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 V.15 No.21 | May 25 - 31, 2006 

Arts Interview

Immigration Nation

An interview with Ann Bromberg

Ann Bromberg
Ann Bromberg

For the past year and a half, artists Ann Bromberg and Steve Teeters collaborated on Migrating Feast, a new exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum that celebrates families who immigrated to the Southwest from all over the world. Teeters, based in Lubbock, Texas, and Bromberg, based in Albuquerque, use old photographs, notes and recipes to create their sensual pieces. With these artifacts, the two have created magnificently collaged images that are incorporated into and on beautiful antique suitcases, spice cabinets, pot racks, violin cases and a handmade ferris wheels—to name just a few items. It's fascinating, poetic work.

“Ship of Souls” by Steve Teeters and Ann Bromberg
“Ship of Souls” by Steve Teeters and Ann Bromberg

How did you and Teeters come to work together?

Teeters is also a sculptor and a public artist. He was finishing a public art project for the Albuquerque Zoo while I was working for a public art program. We met to finish paperwork for his project and eventually he saw my work. He didn’t say much about it when he saw it, but one day he called me on his way to Lubbock and said, “I know what you can do with this stuff.” We began to work together and I soon realized he had an incredible way of seeing and thinking three dimensionally, where as I am more of a 2D artist.

Migrating Feast, how would you summarize it?

It’s about immigration and what people bring whenever they move, which is their suitcases, their boxes, their instruments, their photographs, and also their handwriting, their notes and their recipes. The combination of precious things that people bring with them represents and symbolizes them and their family. These things tell stories of their owners and will continue to tell stories as they are passed along.

“Two Marilyns” by Ann Bromberg and Steve Teeters
“Two Marilyns” by Ann Bromberg and Steve Teeters

How did this idea come to you?

I had been working with some old images of my family for years, doing lots of alternative processes with them. Then I found a box of old recipes and photographs of my family's. I started to play with that and realized that not only do the photographs tell stories, but the handwriting also tells its own stories. So I started working with envelopes of stuff I already had and came up with the idea of Migrating Feast, which is using handwritten recipes and notes and old photographs to tell stories of people who have migrated.

Is each piece about a specific family?

Each piece represents a different family, or it could represent your family. The idea is that what started off as specific becomes more universal. The person in the photograph can become your grandmother, the ravioli recipe becomes the recipe your nana used to use. The borders become blurred to the point where they no longer exist.

Migrating Feast runs through August 13 downstairs at the Albuquerque Museum. An opening reception will be held Sunday, May 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. 243-7255.


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