Event Sponsors

Windgate Foundation NEW

Virtual Talk: Research in Practice: A Shared Experience of In-depth Environmental Documentation and Art Practice

Date: Thursday, August 1 —Thursday, August 1, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM —8:30 PM
Location: McColl Center
Cost: Complimentary | $10 Suggested Donation

McColl Center is excited to bring together current Artists-in-Residence Júlia Pontés and Oswaldo Ruiz in discussion with moderator Jamila Brown of the Mint Museum for a virtual panel to discuss their research methods to produce meaningful and relevant works of art related to extractivism, climate change, and the social and environmental impacts of industrial processes in the Americas.

For many artists, the process of responding to contemporary issues through their artwork is not without its challenges. There is a risk of producing works that merely skim the surface of the problem. Pontés and Ruiz will shed light on these challenges and how they navigate them in their practices., using academic collaborations, investigation, fieldwork, and community engagement to gain a deep understanding of the subjects they approach.

Generously supported by Windgate Foundation + National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Artists:

Born 1977 in Monterrey, Mexico, Oswaldo Ruiz resides in Mexico City. A former architecture graduate, Ruiz shifted to photography, earning a Master of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins College, London, in 2007. Ruiz worked as studio assistant to the renowned photographer Graciela Iturbide (2015-2019). Mainly working in photography, video and installation he has had fifteen solo exhibitions worldwide and more than ninety group shows in different countries. Ruiz has received prestigious awards, including being selected a member of the National System of Art Creators of Mexico (in 2018 and 2023) and the Acquisition Prize at the XVIII Biennial of Photography of Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (2018) and the Second Prize at Petrobras-Buenos Aires Photo Award (2006). His work is featured in international public and private collections. Most recently, he established the curriculum and serves as director of the Continuing Program in Photography at the film school ESCINE in Mexico City.

Júlia Pontés is a Brazilian-Argentinian photographer, Visual Artist, and Mining Researcher whose work and research focus mainly on mining explorations and extractivist practices.

As a native of the Iron Quadrangle in Minas Gerais, Brazil, a region renowned for its vast mineral deposits, Júlia Pontés has a deeply personal connection to the mining industry. Since 2014, she has been using performance, video, photography, and other media, such as installation and sculpture, to shed light on the ecological and human rights violations perpetrated by large-scale mining companies. Her work is not just a professional endeavor but a personal mission, driven by a desire to communicate the challenges faced by an extractivist-based society. This commitment to her cause is reflected in her deep community engagement and the strong bonds she forges with the people she works with. 

She is a member of a group of Brazilian researchers studying the impact of mining on her home country. Her work is frequently displayed in collaboration with social movements, universities, and independent exhibition spaces to raise awareness of the impacts of extractive industries.

Júlia specialized in Law and Economics at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Argentina. She has a certificate in photography from the International Center of Photography (I.C.P.) in New York. She is a photography professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Columbia University, where she received her M.F.A. in Visual Arts.

Her mining visual survey has been recognized by the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Geographic Society, Harvard University's Planetary Health Alliance, Visura, The Current, Blue Earth Alliance, the Center Santa Fe, Santa Fe Art Institute, and McColl Center. It has been exhibited and published in several international museums, galleries, academic publications, and media outlets in the U.S., Brazil, Spain, Argentina, France, Germany, Portugal, Uruguay, and Guatemala. Júlia specialized in Law and Economics at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Argentina;

In 2022, she was awarded the prestigious Anonymous was a Woman Environmental Grant and the Visura Grant for Visual Journalists. Her work was also selected by Dr. Alison Nordstrom as the best portfolio in Fotofest 2022. The following year, Pontés received the CENTER/Blue Earth Alliance fiscal sponsorship and was part of the Climate Change residency cohort at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Looking ahead, she is set to join the esteemed McColl Center's residency cohort in the Summer of 2024.

Related Artists

Julia Pontes

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Oswaldo Ruiz

Mexico City, Mexico