It was all so enchanting. The cobblestone streets, beautiful European architecture, foreign accents and food … . It was my first time visiting Europe; London and Madrid, to be exact, and I completely fell in love. It was like nothing I had ever experienced in my life, but it sure changed the way I viewed a lot of things.
EL PASO — Translucent white porcelain clays, rulers, pencils and pieces of guns are scattered in Margarita Cabrera’s workspace as she peacefully sits inside her sanctuary surrounded by her sculptures and creations. Cabrera, a local sculptor, educator and mother of two, focuses her art on the difficulties related to immigration. “I address issues of cultural identity, labor practices, craft, community, empowerment, and violence,” Cabrera said. Cabrera, 42, was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, but moved to the U.S. at around the age of 10, when her family was in search of better opportunities. Her inspiration to become an artist began in childhood.
The UTEP Centennial Museum opened its doors to the Icons & Symbols of the Borderland exhibit this past October, featuring art from 22 JUNTOS artists, demonstrating the story of the borderland, through their own personal interpretations. Founded in 1985, JUNTOS Art Association is a non-profit organization promoting cultural appreciation of the diversity of the border community through the arts. The exhibit was the brainchild of artist and curator Diana Molina, who is also executive director of JUNTOS. The objective of the exhibit is to “provide a more powerful depiction of the borderland,” by including a diversity of artistic representations of the border. According to Molina, many of the personal interpretations in the exhibit take into account the European and Indigenous influence on border culture.
ELPASO – One snowy day in 2000, a trio of UTEP Creative Writing MFA students set up 50 chairs for a public event to release a local literary journal. Amit Ghosh, Jonathan Gonzales and Joseph Martinez were astonished when 90 local attendees showed up for their “goofy” idea, the first edition of BorderSenses. “The project (cost) was $339. Each of us put in exactly $113. I still have the paper,” grinned Ghosh, a former teacher who now works in the Information Technology field.