Aliento a Tequila

Aliento a Tequila (or The Spirit of Tequila) exhibition explores and celebrates the landscape, culture, and traditions that gave birth to tequila, Mexico’s mestizo national drink. This series of photographs by Joel Salcido includes the original distilleries that literally founded the industry, as well as several artisanal tequileras committed to the ancestral ways of tequila-making, from harvest to bottle.

Agave dates back to the Aztec civilization as an important crop in Mexico. Since the 1600s, the people of western Mexico have cultivated blue agave from the red volcanic soil that blankets the region, to make what we know as tequila. Photographer Joel Salcido traveled across the state of Jalisco capturing images of distilleries and artisanal tequileras, including blue agave fields at sunset, the agave’s pineapple-like centers (piñas), elegantly shadowed barrel rooms (añejos), and, of course, the agave farmers themselves.

Salcido’s photographs, taken with a medium format camera—some in full-color, some in duotone—reveal not only the tequila making process but also the region’s traditions of culture and religion. Haunting and beautiful, a church spire is juxtaposed with a firework celebration in honor of the Virgen de Guadalupe. A Mexican charro rides through the streets of Arandas. Near Atotonilco, a horse pulls a traditional plow through the fields to irrigate. Exploring the rooms and techniques hidden in the distilleries of legendary tequilas Herradura, Sauza, Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, and others, Aliento a Tequila (The Spirit of Tequila) celebrates a craft that is rooted deep in the culture of Mexico.

The exhibition was curated by Roy L. Flukinger, Independent Curator Emeritus and Past Senior Curator of Photography of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. The tour is organized by ExhibitsUSA, part of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

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Tour Schedule

Aliento a Tequila (The Spirit of Tequila) will tour September 2021 through August 2026. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

  • September 3–October 23, 2021 El Museo Latino
    Omaha, NE
  • November 10, 2021–January 7, 2022 Museum of the Southwest
    Midland, TX
  • January 28–March 16, 2022 Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
    Temple, TX
  • April 6–May 25, 2022 West Baton Rouge Museum
    Port Allen, LA
  • September 1–October 20, 2022 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
    Oklahoma City, OK
  • November 10, 2022–January 7, 2023 International Museum of Art Science
    McAllen, TX
  • January 28–March 16, 2023 Collier County Museum
    Naples, FL
  • April 6–May 25, 2023 Hastings Museum
    Hastings, NE
  • June 16–August 11, 2023 National Hispanic Cultural Center
    Albuquerque, NM
  • September 1–October 20, 2023 Chandler Museum
    Chandler, AZ
  • November 10, 2023–January 14, 2024 Arizona State Museum
    Tucson, AZ
  • January 28–March 16, 2024 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
  • April 6–May 25, 2024 Fullerton Museum Center
    Fullerton, CA
  • June 16–August 11, 2024 Temecula Valley Museum
    Temecula, CA
  • September 1–October 20, 2024 Powell Gardens, Inc.
    Kingsville, MO
  • November 10, 2024–January 7, 2025 50% OFF
  • January 28–March 16, 2025
  • April 6–August 11, 2025 Las Cruces Museum of Art
    Las Cruces, NM
  • September 1–October 20, 2025
  • November 10, 2025–January 7, 2026 Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center
    Wenatchee, WA
  • January 28–March 16, 2026
  • April 6–May 25, 2026
  • June 16–August 11, 2026

Exhibition Details

39 photographs, including 32 full color images and seven duotones

  • Content

    Fee Includes
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Bi-lingual Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    Roy L. Flukinger, Independent Curator Emeritus and Past Senior Curator of Photography of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

  • Organized By

    ExhibitsUSA, part of Mid-America Arts Alliance

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee


  • In-Region Rental Fee


  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet

    minimum 150 linear feet

  • Square Feet


  • Security

    Moderate B

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    4 crates estimated/weight TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.

Downloads & Resources

Click HERE to view and download the Factsheet for Aliento a Tequila.