Music Beyond Borders brings together student musicians

LAS CRUCES — The Esperanza Azteca Symphony Orchestra of Ciudad Juarez and New Mexico State University Philharmonic Orchestra came together to highlight “Music Beyond Borders” with joint concerts on both sides of the U.S., Mexico border. More than 100 student musicians performed a variety of pieces including Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Márquez’s Danzón 2, Gershwin’s Summertime conducted under the baton of teachers Simón Gollo of NMSU and Maestro Jove García of Esperanza Azteca. “This concert means a lot to me because it represents the union of these two countries and how we see each other,”said Grace Garcia, a student in Azteca Esperanza orchestra. Student musicians aged 12 to 24 years-old performed together. “Everyone is really talented I had the pleasure to play with them, I felt really comfortable and I loved all the pieces that we play,” said Ana Patricia Gonzalez, a University of Texas at El Paso student.

Mom remembers when Hollywood came for El Paso’s babies in filming ‘The Border’

Martha Romero’s favorite movie star is her son. Nicholas Romero was only six weeks old when he debuted in “The Border,” a movie filmed in El Paso in 1980 starring Jack Nicholson, Valerie Perrine and Elpidia Carillo. Nicholas was one of several infants used to play Carillo’s son. “Aw, that’s my baby,” Romero recalled saying when she saw the movie for the first time. Romero said that having her newborn in a movie was a fascinating experience.

Controversial ‘Godspell’ opens season for El Paso children’s theater group at new home, First Presbyterian Church

Kids-N-Co chose the musical Godspell as the El Paso children’s theater company’s first performance at First Presbyterian Church, the group’s new home. The play, written by Stephen Schwartz, interprets the Book of Matthew through acting, singing and dancing. “If seventeen-year-old blue-haired Jesus doesn’t float your boat, that’s okay,” said director Rachael Robbins, 22. “It doesn’t float my mom’s boat either. She might not come to see the show but that’s okay because that’s everyone’s personal interpretation and this is my interpretation and this is my cast’s interpretation.,”

The pastor of First Presbyterian Neil Locke performed in the play and encouraged Kids-N-CO to choose Godspell for the spring performance, despite concern it could be controversial.

‘Uncaged Art’ exhibit gives voice to migrant children detained in Tornillo tent city

The experiences of migrant children detained in a Texas tent city are on display at a rare exhibit of their art at UT El Paso’s Centennial Museum. Among the pieces the students created was a white Catholic church made of construction paper, popsicle sticks and yarn. Other students created dresses made of cloth with depictions of their homeland. Tornillo’s detention center, also known as the Tornillo tent city, opened June 14, 2018, and it came to symbolize the mass detention of migrant children under the Trump administration. Over the eight months of its operation.

3D printer a transformational gift for Borderland art students experimenting with new materials

A new 3D printer gifted to the UTEP Department of Art will allow art students to break boundaries in the arts to create unique sculptures, models and forms that have the potential to go beyond what they can do with their bare hands and sculpting tools. “It provides an amazing opportunity for them to think about their studio practices in a different way,” said Vincent Burke, associate professor of art who specializes in ceramics. “It brings new technologies, new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing – so it’s a tremendous opportunity for the students.”

Burke said ceramics is known to be labor intensive since most artists use their hands to mold clay. Although the 3D printer does help, it can still be challenging and time consuming as one sculpture can take from 45 minutes to three hours. “The clay has to be just the right consistency.

Art lovers unite to launch new community gallery in Five Points neighborhood

What began as casual coffee shop chats among five El Pasoans has developed into an ongoing friendship and a joint creative venture. Edward Reyes, Jacqueline Aguirre, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Humphreys, and Aryk Gardea met by being regulars at Joe Vinny and Bronsons Bohemian Cafe on Piedras Street in Central El Paso. After discovering a shared appreciation for art, they decided to work together to support their vision of a community gallery. They secured a narrow space next to the coffee shop and opened Galeria Cinco Puntos in January. Gardea, whose background is in art with a BFA in ceramics and painting from UTEP and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in sculpture, pitched the idea of launching the gallery with an exhibit featuring the Horned Toad Prints exchange.

A look at what’s on at the 2019 Chicago Feminist Film Festival this week

Five films with a Hispanic flavor will be screened at the Chicago Feminist Film Festival, which began February 27 and runs through Friday, March 1st. The Film Row Cinema of Columbia College Chicago is hosting the fourth edition of the festival, which is free and open to the public. Three productions from Colombia, Spain and Cuba with local directors stand out, together with two productions from the United States directed by Latino filmmakers. In addition, migration, and refugees and racism are the protagonists of four other films, a feature film and three short films. Most screenings will be followed by a debate, in some cases with the presence of the directors. Migrantes y refugiados son los protagonistas de cuatro filmes que se proyectarán en la cuarta edición del Festival de Cine Feminista de Chicago.

Gaspar del Alba’s latest book belongs in the Latinx literary canon

In 1999, the Mexican poet Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz began her transformation into becoming a Chicana. The 17th century Hieronymite nun, one of Mexico’s best poets, was already dead by about three hundred years before the term Chicana came to be used, but nonetheless, with the publication of Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s ground-breaking novel, Sor Juan’s Second Dream, she became a Chicana feminist icon. Today Chicana intellectual activists know who she is and how important she is to Chicana identity and resistance. She was too brilliant to want to get married to some “hombre necio.” She wanted to develop her mind and resist convention. Gaspar de Alba’s novel may have been part of a late 20th century Zeitgeist that liberated feminine images from male historical narratives and redefined their socio-political significance, like Sandra Cisneros did for La Malinche, but it is certain that de Alba’s book influenced Chicana feminist interpretation of Sor Juana’s life.

Love Letter to Sunset Heights mural highlights border history

It took three years to bring a love letter to El Paso to life in the historical neighborhood of Sunset Heights. Pearl Properties unveiled the mural, Love Letter to Sunset Heights, during the neighborhood’s annual tour of homes last fall. The mural is painted on the side of the Pearl apartment building at 220 Yandell, which overlooks I-10. The Pearl’s owners commissioned Alejandro Lomeli as the artistic director in charge of the painting, but the project didn’t happen overnight. Lomeli, who has lived in three different Pearl buildings – including the one where the mural is now – went off to work as a steelworker in Albuquerque for a while as funding for the project was secured along with permission from the El Paso Historic Landmark Commission.