Aliento a Tequila

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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 MoreArt@maaa.org or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

  • September 1–October 20, 2021 El Museo Latino
    Omaha, NE
    pending
  • November 10, 2021–January 7, 2022
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2022
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2022 Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum
    Temple, TX
    pending
  • June 16–August 11, 2022 Witte Museum
    San Antonio, TX
    pending
  • September 1–October 20, 2022 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
    Oklahoma City, OK
    pending
  • November 10, 2022–January 7, 2023
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2023
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2023 Powell Gardens
    Kingsville, MO
    pending
  • June 16–August 11, 2023 Fullerton Museum
    Fullerton, CA
    pending
  • September 1–October 20, 2023
    available
  • November 10, 2023–January 7, 2024
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2024 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
    booked
  • April 6–May 25, 2024
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2024
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2024
    available
  • November 10, 2024–January 7, 2025
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2025
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2025
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2025
    available
  • September 1–October 20, 2025
    available
  • November 10, 2025–January 7, 2026
    available
  • January 28–March 16, 2026
    available
  • April 6–May 25, 2026
    available
  • June 16–August 11, 2026
    available

Exhibition Details

39 photographs, including 32 full color images and seven duotones

  • Content

    Fee Includes
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    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

    $5,550

  • In-Region Rental Fee

    $3,330

  • 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.