Kyla Hansen + Krystal Ramirez: This is the Place, This Must be the Place

Image by Krystal Ramirez
Feb. 21, 2020


Kyla Hansen + Krystal Ramirez: This is the Place, This Must be the Place

The Work Shop 
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Exhibition Dates

March 27 - May 08, 2020

Opening Reception

For everyone's safety and peace of mind, we have decided to postpone our reception on March 27th until further notice. We'll let you know when the event has been rescheduled.

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art presents This is the Place, This Must be the Place, a collaboration between two artists who use text-based works to explore controversial ideas around migration, voice, access, and gender. Kyla Hansen and Krystal Ramirez establish a dialogue of shifted and distorted words, moving back and forth between narrative and abstraction as they find occasional common ground through a word or a repeated phrase. By introducing instability to written language, they create a space where they can talk about instabilities that exist in some of the other areas we like to think of as solid and fixed. 

They take their title from a statement attributed to the Mormon leader Brigham Young (1801 - 1877), who is reputed to have said, “This is the place,” as he was looking out over the landscape that is now Salt Lake City. By referring to a historical migration they hope to prompt us to consider the changing nature of settlement and movement in the United States. How does a person’s background affect their ability to establish a claim over language and land? How has that claim become different over time? 

Both artists have been affected by migration. Ramirez is a first-generation American whose awareness of the hardships her parents endured has guided her to a practice that finds value in repetitive effort and handcraft. Hansen is a native rural Nevadan now living in Los Angeles where she creates sculptures and textiles that focus on the overlapping myths and realities of the American West. Aware that her movement from a rural environment to an urban one is part of a wider global population shift, she uses her artwork as a lens to think critically about this development and its multiple implications.

As women, both artists feel the reality of art history as a male-dominated space they have decided to enter. Their work acknowledges that history and moves it into the present. Ramirez typically uses minimalist patterning as a conscious reference to the past, but for This is the Place she has also decided to draw on some of the ideas that motivated the Color Field artists of the 1950s and ‘60s. Hansen’s long tableau makes material references to earlier assemblage tableaus while comparing the soft, patchwork nature of her quilted patterns to the hard surfaces of geometric abstract painting. Their handmade aesthetics not only uphold the importance of intimate domestic labor, they also underline the effort we make to occupy space through our words. How do we create a claim to space through our language? How are our words understood?

Kyla Hansen

Kyla Hansen’s densely fabricated assemblage sculptures and quilted wall works use the desert landscape of the American West as a lens through which to examine narrative, gender, and class. Materially, her sculptures place found objects next to crafted materials that mimic natural forms, blurring the found and fabricated. She received her MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2012 and her BFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2009. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area, in venues including Five Car Garage, The Museum of Neon Art, Torrance Art Museum, Cerritos College Art Gallery, Pasadena City College, Eastside International, and the UCLA New Wight Gallery. Internationally she has exhibited in Mexico City, Mexico, and Paris, France. Hansen lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Krystal Ramirez

Krystal Ramirez uses photography, found materials, and text to explore motifs of race, gender, and labor within the framework of her Latin American identity. Employing labor-intensive craft and repetition, she considers the construction of identity and the subjective experience of language, with a special interest in handmade poster board signs as a performative medium. Ramirez received a BFA from UNLV in 2009. Her work has been exhibited at the Life is Beautiful Festival, Las Vegas, NV; Kleven Contemporary, Las Vegas, NV; the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN; and in Tilting the Basin, a pan-Nevadan exhibition organized by the Nevada Museum of Art. She lives and works in Las Vegas, NV.

About the UNLV College of Fine Arts

Located on the main campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the UNLV College of Fine Arts offers graduate degrees in Art, Architecture, Film, Music, Dance, Theatre, and Entertainment Engineering and Design, a unique discipline that combines engineering with technical theatre training. The College’s facilities include theaters and contemporary art galleries as well as the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art. 

About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to the arts. Located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Barrick promotes a powerful awareness of the arts through programs of exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. 

Press Contact

Alisha Kerlin, Executive Director, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art 702-895-1402 Jennifer Vaughan, B.A., Communications Director, College of Fine Arts 702-895-1575 jennifer.vaughan@

Find Us

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Swenson Street. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden.


Visitors may park in metered, staff and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday. Daily, weekly, or monthly permits can be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services. Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage and parking areas throughout campus.

Free Admission

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to the arts.