Meet the XoQUE Artists
Selina Calvo (she/her)
Chicana Artist/Community Engagement/Muralist
Selina Calvo was born and raised in Sacramento, California. From a young age Selina was surrounded by art and it influenced her sense of identity.
Berenice Badillo (she/her/ella)
Chicana Artist/Muralist/Social Emotional Engagement/Art Therapy
Berenice is a Spanish speaking Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist, illustrator, community muralist, and multimedia artist.
Jennifer Clay (she/her/hers/illappa)
Choctaw Artist/ Art Therapist/Environmental Art
Jennifer is the daughter of a boarding school survivor and both sides of her family are rooted in the red earth of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Sandra Carmona (she/her/ella)
Wixárika Artist/Muralist/Tattoo Artist
Ke’aku (Hi), I am Sandra Carmona and I am of Wixárika descent, Chicana, the daughter of farmworkers, and a muralist for more than 20 years.
Who We Are
How We Got Here
Sandra Carmona, 2021
Taking up space and igniting conversation
Berenice Badillo, Selina Calvo, Sandra Carmona and Ana Maria Herrera
Re-Member Her is comprised of eight never-before-seen site specific installations, of which Re-Member Her is the first installation in 2022, that seeks to create allegorical public spaces based in cultural justice. The Front Gallery in San Ysidro, California “Love is an Action” debuts XoQUE’s first installation.
Through the imagery of the Aztec goddess Coyolxāuhqui , XoQUE seeks to interrupt the narrative of women as victims, by redirecting and defining a counter-story in which goddess-hood is reclaimed, wounds healed and sister-hood-honored. In Aztec mythology, Coyolxāuhqui is a goddess warrior that is defeated by her brother Huitzlopotchtli. Coyolxāuhqui is murdered and completely dismembered. She is banished to the darkness and in the darkness she transforms into the moon.
This body of work is an exploration of women living on the border and the current arrangements of social life. The moon represents our unconscious thoughts and emotions. Utilizing Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) metaphor of the body of a woman, or Mother Earth as the U.S.-México border, each installation represents a body part severed that looks at societal wounds, understanding how she has been fragmented, and the process of re-constructing her anew.
Each installation encourages audience participation to co-infect public spaces. The culmination of the work seeks to create intimacy in the attempt to pick up the fragments of our dismembered womanhood and reconstitute ourselves in harmony with nature, body and soul and the mind and spirit. Each series of installations honors each fragment for the purpose of examining and representing the experience of giving life rather than a result of violence and death.
Love is an Action
Berenice Badillo, Selina Calvo, Sandra Carmona, Jennifer Clay and Ana Maria Herrera
Detail of multi room installation and social engagement project.
Braiding has long been a significant cultural practice as well as a form of social art. It is a symbol of strength and wisdom across Indigenous, Asian, and Black cultures and serves as an intimate extension of the self. Braiding is a way to honor rituals & cultural practices. The practice of braiding can be a form of self-expression as well as an act of love & intimacy evoking memories of grandmothers gathering our hair while whispering words of courage, strength, and dignity. For present-day indigenous women, the braiding of hair is an act of defiance against a history of involuntary assimilation that forced the cutting of the long braids of Indigenous children during the brutal Boarding School Era in the US and Canada.
XoQUE chose the images of a woman’s braid to be the social window into current issues of femicide, as an intention to gather unity, and a way to “Re-member Her.” XoQUE creates art that invites conversations around difficult issues regarding racialized gendered violence rooted in systemic colonial power relations while often utilizing jarring & tender images to decolonize intersectional frameworks.
San Diego State Latinx Resource Center
Selina Calvo, Sandra Carmona, Berenice Badillo, Jennifer Clay and Ana Maria Herrera
In this on site community based participatory mural, XoQUE utilized a tailored social emotional engagement process to co-create with SDSU students. This mural represents the rich, complex, and powerful Chicanx and Latinx history in San Diego, U.S. and throughout Latin America and current, ongoing social movements and liberation struggles.
The murals engage themes of social justice, race, and gender and represent the intersectional, diverse, and complex Latinx identities that our students hold as well as key Chicanx/Latinx figures from past and present struggles including Indigenous, Afro Latinx, Black Latin American, Central and South American, women/femmes, LGBTQIA+, and Undocumented freedom fighters.
Tijuana Trienial: Pictoric International Art at The CECUT Centro Cultural Tijuana
Ana Maria Herrera, Sandra Carmona, Jennifer Clay, Selina Calvo and Berenice Badillo (Jim Bliesner)
The Kumeyaay traditional land straddles the U.S./Mexico border and have experienced three cycles of land dispossession. Collectivo XoQUE created site specific art installations on both sides of the border with the Kumeyaay/Kumiai community to raise awareness of their ongoing presence and to create pathways of healing through language, geography, and counter storytelling. Our installation centers on a poem from a Kumiai poet and cultural bearer seeking change and unification her people. Each artist has co-created a unique installation that encouraged dialogue and created visual representation of the border tribes. These multimedia installations formed a three-dimensional, conceptual land paintings that is based of cultural memories and the intentional future. Together with song & ceremony, the two native groups created a silhouette of a 140 foot snake on the ground using flour to illustrate the rupture of a community by a border wall that has created a loss of culture, loss of traditions, loss of language, and economic disparity. This engagement assisted in imagining a new future that included reunification, resistance, and healing.
County of San Diego Southeastern Live Well Center
Berenice Badillo, Selina Calvo, Sandra Carmona, Jennifer Clay and Ana Maria Herrera
In this three dimensional mural project to be installed in the child reunification room at the County of San Diego March 2023. We took into consideration that this centrally located mural would be visited frequently and that there will be a strong correlation to this space by families and children that have gone through much loss and trauma.
XoQUE wanted to convey images focused on strength, growth, resilience, and empowerment. The book is central to the design as it’s about the stories we tell ourselves and the stories that have been told about us, our families, our parents, and our communities. We wanted to invite the viewer to see that they have the power to change the story to a counter story that better serves them. The mural conveys many choices: within themselves, they have the ability to turn the page that offers new hope, they can close the book and have a fresh start, they can look within and rearrange what they think about the story, and they can even jump right off the story.
Chicano Park Restoration (Installation Date March 2024)
Berenice Badillo, Sandra Carmona, Selina Calvo and Jennifer Clay
This original mural created by Berenice Badillo in 1997 will be restored in the national historic landmark Chicano Park in San Diego California. “Mural in Chicana Park” was created during a time where mural painting was not allowed due to Caltrans wanting to destroy the murals to make them earthquake safe. Chicano Park hold the largest collection of Chicano murals in the world.
Mural painting is and continues to be a male dominated field. Chicano park was the only place where Berenice could see images that looked like her, stories like those of her family and where she could be proud of her culture. Berenice painted this mural mostly on canvas and in an act of rebellion pasted on the pillar.
This mural images start and end with strong women. Women that were warriors not just naked and depicts struggle, connection and intergenerational knowledge.
SBCS COMMUNITY ENVISIONING ENGAGEMENT (2024) Mural Project
Selina Lugo, Jennifer Clay, Sandra Carmona and Berenice Badillo
(SBCS) and the art collaborative, XoQUE-Art in Motion, propose a community envisioning project that will result in a community mural that involves south bay community residents of all ages and backgrounds. The mural serves to create hope, synthesize values, and contributes to self & community identity. This collaborative project will utilize an art-based processing method enriched in art therapy that will support communal conversations that support a sense of ownership and empowerment that increases communication, provides a sense of belonging as well as an opportunity to share personal relatedness while supporting perpetual growth within the community. The overall goal of this project is to create an environment where community members will be supported, centered, and affirmed as holders and creators of knowledge, where our perspectives as Latinx and BIPOC matter, and finally, where intergenerational dialogue and historically marginalized community members can leverage their own cultural wealth.
Ana Maria Herrera, Jennifer Clay, Selina Calvo, Berenice Badillo and Sandra Carmona
This event included a large scale installation and social engagement. On the floor was a hand painted 20 x 20 foot map that showed the original land of the Kumeyaay. This map was a way to amplify indigenous voices, to create ongoing conversations and intentional pursuits of history while raising awareness and inspiring others to action. Participants joined a sacred circle on the map where participants created a community ring of clay that involved “gifting” their neighbor with small clay sculptures. The participants weaved giant braids and "problem solved" as a mirror to our current society.
“Invisible Ecologies Resisting Against Peripheral Spaces of Contradiction”
The concept of our proposal is that artists can reveal a third space of interconnectedness
that hides within two peripheral spaces of contradiction. Ecotones are areas of steep transition that exist between ecological communities, ecosystems, ecological regions and human-generated boundaries. In utilizing the metaphor of ecotones, we forge forward in
highlighting a third space that brings opportunities for healing, awareness and agency.
This participant-based exhibit highlights that third space as both sides of the border clash and evolve, changing the space between human-generated boundaries.
The use of dress forms engages beauty as a critical praxis. Dress forms stand for the lost
humanity, for the women butchered for their beauty, the earth raped of its resources and
their struggle in the constant crashing of emotions, relationships, people, history and
stories. The female dress forms lack a head to see and be seen in our societies of
misogyny. The portraits of leaves that cover the forms reclaim their voice through the
representation of the earth, of indigenous practice and of various faces; women;
transwomen; native women; and children. The dress forms are hung neck to neck
producing a mirroring effect that asks the viewer to seek self-reflection.