. Susanne Anderson-Riedel, Chair of the Department of Art: Studio, History, Education, and Professor Mary Tsiongas, Associate Dean of Research, College of Fine Arts. Subhankar Banerjee, Professor of Art & Ecology is the founder of the Center and currently serves as its Director.

The Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities was established on April 6, 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic just as cities, states and nations were starting to institute lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Art: Studio, History, Education at the University of New Mexico is the home of this newly established interdisciplinary Center, which supports the curricular, creative and research programming of the Art & Ecology area and its Land Arts of the American West program.