I just went out to UALR to see “El Grito (A Cry for Independence),” an exhibit of work by Chicano artists pulled together from artists and collections across the country by gallery director Brad Cushman and assistant Nathan Larson. The work in the galleries provokes thoughts about immigration, the maquiladoras in Mexico that assemble our the “Made in the USA” products with cheap labor, racist attitudes, what people will go through to make a better living and more. I was thinking about all that when I passed the construction site north of the Fine Arts Building. All the workers were Hispanic. And, ironically, they were taking down a fence.

In the slideshow above are images of work by Hugo Crosthwaite (“Atlanta,” the graphite and charcoal collage of a man and a boy), Camilo Ontiveros (“No Benefits,” altered roadsign in his Public Interventions series), Margarita Cabrera (“Nopal con Tunas,” cactus sewn from Border Patrol uniform fabric), Vincent Valdez (“Stations,” the lithograph of the boxer and Jesus, from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation), Nery Gabriel Lemus (“Four Migrating Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and Four Young Men,” charcoal and ink-jet print) and Delilah Montoya (“Humane Borders Water Station,” photograph of three water tanks, mounted on aluminum).

“Atlanta” is a hard piece to look at, which was the artist’s intention. It is a 13-by-10 1/2-foot chaotic assemblage of drawings that functions to represent the chaos of life. “Humane Borders” is very affecting, the tanks marked “agua” placed in the vast arid Sonoran desert, where activists have placed water stations.

Brad Cushman has drafted an essay on all the work; will link when he says I can.