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.

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.

Rubin Center exhibit explores migrant culture

The works of Mexican artist Betsabee Romero offered a reflection on themes of migration and belonging in an exhibit featured recently at the The Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center at UTEP. The exhibit of large-scale sculptures, prints and installations titled Tu Huella Es Tu Camino (Your Tracks Are Your Path) will be up through Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.  

El Paso’s position as a multicultural border city is one of the most defining aspects of its unique character. For Romero, the Rubin Center was a natural landing for her exhibit.

Iconográfika Oaxaca exhibit at Rubin Center until Dec. 14

EL PASO – Oaxaca has become known as a cultural center in Mexico with many art galleries and artisan crafts. An exhibit at the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual arts gives a glimpse of life outside of the big cities of Mexico. Titled “Iconográfika Oaxaca: Contemporary Prints, and Works on Paper,” the exhibit showcases artwork that delves into topics of poverty, border relations, immigration, family, and indigenous culture in Oaxaca. The exhibit also features a wide range of art mediums including prints, photography, paintings, tile work, and sculptures. “I think that people coming to this exhibition can get a preview of…

Aspiring Juarez photographers continue to develop one year after National Geographic Photo Camp came to town

Last April, National Geographic photographers Dominic Bracco, Tyrone Turner, and Amy Toensing brought Photo Camp to Cd. Juarez to encourage young people to share their perspectives on life on the border through photography and writing. Now, a year after photo camp, some of the participants reflect on their experience and how their lives changed after participating in this workshop. “This was a really interesting workshop because I didn’t have any knowledge about photography. Although what stayed with me the most is the human side before taking a photo, they made us get to know the person before capturing their portrait,” said Miriam Cortez, 21 years old, a participant of the Nat-Geo photo camp.

Cheech Marin’s Papel Chicano Dos collection featured at El Paso Museum of Art

The entertainer Cheech Marin is well-known for his “Cheech and Chong” movies and his upbeat, unapologetic humor that has brought laughter to homes around the world for decades. Marin is no longer making movies but he is an avid collector or art, some of it by Latino artists. An exhibit of his collection, Papel Chicano Dos, is now on display at the El Paso Museum of Art through July 17. It features Chicano artists from different border cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles. The show includes 65 different pieces by 24 artists.

Rubin Center offers a place for UTEP art faculty to display their work

EL PASO – Art History Major Alejandra Valdez recently spent an hour at the DoArt Faculty exhibit on the UTEP campus where she had the chance of seeing for the first time the work of her instructors. She said the experience was “inspiring.” “I felt inspired,” said the 21-year-old Valdez. “I found that some of my professors participated in the exhibit. My art appreciation professor Alexandra McGovern displayed some pieces, my art history professor supervised a description of an art piece that a student wrote and even my advisor Terri Bauer was involved,” she added.

Small frame shop had big role in displaying border artists

In Northeast El Paso is a small shop with B.B. King on the loudspeakers and bold green letters that read “Framing Concepts.” This is Alfredo Sanchez’s domain – a frame-making mecca that helped display the works of Gaspar Enriquez, Tom Lea, and Hal Marcus. Sanchez, now 67, has been framing for over 40 years, opening his own frame shop in 1995. “I’ve always been interested in art. High school, college, and stuff like that.,” he said.

La Policia Federal de México muestra su cara musical

La policía federal de México decidió darle una nueva cara a la institución, creando una orquesta y un mariachi conformado de policías que tienen vocación por la música. “Como parte del Mariachi de la Policía Federal nuestro trabajo es la proximidad social”dijo la policía tercera Norma Casillas, de 31 años, cantante del mariachi. “Tenemos que estar cien por ciento entregados para crear vínculos con la sociedad”. Los policías de la sinfónica han estudiado música en diferentes escuelas del país, tanto como en el conservatorio nacional de música. La idea principal de crear la orquesta fue establecer un vínculo con la sociedad y fomentar y difundir la cultura musical.