“Nuevo Laredo Mexico, 1966,” by Alex Webb, one of the works currently on display at Etherton Gallery, where a discussion on the cross-border economy is slated for Dec. 15.

An exhibition of photos of Mexico has spurred a panel discussion about Tucson’s cross-border economy.

“All we are hearing about is border walls and jobs going to Mexico,” says Hannah Glasston, with Etherton Gallery, which is currently exhibiting Alex Webb photos of Mexico.

“We thought it was important to have a discussion about how important Mexico is to us.”

Statistics from the Arizona Dept. of Transportation underscore the economic impact of Mexico on Arizona.

  • In 2015, exports from Arizona to Mexico were $16.8 billion.
  • Trade with Mexico supports 101,579 Arizona jobs.
  • Visitors from Mexico spend $7.8 million a day in Arizona.
  • $30 billion in imports and exports go through Arizona’s ports annually.

The panel on the future of Tucson’s role in the cross-border economy will include Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who has been active in reaching across the border to businesses; Consul of Mexico to Tucson, Ricardo Pineda Albarrán, and Michael Mallozzi, co-owner of Beer without Borders and owner of Borderlands Brewery. Mallozzi has been working with a brewery in Mexico. A representative of Congressman Raul Grijalva will also participate.

Serving as a backdrop to the discussion is Etherton’s current show, “La Calle: Photographs from Mexico by Alex Webb.”

The show represents 30 years of photos taken by the internationally-known photojournalist. His images of Mexico reflect the vivid life and energy in the country.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com or 573-4128. On Twitter: @kallenStar