McAllen Artist Sparks Border Wall Conversation Through Jewelry

Immigration-inspired pieces seek to project experiences of Texas border communities.

By Alvaro CéspedesNovember 27, 2018 1:55 pm,

If an ongoing theme – like immigration – is constantly on people’s minds, why not project it through the choice of jewelry we wear? Thoughts like these inspired McAllen-based artist and jeweler Nancy Moyer to use a non-traditional approach – jewelry – to conversations that are prevalent in her community.

“My jewelry is always about something” says Nancy Moyer, an artist and jeweler. She works with sterling silver and “alternative materials” doing pieces inspired on themes that affect communities along Texas’ border with Mexico.

Recently, she started incorporating the national conversation about immigration and the southern border into her jewelry. One of her pieces is a pendant of “Trump’s invisible wall,” where smugglers throw drugs over the border, and people on the American side run to get away so they don’t get hit.

“I thought, if that’s what’s going on inside our heads, we’re hearing that, it would be interesting to project that outside of our bodies too” she says.

In this way, she seeks to start a conversation about topics like immigration or the border wall because “we’re concerned about it.”

The artist sees some advantages in having people wear earrings or necklaces inspired by te Texas border themes.

“[The audience] immediately connects with it. It softens the grizzliness and the unpleasantness,” she says.

Additionally, the pieces get more exposure than art hung on a wall in a museum.

“Every time someone wears one of these pieces, it’s like a fresh exhibition for the piece. It gets a new audience. Regular fine art doesn’t get that, jewelry gets it,” she says.