Uplift Public Art Project


Margarita Cabrera was selected by the City of El Paso to create a public art sculpture for the El Paso Country Club Roundabout.    The sculpture design for the Country Club Roundabout is titled UPLIFT.  The theme of the work revolves around the violent realities existing along the US/Mexico border and focuses on a metaphor symbolizing a transformational change towards a stronger, more unified, community spirit. The artwork will be a representation of 600 hundred birds in the powerful moment when birds try to  achieve flight and therefore freedom.  This action is symbolic of the changing and diminishing violence facing our binational region.  The community in Ciudad Juarez is transforming slowly as the community is seeing more and more traces of peace.

On March 13, 2015, after almost three years of works with project participants and the City of El Paso, the Uplift sculpture, which was in the process of installation was destroyed – cut apart and removed in a matter of two hours by representatives for the City’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) without the artist knowledge or consent.  The City also trespassed on the private property of Ricardo Mora and took the remaining parts of the sculpture that were still due to be installed.

May 8th, 2015 –Margarita Cabrera Statement for press conference

Letters to City to re-install Uplift
May 8th, 2015 – Letter from Frank Ainsa to the City of El Paso

May 19th, 2015 – Letter from the City of El Paso to Frank Ainsa

May 19th, 2015 – Letter from Frank Ainsa to the City of El Paso

May 20th, 2015 – Letter from Frank Ainsa to the City of El Paso

A petition was created to ask El Paso City Counsel to reinstall UPLIFT – sign petition here


Early models of Uplift sculpture on display at airport
Versions of “Uplift” sculpture will be showcased at ELP
Emails Show fast decision on sculpture
City-Commissioned Sculpture Raises Questions of Censorship
Artist Behind Uplift Sculpture Claims City is Being Swayed
Artist Wants Her Sculpture Installed West Side Roundabout
Controversial Escultura Uplift
Artist Says City is Holding Uplift Sculpture Hostage
Interview by MVS – Listen(in Spanish)
Uplift Artist Speaks out after City removes public art piece



Margarita Cabrera talks about her pubic art project during her interview with Louie from Focus on Campus at KTEP- Listen

Community members from El Paso and Juarez were invited to come together in a workshop production of papel picado (“perforated paper”), a Mexican decorative craft dating back to the time of the Aztecs made out of paper and cut into elaborate designs. The subject of the workshop designs revolve around the violent realities along the US/MX border.

As a way of preserving our heritage, the artist used this process of Papel Picado, worked in pairs, to create the wing designs that will then be placed in all the metal birds making up our UPLIFT sculpture.

Workshops held around the City inviting public to participate. To view the list of participants click here
When: October 17, 2013
Time: 3-6 pm
Where:Mexican Consulate of El Paso 500 E. San Antonio, El Paso, Texas 79901

When: November 1, 2013
Time: 2-5 pm
Where: UTEP  500 W University Ave, El Paso, TX 79902

When: November 4, 2013
Time: 8:30 – 11:30 am and  1:30 – 4:30 pm
Where: Centro Familiar de Salud la Fe 700 S. Ochoa, El Paso, TX 79901

When: November 13, 2013
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 am
Where: St Clement’s Middle School

When: November 16, 2013
Time: 10 am- 12 pm
Where: Museo de Arte en Cd. Juarez, Circuto Envolvente del Pronaf Ave. Lincoln y Coyoacan Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua 32311

When: December 13, 2013
Time: 10:00-1:00pm
Where: Escuela Juan Jose Martinez “El Pipila”, Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua 32311


For more information about the project or you are interested in volunteering you can contact Margarita Cabrera at margaritacabrera.artist@gmal.com or Nidia Holgun at holguin.nidia@gmail.com