“Lift-Off”, 48” x 58”, oil on panel, 2011

On Friday, January 15, at 7 p.m., Paula Wittner will open an exhibition of her paintings across the border at Museo de Arte de Nogales in Sonora. It’s a somewhat adventurous undertaking, as it entails transport of her paintings across international borders and communicating with museum personnel in Spanish, but Paula is pleased to have the opportunity to show her work in this setting.

The building was designed as a museum by Mario Pini, a well-known Mexican architect, and was constructed in the late 1960s as part of a border development area that never came to fruition. After serving as a warehouse and then a function hall, it became the museum it was meant to be in 2012. The renovation, paid for with grants and private investment from Mexico, cost $2.3 million.

It is a dramatic building with a sweeping roof and well-lit exhibition space. When Paula heard about the “museo” from a fellow artist, she and her husband, Bob, went to have a look. They met with someone at the museum, and learned that there was an empty exhibit slot in January. The slot was given to Paula; she will have the entire first floor of the museum to display her paintings and hopes to hang a lot of them — slightly down from 100 at last count.

The cross-border logistics are a bit daunting, but she and Bob have persevered. Barring last minute barriers, they think they can manage to get the work across the border, get it hung, and enjoy the opening, to which we are all invited.

The museum is a two-block walk south from the DeConcini border crossing. It is located across the street from the Paroquia La Purisma Concepcion church.