Cuéntame Exhibition – Opening Reception

Cuéntame: A project capturing the oral history of elders in San Ysidro

Curated by: Yvette Roman and Natalia Ventura 

Cuéntame is an FSBN campaign created by Yvette Roman and natalia ventura. The campaign aims to strengthen borderlands consciousness through intergenerational relationship-building, storytelling, and art-making. For our final exhibition we intend to display artwork, documentation and audio captured throughout 2023-2024. 

As a collective, Cuéntame invited emerging artists from San Diego and Tijuana to collaborate on an exhibition capturing the oral history of elders in our San Ysidro community living at Villa Merced. Nine emerging artists will display artwork at The Front Arte y Cultura. Six of the artists were selected through a call for entry, one is our Cuentame intern, and two are FS/BN grantees.


  • Opening Reception: June 1st, 2024 5pm-7pm 
  • Elder Brunch: June 6th, 2024, 11am – 2pm
  • Closing Reception June 7th, 2024 6pm-8pm

Artist’s Statement: Yvette and natalia created Cuéntame as a way to honor the labor and legacy of elders in their San Diego border communities. Cuéntame is a community project that uses art as a method for capturing, archiving, and telling the stories of elders. The project aims to build generational bonds, pass on generational wisdom, strengthen a sense of belonging, and create meaningful opportunities for artists in our border community. Our hope is that the relationship formed between the artists, elders, and viewers in this process contributes to a stronger borderlands consciousness in each generation, and ultimately a more empowered border community.

Artist Bios:

Yvette Roman (FSBN): is a bi-national artist, curator, muralist and arts educator. She holds a B.A., from UCSD in Visual Arts and Cultural Anthropology, and a Museums Studies Certificate from Mesa College.  Yvette is passionate about making art accessible through community-organized collaboration.  She is a Far South Border North Recipient and co-created Cuentame. 

She co-founded Residencia Ranchito Aurora, a collaborative space where artists along our border can come together, share knowledge, and strengthen the border arts community. She is currently a grantee for Far South/Border North.

Natalia Ventura (FSBN): (she/her) is an artist and activist who lives, works, and hails from San Diego (Kumeyaay land). She leads a double studio/social art practice that reflects the duality of her borderlands consciousness. Her studio work explores her internal experiences as a Mexican-Cuban-American woman, while her social practice work engages in grassroots organizing for social and environmental justice at the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Anika Bull (Intern): is a Junior at High Tech High International, born in Mexico City and raised in San Diego. She is in pursuit of a creative future and primarily focuses on painting and drawing portraits, including many self portraits. Anika hopes to eventually enter the field of children’s book writing and illustrating, but is currently exploring the art world through her internship with Cuéntame.

Dia Soto: Photographer and poet under the alias ‘Colors of the Barrio / Colores del Barrio,’ from Barrio Logan. Dia’s work captures the essence of her community in a mosaic of personal, political, and cultural narratives .

Scarlett Baily: (El Paso TX, 1986) is a Chicana visual artist specializing in murals, portraits, and illustration. Working on a large scale and often in public, her work celebrates cultural nuances with an intent to preserve diversity and resist the homogeneity that globalization proposes. 

Andres Howard: is an emerging oil painter based in Tijuana. He paints images from his daily life, from mundane still lives to scenes that capture the migration and corruption present in daily Tijuana life. He likes to call it “putting things on the table.”

Natalie Gonzalez: is a Mexican-American visual artist and art practitioner based in San Diego, California. She primarily focuses on acrylic, mixed media, and art installations. She uses simple shapes, lines and organic images where color drives their work. 

Celeste Hernández: Utilizo mi archivo familiar, el fotomontaje y la fotografía análoga para documentar el anhelo. Mediante mi práctica, ejército el atestiguamiento de las realidades personales, familiares, comunitarias y sociales de la región fronteriza. 

Carlito Espudo: is a queer, genderfunky Chicanx writer, born and raised in Palm Springs, California (Organic Certified) (not really). He works in hybrid forms with a focus in fragmentation, as well as the interplay of text with image.