Tephra ICA presents Hacia la Vida | Toward Life 

Tephra ICA presents Hacia la Vida | Toward Life 

On view March 11 – May 21, 2023 

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) presents Hacia la Vida | Toward Life, an exhibition featuring work by Baltimore-based artist Hoesy Corona and California artist duo Cog•nate Collective. Each of Mexican descent, the artists create a new framework for understanding the position of the immigrant as deeply optimistic and full of hope. An Opening Reception and Artist Talk will be held at Tephra ICA on Saturday, March 11, from 5:00–7:00pm. 

Hacia la Vida | Toward Life is the first of a series of three exhibitions marking the 50th anniversary of Tephra ICA. The exhibition highlights this important milestone in the institution’s history through recurring themes of celebration. Tephra ICA Associate Curator & Festival Director Hannah Barco reflects, “There is a fearlessness in this exhibition that I find so compelling. Just as these artists do not shy away from the daunting political issues of immigration and climate change, they are not afraid to be bold, colorful, and vibrant; and to work with the quotidian, the simple objects, and materials around them. They are not afraid to follow their joy.” 

Cog•nate Collective’s practice is centered around developing research projects, public interventions, and experimental pedagogical programs in collaboration with communities across the US/Mexico border region in a communal effort to resist systems of oppression. Hoesy Corona is similarly focused on validating and centering immigrant experiences through installation, mixed media work, and performances that develop fabulated narratives of bodies moving across the land. 

Corona will create the headlining performance at the 2023 Tephra ICA Arts Festival, formerly titled the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, taking place on May 20 and 21, 2023 in Reston Town Center. Presented by Reston Community Center (RCC), Corona’s site-specific processional performance will explore migration and displacement caused by climate change. “RCC is delighted to present a riveting and spectacular performing arts experience in combination with this exceptional Festival,” said Board Chair Beverly Cosham. “We look forward to immersing ourselves in beauty and thought-provoking creativity at Reston Town Center.” 

In addition to excitement around having valued partnerships with organizations and long-time supporters like Reston Community Center, Tephra ICA is pleased for the first-time partnership with Mexican Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in the United States. Mexican Cultural Institute will host workshops with the Hoesy Corona and Cog•nate Collective during the run of the exhibition. “The Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, DC is committed to enriching the relationship between Mexico and the United States and we are very excited to partner for the first time with Tephra ICA for this program celebrating life, art, and its 50th anniversary,” said Min. Ix-Nic Iruegas Peón, Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute. 

Calendar of Events

Hacia la Vida | Toward Life Opening Reception & Artist Talk 

Saturday, March 11, 5:00– 7:00pm 

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) 

Join Tephra ICA, Hoesy Corona, and Cog•nate Collective for an Opening Reception and Artist Talk. During the program, Cog•nate Collective will lead a participatory performance, inviting visitors to activate their installation, Hacia la Vida, by lighting a candle and reciting an incantation in solidarity with migrants and struggles that seek our collective liberation. 

Workshop with Cog•nate Collective 

Saturday, March 11, 11:00am – 12:30pm 

Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington, DC 

Workshop with Hoesy Corona 

Date To Be Announced 

Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington, DC 

Closing Celebration & Performances at the Tephra ICA Arts Festival 

Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 

Reston Town Center 

The closing weekend of the exhibition coincides with the Tephra ICA Arts Festival, formerly titled the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, where Hoesy Corona will provide the headlining performance, presented by Reston Community Center. Performances will take place in Reston Town Center on Market Street and Town Square Park each day at 1pm and 4pm. 

Pictured at top: Cog•nate Collective, Protest Balloons (American Citizen/Cuidadanx Americanx), 2018/2023 

Hacia la Vida | Toward Life features select programming in partnership with Mexican Cultural Institute. 

About Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA)

Tephra ICA is a non-profit, non-collecting institution committed to promoting innovative contemporary art and thinking. Leading with curiosity and care, the organization is a catalyst, generator, and advocate for visual arts. 

Tephra ICA is supported in part by ArtsFairfax, Reston Community Center, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Tephra ICA is free and open to the public Wednesday–Saturday, 11am–5pm. Saturdays are open by appointment only. Appointments can be made here

Tephra ICA
2001 Market St #103
Reston, VA


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