Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
22 Jan 21until2 May 21

Christine Howard Sandoval

A wall is a shadow on the land

Alvin Balkind Gallery and offsite at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station

A mound-like sculpture made from layers of adobe mud and strips of tape. A postcard with an image of a figure dressed in a religious habit is wedged into the mound, leaving only the torso visible.

Christine Howard Sandoval, The Eaters (detail), 2020. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

In a meditation on land, language and architecture, Vancouver-based Obispeño Chumash and Hispanic artist Christine Howard Sandoval re-considers the insidious meaning-making power of the archive in her solo exhibition A wall is a shadow on the land. Through the use of adobe, a desert building material made from clay, sand and soil and deeply connected to her own family’s histories and practices, Howard Sandoval considers how land is and has been inhabited, the stories embedded in it and the potential futures it holds.

Howard Sandoval reconfigures the typology of Spanish mission architecture in a series of new adobe sculptures and large-scale drawings. Brought together with archival documents and the artist’s own fourth-grade school report on the California missions, she works to dislodge the deep-rooted colonial fictions that narrate the histories of her ancestral homeland in Alta California. A wall is a shadow on the land points to the ways in which narratives of colonial erasure are rehearsed within the public school system, and how the ongoing physical presence of mission sites on unceded Indigenous land in the western US are markers of the systemic proliferation of the imperial project and its persistent conditions today.

Co-curated by Julia Lamare and Kimberly Phillips

This exhibition is generously supported by the Audain Foundation.

Christine Howard Sandoval’s Archival — for Rosario Cooper and my 10 year old self is installed offsite at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station from January 22 – August 22, 2021. It is presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival and the Canada Line Public Art Program, InTransit BC.


Christine Howard Sandoval is an interdisciplinary artist of Obispeño Chumash and Hispanic ancestry. Her work challenges the boundaries of representation, access and habitation through the use of performance, video and sculpture. Howard Sandoval makes work about contested places, such as the historic Native and Hispanic waterways of northern New Mexico; the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site in New York; and an interfacing suburban-wildland in Colorado. Howard Sandoval has exhibited nationally and internationally at The Museum of Capitalism (Oakland, CA); Designtransfer, Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin, Germany); El Museo Del Barrio (Bronx, NY); and Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NY). Her first solo museum exhibition debuted at The Colorado Springs Fine Art Center in May 2019, during which time she was the Mellon Artist in Residence at Colorado College. Sandoval has also been awarded residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Triangle Arts, and The Vermont Studio Center. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute (NY) and an MFA from Parsons The New School for Design (NY). She is currently Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art at Emily Carr University (BC).