Diana Benavidez grew up traversing the border between Chula Vista and Tijuana.
Colorful piñatas dangling from storefronts have always been part of the artist’s landscape. From an early age, she became fascinated with them, and quickly fell in love with making them herself.
“The process is very repetitive,” she said. “Cutting the tissue and pasting it onto the cardboard – I love doing it because I suffer from anxiety and the piñata-making process gives me a lot of peace.”
Benavidez now uses piñatas as her main medium for making art. She turns them into sculptures and installations that often comment on feminist and sociopolitical issues, and express her identity as a Mexican-American woman who grew up along the border.
One of her piñata installations will be on view from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at POP:UP Liberty , a new weekly event at an open plaza located between the Barracks 17 and Barracks 19 buildings at Arts District Liberty Station. Organized by a group of artists with galleries and studios at the arts district, the new event will happen every Thursday evening and showcase the artists of Liberty Station alongside art, music and performances by creatives from across San Diego and Tijuana.
The event is an attempt to better reach the growing dinner crowd visiting the restaurants at Liberty Staion, and also lure more diverse crowds and artists  to the arts district.
“This is my first time showing my work at Liberty Station,” Benavidez said. “I’m really excited about that.”
This post originally appeared in the Aug. 14 Culture Report.