EL PASO – Dressed in a bright orange jacket adorned with a necklace and a crucifix pendant, Rosa Guerrero flashes a warm smile, projecting the trademark youthful spirit and upbeat stamina that belie her approaching 80th birthday. “Age is just a matter of the mind,” Guerrero said as she sipped her cranberry and orange juice drink, a mix she concocted herself. “If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.”
Guerrero’s long resume in the professional dance world has not weighed her down. An avid dancer in all types of genres, a dance teacher of students that range in age from two-year- olds to 100-year-olds, and an ambassador for Mexican folkloric dance, her love for dance is evident in the rhythm of her hand gestures and expressive nature. “I started dancing in my mother’s womb,” Guerrero exclaimed as she sculpted a simple dance move with her hands.
With one quick motion of his finger on the camera shutter release, David Smith-Soto erases the boundaries of time and eternalizes an intimate instant as two lovers stare into each other’s eyes. “It’s a glimpse of intimacy,” said David Flores, photographer and special collections archivist at the University of Texas at El Paso. “This is life one frame at a time.”
The black and white photograph taken in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2000 entitled “Lovers” is one of 26 prints in David Smith-Soto’s street photography exhibit in the Glass Gallery at the University of Texas at El Paso,
Photo Gallery: The Street Photography of David Smith-Soto
Smith-Soto said he was pleased to show some of his 60 years of photography to a large audience, but that the purpose of the show was to raise funds for journalism student internships. “We need to send out more students into the world, so that means we need more funding for that,” said Zita Arocha director of Borderzine, UTEP’s online bilingual magazine. Arocha said it costs approximately $3000 to send one student on an internship.
SAN ELIZARIO, TX – There’s only one place in El Paso County where a family can see work by hundreds of artists, visit a veteran’s museum, get a homemade empanada at a café, see a live band at a restaurant that’s right next to the jail that once housed Billy the Kid, then walk a few blocks down the street to a community garden. This is the San Elizario Historic district, also known as “San Eli,” home to the only art district in the county, located about 10 miles east of the city limits. “We started this madness out here in 2009 with the Main Street Gallery and things just quickly grew,” said Al Borrego, a self-taught artist who invests most of his time promoting San Elizario and all the artists. “I take pride in my community and I think with the history and talent out here, it’s the perfect place for something like this.”
There are over 100 artists exhibiting their artwork in about 40 galleries, with more venues on the way. The artworks range from traditional acrylic and oil paintings, to iron and woodwork as well as sculptures, stained glass and jewelry.
CD. JUAREZ – Driving through downtown Juárez has always been somewhat of a treat for me. The sights and sounds of the everyday hustle and bustle, the lingering aroma of what can only be defined as tradition, and the looming sense of that which is no longer there. Yet what most captivates me to this day are the numerous decaying buildings situated in one single area. These remnant monoliths weathered down by the years serve as a reminder of my city’s heritage, a heritage that I never fully knew.
EL PASO – Local artist Carlos Rodriguez has been painting for decades, but up until late October he had never placed his art on sale in a weekly market. With the inception of the El Paso Downtown Art Market, hosted by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD), artists can now display and sell their handcrafted art in a large exhibit area. The art market started Oct. 29 and is currently open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union Plaza District in downtown El Paso. The market was requested by the City Council based on similar art markets in Los Angeles and Las Cruces.
EL PASO — Watercolor paintings of wild horses, wild flowers and cacti in vibrant colors hang on artist Kenge Kobayashi’s walls, but the bucolic scenes tell little of a life that was interrupted by interment in a Japanese-American prison camp during World War II. Kobayashi, who had his first solo art exhibition in March, at the International Museum of Art on Montana. He said the scenes he brings to life are from places he has visited. “It was good, a lot of people came.” He said. He is now seeing what to do next.
El Paso — Dark colors and shadows transform the canvas into excruciatingly vivid scenes – a severed head laying on the ground, soldiers restraining an angry man in front of a crowd – of the bloody drug war raging along the U.S.-Mexico border, illustrating every disturbing emotion on the faces of the subjects while employing the classic beauty of 17th century Baroque-style paintings. Rigoberto A. Gonzalez (http://rigobertogonzalezalonso.com/home) 37, the artist of these deeply disturbing and meticulously painted images, is bringing his exhibition, titled Baroque on the Border/Barocco en la Frontera, to The University of Texas at El Paso at the Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Art of from May 26 to September 24, 2011. He was born in Reynosa, in the border state of Tamaulipas, Mexico and moved with his family to the border city of San Juan, TX when he was 9 years old. As a child, his mother and older brother inspired him to become an artist. This inspiration led him to obtain a bachelor’s degree in art from The University of Texas-Pan American in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the New York Academy of Art in 2004.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Art created from recycled items is now a fast growing and popular niche, but Carlos Egan (“The Country Gentleman”) has been incorporating recycled items into his art for years. Egan’s Rustic Art was most recently featured at the 39th Annual Renaissance Arts Faire in Las Cruces. But, for 27 years Egan has been traveling and selling his work at fairs all over Texas and New Mexico. “I go out into the desert with my daughter and look for wood pieces that have been weathered by the sun and rain. I mostly go where people throw stuff away.
EL PASO, Texas – Dancers covered themselves from head to toe in tomato juice to express their love for food at the annual Chalk the Block art festival. “For this piece I really wanted to create an environment in which people could come inside and get immersed in all the living plants and the green. Then, hopefully take home some ideas,” said visual artist Christine Foerster about Bio.Domo.Sis, her latest installation. Emily Morgan, a University of Texas at El Paso Dance department instructor, collaborated with Foerster to incorporate a dance that would highlight locally grown food. Foerster focuses on a couple of ideas that help put together the Bio.Domo.Sis.
EL PASO, Texas — Seeing no future in art, legendary El Paso artist Gaspar Enriquez abandoned the idea of pursuing an artistic career during his high school years. Little did he know where the potential of his talent would take him. “I liked art since I was a kid, but knew there was little or no pay in the field,” said Enriquez. Having grown up in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Segundo Barrio, Enriquez found himself growing up at a faster rate than most teenage kids. Moving to East Los Angeles right after graduating from Bowie High School, Enriquez began working as a dishwasher, then at a defense plant lab, and eventually as a machinist as he continued working his way up until he graduated in 1970 from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a degree in Art Education.