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Support environmental art exhibitions at Visual Arts Center

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
164 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 07, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Public program: screening ELDORADO XXI - Thursday, Oct 13, 7 pm

October 12, 2016

Dear all,

For those of you in Austin and vicinity, join Focus Group at the Visual Arts Center for the screening of the haunting and mysterious film ELDORADO XXI  by Salomé Lamas (2016, 125 mins). This is film's regional premiere. To date, within the U.S., the film only screened in New York City and Harvard University, and we are delighted to share it with you in Austin. 


Thursday, October 13, 2016

7:00pm – 9:00pm

UT Art Building, Rm. 1.102

Free and open to the public


Shot in the Peruvian Andes on the edge of a gold mine, ELDORADO XXI is a parafictional attempt to combine a sensory ethnographic approach with critical media practices. Panoramic shots of La Rinconada—a city situated over 5,000 meters high—stun with majestic wintry mountain landscapes, flat-roofed tin shacks cowering next to one other, and women perched on steep slopes who use primitive tools to break through pieces of ore. This twenty-first century El Dorado is an inhospitable place where untold numbers of people live and work in the most precarious of conditions hoping both for gold and a better life. In her film, Lamas has constructed a cinematic diptych to convey this situation’s extremity and the dimensions of its misery without resorting to graphic images. 

About the Director

Salomé Lamas (b.1987, Lisbon) studied cinema in Lisbon and Prague, visual arts (MFA) in Amsterdam, and is a PhD candidate in film studies in Coimbra. Lamas is a filmmaker whose work dissolves the apparent border between documentary and fiction. With an interest in the intrinsic relationship between storytelling, memory, and history, Lamas uses the moving image to explore the traumatically repressed or historically invisible, from the horrors of colonial violence to the landscapes of global capital.

ELDORADO XXI is presented in collaboration with Experimental Response Cinema and in conjunction with the exhibition MOVING MOUNTAINS: Extractive Landscapes of Peru by Edi Hirose & Nancy La Rosa, on view at the VAC until December 10. Dorota Biczel, curator of the exhibition, will begin the evening with a brief introduction.

We hope to see you there!


VAC Exhibitions' Opening, September 23, 6-8 pm

September 15, 2016

Dearest donors,


We are thrilled to announce that our exhibitions, which YOU made possible, will be opening next week at UT Austin’s Visual Arts Center: Moving Mountains: Extractive Landscapes of Peru by Edi Hirose and Nancy La Rosa curated by Dorota Biczel and Tania Mouraud: Everyday Ogres curated by Allison Myers.

Please join us for a celebratory drink and conversation during the VAC’s Fall 2016 Season Opening Reception on Friday, September 23, 6-8 pm. Artists Nancy La Rosa and Tania Mouraud will be in attendance.


Preparations for these shows kept us very busy over the summer!

For an adventurous week in June, Allison and Tania drove around the gulf coast, filming oil refineries along the Houston Ship Channel and in Port Arthur. The biggest lesson they learned: it’s easier to film military bases than oil refineries. Because of national security concerns, police and even vigilant citizens stopped them continuously while they tried to film. Out of sheer luck, they were able to complete the project due to the kindness of their hotel managers, whose roof happened to look over a nearby refinery.  

In early August, Dorota traveled to Lima for a week to oversee packing of Edi’s and Nancy’s works on paper and personally transport them to Texas. The highlight of her trip was becoming intimately familiar with the intricacies of Peruvian customs regulations – which are labyrinthine in order to protect against smugglers. Since the country is very concerned about the illegal removal of its pre-Colombian patrimony, exportation of any work of art from Peru requires one to complete a labyrinthine permitting process. After five days of visits to the Ministry of Culture, however, she was successful!  

We are thrilled to see these projects come to fruition and delighted to be able to share them with you. For those of you who can’t make it next Friday, both shows will be up at the VAC until December 10.


Also, mark your calendars for the associated public programs:

Sunday, Sept. 25, Rice Cinema, Houston

For those in Houston, Tania Mouraud will present a screening of her video works followed by a roundtable conversation with professors from Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences. 

Thursday, Oct 13, UT Art Building, Rm. 1.102

The haunting and mysterious film ELDORADO XXI by Salomé Lamas (2016, 125 mins) is shot at La Rinconada—a gold-mining city situated over 5,000 meters high. It is a parafictional attempt to combine a sensory ethnographic approach with critical media practices.

Tuesday, Oct 25, VAC Courtyard

The Houston-based experimental sound group New Factories will perform in conjunction with Everyday Ogres, using field recordings taken from the Houston Ship Channel.

Thursday, Nov 10, UT Art Building, Rm. 1.102

The award-winning Peruvian film Daughter of the Lake (Hija de la laguna) by Ernesto Cabellos Damián (2015, 87 mins) tells the story from the height of the Peruvian gold rush. This compelling documentary illuminates the life-and-death struggle that results from the conflict between the interests of foreign industry and local peoples.


Please reach out to us if you would like to talk more about the exhibitions.

We look forward to seeing you at the opening or at one of our many events!


Yours, Allison and Dorota

Thank you all!

May 12, 2016

There aren't words enough to express how grateful and humbled we are by your outpouring of support for our exhibition fundraiser. Thanks to your generous contributions, WE MADE IT! 

Not only did we reach, but we even surpassed our goal!  In 45 days we managed to raise $15,090 -- a mountainous feat we were doubtful we could do, but your love and generosity have shown us that anything is possible.

We are especially happy to announce that no other campaign this semester had as many donors as we did, with a total of 163 gifts. THAT is community, and we are proud and honored to be part of such a strong and supportive one. 

Many thanks to those who contributed during the final hours of the campaign:

  • Corrina Lesser
  • Catie Carter
  • Ann Johns
  • Douglas Cushing
  • Claudia Benavides
  • Berel Lutsky
  • Hiyme Brummett
  • Cecily Horton
  • Erina Duganne
  • Stephennie Mulder
  • Kimberli Gant
  • Elissa Papendick
  • Ayanna Mccloud
  • those who gave anonymously
  • and every single one of you who donated throughout the campaign.

We hope to celebrate this fantastic success with many of you at the VAC's opening reception this September, and throughout our shows' run through December. Many thanks again, and we look forward to keeping you updated with the development of our projects in the meantime!

With heartfelt thanks,  Allison & Dorota



Final push for the final 24 hours

May 06, 2016

We are infinitely grateful to everyone who supported our campaign last week and during UT40for40! Thanks to YOU we have met 96% of our goal. We are only a few hundred dollars away from reaching the $15,000 we need for our exhibitions. 

Our heartfelt thanks go to these recent donors:

  • Robin Benzrihem
  • Ileana Selejan
  • Jena Lee
  • Lisa Crossman
  • Cornelia Flora
  • Cristobal Jacome
  • Natalia Revilla
  • Diana Mendoza
  • Veronica Kumpf
  • Kaleta Doolin
  • Amrita Adhikary
  • John Newnam (In honor of our Chair, Jack Risley)
  • Adrian Aguilera
  • Farhaneh Shirazee
  • Janine Soenens
  • And anonymous donors. 

We are especially indebted to Kaleta Doolin and an anonymous donor for their generous gifts, which provided a significant boost to our campaign. 

We only have 24 HOURS left to go. The campaign ends tomorrow, May 7, at 11:59 pm CST. 

Please continue your support in these last hours by sharing our campaign on social media and emailing friends who might be interested in supporting our project. 

We are confident that with your help we will achieve our goal, and even exceed it!! Any additional funds above $15,000 will support public programs for our exhibitions, allowing us to bring exciting film screenings and lectures to the University of Texas.  

With warmest greetings and thanks, 

~Allison and Dorota  




Thank you for the outpouring of support during UT40for40!

April 29, 2016

Thank you all for the amazing show of support in the last two days! During this time, we received over $2,000 from a record 66 donors: from near and far, from friends and strangers. This number doesn't even include the gifts through the UT40for40 page or from offline donations, which will be included on our project page in the next few days. 

Thanks to your ENORMOUS generosity, we have received $2,000 in matching funds from the Visual Arts Center.  We have also won an additional $1,000 in the HornRaiser Challenge. Every single one of you who contributed made this a possibility -- thank you!!  

These additional $3,000 and your donations have given a tremendous boost to our project, taking us well beyond 50% of our final goal. We truly cannot thank you enough.   

Our deepest gratitude goes to (in the order that gifts were received): 

  • Corinna Kirsch
  • Amethyst Beaver
  • Paula Schulze
  • Beth Shook
  • Liz Donato
  • Andy Campbell
  • Meghan Rubenstein
  • David Dove
  • Jack Risley
  • Carol Cooley
  • James Walker
  • Sarah Helinek
  • Jason Byrne
  • John R Clarke
  • Pete Gershon
  • Russ Jankowski
  • Rex Koontz
  • Sarah Celentano
  • Jessi DiTillio 
  • Nancy Granahan
  • Diane Granahan
  • Guillermo Salas
  • Brettany Shannon
  • Ariel Evans
  • Stephanie Rousseau
  • Rebecca Novak
  • Jolanta Snowel
  • Robin Williams
  • Julian Etienne
  • Carolyn Fornoff
  • Spencer Dobbs
  • Katherine Anania 
  • Austin Waters
  • Allison Kim
  • INGZ Collective
  • Jana La Brasca
  • Leslie Absher                        
  • Chelsea Weathers 
  • Thomas Edwards
  • Kate Brosnan                         
  • Carlos Dávalos
  • Lauren Klotzman
  • Jamie Pierson
  • Sally Glass
  • Lauren Rosenblum 
  • Eric Wicks
  • Margaret Meehan
  • Rosario D'Brot
  • Juan Salas
  • Nassos Papalexandrou
  • Eliana Otta
  • and everyone who gave anonymously. 

We appreciate every single gift received!

Our very special thanks go to those who donated for the second time during 40for40, our friends and colleagues form the Art History Department, our professors John Clarke and Nassos Papalexandrou, and the chair of our Department, Jack Risley, who--in addition to his advocacy for our project--supported us with a personal gift. 

There are still 8 days in the campaign. Please continue your support by spreading the words about our exhibitions via email and on social media. 

With much love, 

Dorota and Allison



Help us win the #UT40for40 challenge, today and tomorrow!

April 27, 2016

With 10 days left to go, we are nearing the end of our campaign! Many, many thanks to the 57 donors who have already helped us reach over $3000!! 

Today and tomorrow we are amping up our efforts as part of UT's university-wide fundraising drive, Forty Hours for Forty Acres. During this time, if our project gets the greatest number of donations, we will receive an extra $1000 from the Office of Annual Giving. In addition, a generous donor has offered to match every donation up to $2000. 

To help us win the #UT40for40 challenge, we're asking you, our already generous supporters, to consider donating another small amount before 8pm tomorrow-- even $5 will double and will help us get closer to an extra $1000. 

If you have friends, colleagues or family members who might be interested in supporting our exhibitions, shoot them an email with the link to our campaign page! Even the smallest donations these next two days will help us tenfold.  


We are so grateful for the recent gifts from: 

  • Thomas Myers
  • Gina McDaniel Tarver
  • Roja Najafi & Zeitoon Khaan
  • Andrea Canepa
  • Maria Fe Salazar
  • Bana Kattan
  • Caitlin Haskell
  • Daniel Gomez
  • Amanda Suhey
  • William Andersen
  • Corinna Kirsch
  • Amethyst Beaver
  • Paula Schulze
  • Beth Shook
  • Liz Donato
  • and all the anonymous donors. 

Two weeks and 39 donors in!

April 07, 2016

Two weeks into our campaign, 39 generous supporters backed our projects, donating nearly $ 2,300!

This is ALMOST enough to host Tania Mouraud during her June residency in Texas OR to pay for the transportation of the works of Edi Hirose and Nancy La Rosa from/back to Lima—an important milestone for us!

We are grateful for the recent gifts from:

  • Andreina Castillo,
  • Mary Crouch (in honor of our fantastic boss, Jade Walker),
  • Sibylle Friche and Dan Quiles,
  • Julia Hendrickson,
  • TJ Hunt,
  • Sharon Kirby,
  • Dakota O’Dell,
  • Caleb Pifer,
  • Karin Wolf.

We also owe a HUGE shout-out to our fellow students and alumni from the Art History Department, who have supported us despite precarious resources:

  • Katie Anania,
  • Francesca Balboni,
  • Jessamine Batario and Katie Daniewicz,
  • Douglas Cushing,
  • Jason Goldstein,
  • Katie Geha,
  • Mari Rodríguez,
  • Hannah Wong,
  • Michael Wellen,
  • Robin Williams,
  • and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Remember you can donate ANY amount no matter how small!

If you have friends that might be interested in supporting our exhibitions, shoot them an email with the link to our campaign page!

We are working tirelessly to raise the remaining 85% of our goal.


First 100 hours

March 28, 2016

Many, many thanks to all the generous and enthusiastic donors who have spearheaded our campaign:

  • Xochi Solis & George Pasterk,
  • Mary Dally-Muenzmaier,
  • David Dove,
  • Tatiana Reinoza,
  • Kaylin O’Dell,
  • Jade Walker & Robert Boland,
  • Adelheid Mers,
  • Josh Conrad,
  • Stefanie Kogler,
  • Pam Myers,
  • Andres Henao Castro,
  • Teal Mingledorff,
  • Doris Bravo,
  • Bruce Umbaugh,
  • Diane Granahan,
  • and an anonymous donor.

In about 100 hours, we have raised $ 957—that is, almost $ 1,000. As we look forward to achieving our total campaign goal, we are thrilled to report that now we have enough money to buy an airfare to Austin for one of our three artists (let's hope oil prices remain low).

One airfare down, two to go (as well as many other goals).

Onward and upward! Thank you all! 

Choose a giving level


Curious Viewer

Provides coffees and a bus pass for one artist during their four-day visit to Austin. Every little bit helps!


Fellow Artist

Provides dinner for a meet-and-greet with students and the visiting artists.


Supportive Bohemian

Will frame one work on paper (out of 52) by Edi Hirose or Nancy La Rosa. Or, will provide vinyl for one of Tania Mouraud’s text-based works.


Aspiring Influencer

Will help cover the costs of printed catalogues for both exhibitions. You will receive a personalized thank you signed by the exhibitions’ curators.


Trusty Backer

Will put a roof over one artist’s head during their four-day visit to Austin. You will receive a personalized thank you signed by one of the artists and the exhibitions’ curators.


Committed Patron

Will fly one artist from Peru or France to Austin. You will receive a personalized thank you note signed by all three artists and the exhibitions’ curators.


Newsworthy Sponsor

Will pay for the transportation of all art works by Nancy La Rosa and Edi Hirose from and to Lima. Or, will pay for Tania Mouraud’s Texas summer residency and production costs. You will receive a thank you note signed by all three artists and the curators, as well as a personalized tour of the exhibitions with the curators.


Global Mecenas

Will generously cover all costs associated with a four-day stay in ATX by one artist, his/her travel costs to/from the Lone-Star State, as well as the photo and video documentation of their residency. You will receive a thank you note signed by all three artists and the curators as well as a personalized tour of the exhibitions with the curators. You will also have a chance to converse with an artist of your choice in person or via Skype.

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