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Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Hola Folks! I do apologize that it has been a while and if I haven't been the best at responding to emails or posting. I have been some what bumming after finals. BUT...within the next couple of weeks do expect a major change to happen to The Art of Brownsville. So keep an eye open and please keep visiting cuz it's going to blow your mind!

Monday, December 12, 2005

NMCAC "El Second Weensdee"

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center presents

"El Second Weensdee"
'Nuestra Musica y Nuestras Costumbres'
Christmas Celebration
Jose Flores Peregrino
of Conjunto Aztlan
plus members of the Narciso Martinez Writer's Forum

This month's Second Weensdee will celebrate las navidades conjunto style. Jose Flores Peregrino is an accomplished poet, songwriter, musician and professor of English at Austin Community College, plus a bajo sexto player with the Austin and San Antonio - based Conjunto Aztlan. Enjoy his music and writing, plus local Christmas stories from members of the Narciso Martinez Writer's Forum. A reception and a Christmas open-mic session will follow the presentations.

Wednesday December 14, 2005
7:00 PM
225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas
(956) 361-0110
$4.00 admission

for more information CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 11, 2005

BMFA Open House

There will be an Open House on Friday, December 16th at the Brownsville Museam of Fine art, 230 Neale Drive from 4-6 PM. The public will enjoy a demonstration by professioanal artist, Marilyn Brown. Ms Brown is known for her experimental and creative art workshops. She will give a demonstration of painting on Yupo paper. Yupo paper is a synthetic, non-absorbant paper developed primarily for outdoor graphics.

The presentation "Yippee it's Yupo" will take place at 5 p.m. and serve as an introduction to a three day experimental and creative workshop offered January 16, 16, and 18th, 2006. The cost of the workshop is $75 for members and $85 for non-members. Ms. Browns workshop is one that fills very quickly according to Carol DeMoss, Executive Director with the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. "The Open House will be a chance for people to sign up early".

Ms. Brown has won several juried shows with her innovative works and has served as a judge in many art exhibits. The selection of handmade holiday ornaments are part of a silent auction at the Open House with proceeds supporting the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art's new facility under consturction at 7th and Ringgold. There will also be art on view and for sale from the collection of past members and visiting instructors. Their sales will also support the new facility.

For additional information, contact the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts at (956) 542-0941

Saturday, December 03, 2005

RGV Christmas Events


WHO: Cantare Community Youth Choir
WHAT: Performance of “Miracle on Bethlehem Street”: A performance that captures the Christmas Story “in an unforgettable telling with fun and heart felt songs with delightful dialogue.”
WHEN: Saturday, December 10, 2005 at 7pm.
WHERE: Francisco G. Zarate Center for the Performing Arts, Rio Grande City, Texas
Cost: Tickets are $5.00 and may be purchased by contacting Ms. Reyna or any chorister.
Contact: Melissa Reyna, Director, 956-533-5791,

Cantare is a nonprofit organization in Rio Grande City that has been providing the children of its community with quality music education.


Laguna Madre Art League
Contact: Virginia Eggert
Box 791
Port Isabel TX
(956) 943-1153

A variety of two and three-dimensional artwork by local artists will be on display. Weaving, sculpture, jewelry, paintings in oils, watercolors, pastels and acrylics plus more will be on display by sixteen LMAL members. They include: Jeri Wilhelmi (paintings), Art Wilhelmi (photography), Gene Paull (photography, Dee Kreider (paintings), Tina Poucher (paintings), Tom Leeman (paintings), Dick Schmidt (computer art), Diane Hofmeister (jewelry), Sharon Campbell (paintings), Virginia Eggert (paintings). Roger Theriault (jewelry), Glenda Spinks (paintings), Christine Salazar (paintings), Judith McCarthy (paintings), Sandi Heir (paintings) and Lynn Speier (jewelry and weaving). $1 raffle tickets will be sold on a piece of artwork with the drawing on Sunday. The winner need not be present. Proceeds go to a P.I. High School Art Scholarship Fund. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Give that perfect Christmas gift – the gift of art.

Who: Laguna Madre Art League
What: LMAL Christmas Art Show and Sale
Where: Port Isabel Community Center, located north of Highway 100 on Yturria Street behind the Public Library
When: Saturday, December 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 4th from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.


El Paseo Arts Foundation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
Contact Person: JoAnn Evans
South Padre Island, TX.

Voice and piano concert highlight traditional holiday and contemporary music, featuring local artists, Joel Lamar Cruz, Deidra Ann Duron and Ruben Reyes. Concert attendees will also be treated to a reception with traditional holiday treats.

Who: El Paseo Arts Foundation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley
What: “Noel” a Holiday Concert
When: Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: the Chapel by the Sea, on South Padre Island.
Cost: are $20 per person and can be purchased by phone at 956-772-9097 or email at

El Paseo is a newly formed Arts Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage, support and promote the development of the arts for benefit and education of the communities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Foundation’s first production of the one-act play “Postcards” in October was a great success, playing to a sold out house at the SPI Convention Center. The Foundation hopes to partner with other local arts groups on future productions for the area. El Paseo invites all the residents of the Rio Grande Valley to share this festive holiday celebration.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stunning Strokes Encore Reception

We're happy to inform that the "Stunning Strokes" art exhibit has had great response from the public. The turnout on November 25, was so good that we've decided to have an encore reception December 16... back by popular demand! Toni Hudson, Antonio Antinori, Al Garza Jr., Claudia Garza de la Garza, Glenda Garza (Danda), Anahi Navarro, Dina Saldana, Eduardo Ibarra, Gabriel Trevino, Lucy Quezada, Christina Salazar and Melinda Moreno are among the artists exhibiting at the show. We've had wonderful interaction between the viewers and the artists. The show is ongoing up until December 23, so come by and check it out. It's a great way to help boost the appreciation of diversity in the art of Brownsville and it allows people to get to know who we are and why we do what we do. Let's continue to celebrate ART and get inspired while we're at it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Blog Turns Two!

A little late but just in time...but just wanted to say that today, Wednesday, November 30th, The Art of Brownsville celebrates its 2nd birthday! Yay! Two! Who knew it would come this far? Usually, blogs and consistency are not the best pair of qualities, so I am happy to say the this blog has kept up. I am also happy to have Lucy and Al on team and to have more responses from the community. I heard the attendance to Stunning Strokes was wonderful (I was in Mexico City) and I hope that you all may join us again on December 16th for the 2nd reception. The Herald also covered the exhibition in their Friday edition. Many thanks go out to The Herald for coverage and support they have given to the blog these past months!

Many wonderful things have occurred and will continue to escalate! My wish for the next year is for the blog to help foster more development in the Brownsville art community through unity and collaboration and to also look to and support our neighbors in Matamoros, Reynosa and all over the Valley! We are sitting on a well-spring of cultural and artistic wealth and inspiration! It just needs to be tapped! There is so much potential for local culture and art to be developed in a major tourist and entertainment industry through which we can substantially improve our quality of life. So like fellow Art of Brownsville blogger Al Garza Jr. said, "Let's work on it! Get inspired!"

* Work by Carmen Lomas Garza
Cumpleaños de Lala y Tudi (Lala and Tudi’s birthday), 1989, Lithograph, 22" x 30"

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Brownsville Hertiage Museum Art Events

Mexican Folk Retablos: From the Jones Collection Exhibition opens at the Brownsville Heritage Complex on December 4th

Brownsville- The Brownsville Heritage Museum, located in the Brownsville Heritage Complex in historic downtown Brownsville, invites the public to the opening of Mexican Folk Retablos: From the Jones Collection, an exhibition of historic Retablos. The exhibition opens on Sunday, December 4th at 2pm. The exhibition is from the private collection of Joan Jones, who is an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers and is a recognized expert in the field of 18th-19th century Mexican Colonial Art. Mexican Retablos are devotional paintings of various saints on tin and copper. A presentation on "The History of Mexican Retablos" by Joan Jones is scheduled for 2 p.m., with books on Mexican Folk Retablos available for purchase in the museum gift shop. A reception for the exhibition follows the presentation and is scheduled for 3 p.m. The presentation and reception are free and open to the public. Mexican Folk Retablos: From the Jones Collection will be on view at the Brownsville Heritage Museum through January 6, 2005 and is included with the cost of general admission to the Brownsville Heritage Museum. Admission is free for Brownsville Historical Association members.


The Brownsville Heritage Complex to host Artful Holidays Exhibition as part of Artful Holidays Weekend

Brownsville- The Brownsville Heritage Museum, located in the Brownsville Heritage Complex in historic downtown Brownsville, invites the public the opening reception for Artful Holidays Exhibition on Sunday, December 4 at 3 pm. Admission is free to the public. Artful Holidays Exhibition will feature various artworks by local artists and is a unique opportunity to buy ceramic and steel sculptures, as well as paintings and prints. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the art will benefit the Brownsville Historical Association. Some of the artists participating in the exhibition are Cande Aguilar, Aleida Garcia, Jessica Salazar-McBride, Benjamin Varela, Brian Wedgworth, Beth Fedigan, Chris Leonard, and Dainty Lewis. Artful Holidays Exhibition is part of the Artful Holidays Weekend 2005 at the Brownsville Heritage Complex. Artful Holidays Weekend 2005 will feature various activities throughout the weekend at the Brownsville Heritage Complex. Some of the activities include Sabores del Valle workshop on "Citrus," Art Market, and Mexican Folk Retablos lecture and exhibition reception.


The mission of the Brownsville Historical Association is to preserve and promote all things relating to the rich history of Brownsville, Texas, and its environs. The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located at 1325 E. Washington St. in historic downtown Brownsville, includes the Stillman House Museum, the Brownsville Heritage Museum and the Heritage Resource Center. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information on Brownsville Heritage Complex exhibitions and programs, please call 956-541-5560 or email

Monday, November 21, 2005

Los Artistas de Brownsville

The Art of Brownsville is pumping up for its 2nd cumpleaños (coming up Nov. 30th) and one main objective for this upcoming year is to support our local artists through more advocacy and promotion! To the right you can see local artists (left to right) Antonio Antinori Jr., Anahi Navarro, Dina Saldaña, Christina Salazar, Toni Hudson, Gabriel Treviño, Al Garza Jr. and Lucy Quezada showcasing their work at the Paseo de la Resaca Park Inauguration at the Brownsville Events Center on Sunday, November 13th 2005. For more pictures of the event and the artwork on display click here. You can also personally view most of these artist's artwork and meet them at the "Stunning Strokes" Exhibition this Friday, Nov. 25th from 7pm-9pm at Paseo Plaza.

You can also see photos of UTB graduate Sandesh Kadur's solo exhibit of photographs from his book Sahyadris: India’s Western Ghats – A Vanishing Heritage, currently on display at the beautiful and historic UTB/TSC Alonso Building. The photographs on display were taken by Kadur while he was filming the documentary "Sahyadris: Mountains of the Monsoon" for the Gorgas Science Foundation which was also broadcast on the Discovery Channel. To read Herald coverage on Kadur's exhibit click here. Visit Sandesh to learn more about his work in conservation, documentary film and photography.

Keep an eye out for more art and information about local artists and please feel free to give feedback on what you see and read on The Art of Brownsville.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

McAllen Artwalk

Artists in McAllen, Texas are really doing their part when it comes to art. The Art Walk in McAllen is a great outlet for artists to convey their talents and help raise the importance of appreciation for the arts in their city. It not only benefits McAllen artists, but it benefits the entire art world. It was wonderful to feel a great sense of unity in the art community. There were several galleries, studios and restaurants collaborating efforts into one artistically diverse event. Seeing everything from bronze cast sculptures, in one part of town, to designer furniture in another part proved just how free and expressive art is in McAllen. Variety is the spice of life and the freedom expressed at the Art Walk allows people to become more observant and appreciative of the unrestricted diversity that the art world has to offer. I think It would be a wonderful idea to have something like this in Brownsville... so let’s work on it. Get inspired.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Brownsville Graffiti Artist Arrested

The Herald recently covered this story on the arrest of Brownsville graffiti artist Jose Guadalupe Gutierrez, whom was credited for the tag aliases "Slick", "slic", "Dose" and "2 1/2 K". If Gutierrez embodies all of these aliases or if the tags are of different artists or of a crew was not confirmed. While graffiti has been posted about in The Art of Brownsville, interestingly in the past week, I have received two contacts from readers in concern to Brownsvillle graffiti. While the graffiti scene has not hit big in Brownville in comparison to Hidalgo County, there has been a rise in higher forms of the style, ranging from aerosol, to stickers, to stencil mediums. While I do not condone acts of vandalism, the recent rise has been an aesthetic relief from the eye sore of gang graffiti.

What is neat about the article are the interesting comments by Gutierrez which signal an obvious need for artist support in the community :

“I’ve always wanted people’s attention by doing big stuff, and every time I would ask for permission, I would never get it,” he said. Give me a set of paint brushes, or give me a bucket of paint and I’ll be doing murals. I just don’t have the money or the paint.”

One of the readers asked for my thoughts on this recent event. I have plenty of thoughts on the complex and controversial subject and to read up on them check out the links below. Yet, what I would really like is for you to give your own thoughts on the matter. Share your thoughts and observations Brownsville! Graffiti, is it art? Is if right? Is it wrong? Where does it fit in Brownsville? What can be done? What needs to be done? Lover or hater, artist or critic, here is your forum to speak out!

TAOB Graffiti Posts:
Audrey Hepburn Tag
The Gates Vandalized
Some Early Observations
An Early Post

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Art of Brownsville Team

The Art of Brownsville welcomes two new bloggers to its team! Brownsville artists and muralists Lucy Quezada and Al Garza Jr. will be contributing to the blog by giving more insight and promotion on the Brownsville, Valley/Frontera art scene by sharing their experiences and viewpoints on art. You can currently view their murals at the Greyhound bus station in downtown Brownsville on St. Charles and 14th st and at the UTB ITEC center (formerly Amigoland Mall). Al and Lucy have proven themselves to be dedicated artists and supporters of the Brownsville art scene through their activism and insights so keep an eye out for more posts. Welcome to The Art of Brownsville Lucy and Al!
*Picture shows Greyhound mural behind muralists Al Garza, Lucy Quezada and UTB Art Professor Carlos Gomez

Support The Art of Brownsville

The Art of Brownsville is itching to grow and needs your support! You can help expand the already free resources and information the blog provides through monetary donations. All donations, big and small, would only be used towards the costs of creating, maintaining and marketing an online arts and culture resource that will help put our local communties on the map! Donations, big and small are welcomed. All donors will be recognized on the blog and the completed website. The Art of Brownsville is a complete volunteer effort. We work on this blog because we are passionate about art and we are passionate about our corner of the world which we feel deserves more credit! So become a part of el movimiento today and donate, or better yet, activate!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Learn About Jeremy Blake

My first impressions of Jeremy Blake’s work came from within a dark make shift theatre at the Blanton Museum of Art. I sat, bored and yet visually fixated on Jeremy Blake’s “time-based painting” Winchester, a digital video montage of images of the Winchester House, the mysterious Gothic mansion Heiress Sarah Winchester built to defend herself from the ghosts of people who were killed by the rifle. I was transfixed by the morphing images of the mansion, rifles, huntsmen, ink blots and abstracted colors ranges, but after 20 minutes I felt frustrated by the lack of any climatic release. I found the piece to be dreary and slow and likened it to a glorified screensaver.

Then a few weeks later, Jeremy Blake gave a lecture about his piece and his upcoming work on the film Punch-Drunk Love, in which his “time-based paintings” would be used through out the film as “hallucination sequences to represent the main character’s whirl of emotions at key points in the plot.” His explanation of abstraction as a technique of narrative caught my interest since it is not often used in sequential media such mainstream film. He also stated that he preferred to be a called a painter because he feels his paintings have “the sensitivity to form and color that one associates with traditional painting - even if he uses pixels and programs instead of oil paint.” After hearing the artist himself, I decided to approach his art with a different attitude. Unlike film, his time-based paintings have no imposed limitations of a plot or time frame because they are played in a continuous loop and they even transcend the limitations of traditional abstract painting. It is best described by Bill Davenport of "In a way, Blake's videos do what abstract painting always wanted to, but better. Relieved of the weight of history and the hackneyed romanticism of high art, they are the realization of Kandinsky's dream: stories told in an abstract language of shapes and colors, free to express mystical, spiritual forces and feelings directly, without the mundane literalness of representation."

Blake’s Punch-Drunk Love abstractions are more than representational imagery; it is an active character in the film, helping set the atmosphere and interacting with the narrative of the film. I came to appreciate Blake’s work by breaking down the limitations of my own expectations of sequential media. It is still a challenge to put those expectations aside from which I can understand why Jeremy Blake would prefer to be called a painter. He wants his work to be seen as an evolution of painting and not to be instantly categorized as another video art piece because then it will be judged as such, disregarding the actual context of his time-based painting style.

Research Sources:
Punch-Drunk Love and Jeremy Blake
Creative Time, Essay by Jeremy Blake
Acrylic: Contemporary Art Criticism
Personal Note: I wrote this small essay up for my current art course. I thought you all might like to learn about Jeremy Blake. He is not a Valley artist but I think it's also important to keep ourselves informed of what's going on outside the community and step outside the box. I also hope that as I become more acquainted with the Valley art scene, I may be able to write more posts about local artists and their work. If you are an artist and want to see something about you on The Art of Brownsville send a few pictures, a statement and bio my way via email and voila! Until then, I will also continue to share as much information that I can provide about art.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Art of Brownsville would like to extend gratitude to for it's generous support of the blog through its outgoing links to the blog and recent news coverage. Matamoros has been and will always be an important component of what makes Brownsville so special, and vice without the other makes no sense because the interaction and exchanges between both cities is so synonymous. For someone to say otherwise has been living in a box and needs to visit Matamoros more often. My favorite draw to lecheros at Cafe Paris, El Mejor Taco con Chicho next to Domino's, El Mercado, Thursday nights cultural events at the Main Plaza and El Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Tamaulipas..and more!

So in view of this, I gave a more indepth exploration and I was outstanded with the resources the site has available. Check out their webcams that keep a constant vigilance over the state of traffic on the Mexican side of the Bridges. They also have an awesome page dedicated to Matamoros artists with pictures, bios and statements about the artists. This site is just packed! I encourage you to give a visit and to explore its many nooks and crannies that bring you an array of information on Matamoros.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another Young Brownsville Artist on the Rise

Meet The Art of Brownsville's second Young Brownsville Artist on the Rise Estevan Medrano. Estevan is the illustrator of Volumes 1 and 2 of "The Ghosts of Fort Brown: Informal Studies of Brownsville Folklore and Parapsychology" by Javier Garcia and John Hawthorne. Estevan currently attends Lopez High School of Brownsville, Texas and is a student of the Fine Arts Academy Media Tech program. Estevan answered a few questions about art and his experience illustrating for "The Ghosts of Fort Brown" books. Here is what he had to say:

Who are some artists you look to for inspiration? I am really influenced by earlier works of art by artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Da Vinci. It seems to me that their work was desperate to release the ideas deep within their mind, avoiding the impacts of the world’s immediate limitations upon society.

What are your goals as an artist? I am actually very interested in proceeding in a career in film. Although this is my most aspired goal, pretty much anything that affects how I see things would be considered an inspiration as far as expanding my creativity.

What is your favorite drawing from “The Ghost of Fort Brown” illustrations? I can’t really say I have a drawing I like more than any of the rest. There are just different to me in their own way. Although I do like some more than others, comparing your work seems to only limit your interpretation over all.

What attracts you to make art with paranormal themes? There is something appealing about believing something that goes beyond understanding. Perhaps it’s the bitter sweetness of uncertainty or simply how it allows us to ponder upon earthly limitations. I myself enjoy showing my audience my version of what goes post reality.

What do you like about illustrating pictures for books? To me illustrating allows me to be creative and envision words in my own way. It’s very appealing to me and helps me release ideas I never knew I had.

How did the images for The Ghosts of Fort Brown come to you? It’s a little more interesting accepting ideas having to do with paranormal interpretation. Ideas usually come to me regularly after simply interpreting sightings and reports in my own way because in the end result you never really can be sure if you’re wrong.

Have you ever seen a ghost at the University of Texas at Brownsville? Unfortunately, I have not. However for all I know I may have seen one walking on campus and not realized it.


To see more of Estevan Medrano's illustrations or for more information about "The Ghosts of Fort Brown" please visit The Ghosts of Fort Brown website. The Art of Brownsville wishes the best of luck to Estevan on his future endeavors in art and in film!

For a more personal encounter with "The Ghosts of Fort Brown" attend the special powerpoint presentation to be held the the University of Texas at Brownsville Library on October 31st, 2005 at 1:30pm. A survey will also be taken to share any ghostly experiences on campus!

Also, feel free to share any ghostly experiences of your own in the comments section or if you have a ghostly picture email it my way and I will post it on The Art of Brownsville Photo Gallery. To see the most recent ghostly additions CLICK HERE!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Recuerdos y Pasajes Entre el Presente y el Pasado

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center presents

"Recuerdos y Pasajes Entre el Presente y el Pasado"
The Chicho's 14th Birthday Party

Saturday October 29, 2005, 7:00 PM
225 E. Stenger Street, San Benito, Texas

art installation by
Ramon F. Barela
short film "Khalo Meets Khalovera"
by Omar Rodriguez
readings by members of
the Narciso Martinez Writer's Forum
dance and ceremonial blessing by members of
Calpulli Tlalpalcalli Indigenous Community Center
conjunto music
food & beverage

$25 birthday donation appreciated
for pre-sale ticket information call (956) 361-0110

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Cande Aguilar Exhibition

Local artist cande Aguilar will have an art exhibition called "Mi Pueblo" at the Tre Fratelli Italian Restaurant. Go check it out!

What: "Mi Pueblo" art exhibition
Who: Artist Cande Aguilar
When: Oct. 23rd - Nov. 23rd
Where: Tre Fratelli Italian Restaurant
3001 Pablo Kisel, suite N,
Brownsville, Texas

Artist Bio:

Cande Aguilar, Jr. was born on July 3, 1972 in Brownsville, TX. A self taught artist, he began his career as a musician at the age of 10 and recorded his first album by the age of 13. In 1991 he was awarded the best in show ribbon for an oil painting he submitted to a local competition amongst high schools. In 1992, Cande went on to pursue his musical career becoming a founding member of the Latin Tejano band, Elida y Avante. In a period of nine years the band toured the United States and received numerous awards, such as, The Tejano Music Award, The Billboard Magazine Award, and several gold and platinum records. The touring period allowed Cande to mature and gain inspiration from a diverse culture. In 1999 he painted his first oil painting, after an eight year recess. Cande has since accumulated an impressive young body of work. In this short period, he has shown his passion and dedication for the arts. Although young, his maturity as an artist has evolved and flourished, which can be seen in his work. Cande’s work is an example of the unique art form found in the Rio Grande Valley.

Artist Statement:

As an artist its important for me to give the viewer the opportunity to become one with sensitivity. In time this art will reveal a truth that conveys to an existence that is unique to our world in the 21st century. In my art the mixed media technique opens the doors of dimension, allowing me to abstract from the primitive, classical, modern and contemporary state. I believe that music and art is an abstract through which we channel ourselves, consciously or subconsciously, to experience the universe of life.

Image, Statement and Bio came from Austin To contact Cande Aguilar click here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

TCA Young Masters Program

Interested in attending a summer program at the Art Institute of Chicago, Juilliard or Tanglewood? Do you need help for additional arts training beyond school? Learn about the Young Master’s Program, a $2500 scholarship program for 8th to 12th grade students who are the future art stars of Texas in dance, literature, media arts, music, musical theatre, theatre and visual arts. Brenda Tharp and Cassandra Scholte from the Texas Commission on the Arts will be providing basic information and answering questions about the Young Masters application process.

Who Should Attend: Students, Parents, Art Teachers(performing, visual, literary, media)
Who: Texas Commission on the Arts
What: Young Masters Program
When: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 5:30pm
Cost: Free
Where: McAllen Chamber of Commerce
1200 Ash Avenue
McAllen, Texas 78501
For Map Click Here

Young Masters Application and Guidelines are available online at: www.arts.state.tx/ym.
To RSVP by Monday, October 31, 2005 at 5pm, call Mia M. Buentello-Andrade at 956-682-5336 or

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"From the Grave" Exhibition by photographer Noe Truan at BHA

Brownsville- The Brownsville Heritage Museum, located in the Brownsville Heritage Complex in historic downtown Brownsville, invites the public to the opening of From the Grave: Images of Brownsville's Historic Cemetery, a photography exhibition by Brownsville photographer Noe Ricardo Truan. The exhibition opens on Thursday, October 27, 2005 with a reception scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reception is free and the public is invited to attend.

From the Grave: Images of Brownsville's Historic Cemetery
will be on view at the Brownsville Heritage Museum through November 20, 2005.

Noe Ricardo Truan, a Brownsville native, is son of Brownsville artist George Truan and Bitty Truan. He is currently a student at the University of Texas-Brownsville. His long-term goal is to pursue a career in photography, and he prefers the old fashioned methods of photography, specifically black and white photography. He also collects old cameras and develops his own negatives and prints.

"Since my birthday is on Day of the Dead and my personal experiences have included several visits to graveyards, I became fascinated with old cemeteries. It bothers me to see how beautiful marble tombstones have been defaced and I wanted to capture not only the beauty, but also the damage. I love the Historic Brownsville Cemetery and have taken photos there at every hour of the day. My favorite time is in the early evening," said Truan.

Select prints of the photographs will be for sale in the museum gift shop, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the mission of the Brownsville Historical Association.

The mission of the Brownsville Historical Association is to preserve and promote all things relating to the rich history of Brownsville, Texas, and its environs.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located at 1325 E. Washington St. in historic downtown Brownsville, includes the Stillman House Museum, the Brownsville Heritage Museum and the Heritage Resource Center. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information on Brownsville Heritage Complex exhibitions and programs, please call 956-541-5560 or email

Community Heritage Dia de los Muertos Altar

By way of the Brownsville Historical Association:

Brownsville- The Brownsville Historical Association invites individuals from the community to participate in creating the Brownsville Heritage Community Altar Installation for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The public is invited to bring an object, clothing, toys, mementos, or photographs of dearly departed loved ones to place on the altar to the Brownsville Heritage Museum from October 17-November 1.

The altar installation will stay on exhibit at the Brownsville Heritage Museum through November 5, 2005. Objects and photographs will be available for pick-up by owners after this date.

Dia de los Muertos traces its roots to Pre-Conquest Mexico. When the Spaniards arrived in the New World, they encountered the Aztecs and other indigenous people of Mexico practicing a seemingly incomprehensible ritual that honored the dearly departed. More than 500 years later, the ritual lives on and is now known as Dia de los Muertos.

Considered one of Mexico's most important festivals, the occasion is often celebrated with feasting, building elaborate home altars, cleaning and decorating graves, dancing and music. Recently, the practice of celebration Day of the Dead in the United States has grown tremendously since its introduction during the Chicano Movement of the early 1970s. Today, the tradition of Dia de los Muertos extends into parts of the Southwest.

For the Brownsville Heritage Museum, this occasion is an opportunity to honor individuals from our community that have passed on. The altar is a tribute to Brownsville's past and to those individuals who in their own way contributed to building this vibrant community.

The Brownsville Heritage Museum is also offering a free Dia de los Muertos activity packet for teachers and community members that are interested in sharing information about the holiday. The activity packet is available at the Brownsville Heritage Museum by request and includes a word search game, mix and match puzzle, 4 coloring pages, and a papel picado lesson plan, and more.

The mission of the Brownsville Historical Association is to preserve and promote all things relating to the rich history of Brownsville, Texas, and its environs.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located at 1325 E. Washington St. in downtown Brownsville, includes the Stillman House Museum, the Brownsville Heritage Museum and the Heritage Resource Center. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.

For more information on Brownsville Heritage Complex exhibitions and programs, please call 956-541-5560 or email

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Teaching Artist Positions Available

Received via Texas Commission on the Arts:


Region One Arts Alive, an arts-in-learning program of Region One Education Service Center and VSA arts of Texas is currently looking for adult Teaching Artists in all mediums, including visual art, dance, drama, music, media arts, and literary arts. At the core of the program is a 500+ page resource, START WITH THE ARTS/EMPIECE CON LAS ARTES, comprised of arts-based lessons, tips, and helpful resources to bring arts and reading to all Texas children, every day. We are particularly in need of those who are bi-lingual (Spanish and English speaking) and who are interested in teaching early childhood (grades pre K- 3). Applicants must have daytime availability. Artists with disability are strongly encouraged, but all Artists in the ESC One area in all disciplines and styles, including, folk, classical, and contemporary, are welcome to apply.

Ideal candidates for the Region One Arts Alive program should have:
· Prior experience providing hands-on arts instruction to children
· Experience working with children with disabilities a plus, but not required
· Proven artistic ability
· Excellent communication skills
· Ability to work in a supportive role with classroom educator

To be eligible to teach in this program, you MUST attend a free two-day training November 30 and December 1, 2005, at Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, Texas, and be available for a short interview on Dec 2, 2005.

If selected for the program, Teaching Artists will be compensated on a contract basis commensurate with experience. Placements may range from 10-50 hours total per artist between January and May 2006.

Those interested MUST complete a background check before applying. For more information or to obtain an application packet, please contact:

Larissa Quon
Community Development Coordinator
VSA arts of Texas
3710 Cedar Street, Box 7
Austin, Texas 78705
(512) 454-9912 voice
(512) 454-1944 fax

Closing date for position inquiries is November 15, 2005.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dichos #1

"Hechando a perder se aprende."

figurative English translation:
"By making mistakes we learn."

A dicho is a spanish saying or proverb.


My story behind this dicho:

My mom and mom's best friend are making little canvas bible bags for their church's 96th anniversary. They are improvising the pattern and by Sunday there will be over 100 bags with little painted pictures I helped design that say "Mi Biblia". I admire the tenacity of the women in church and I like to hear the conversations and observe the social interactions between them. It reminds me so much of the social interactions between the characters in the Jane Austen novels, which probably explains why enjoy reading Jane Austen.

Today, my mom's best friend said the dicho above to my mom in concern to the patterns for the bag and I couldn't help but to take it as advice for life as well. It's okay to make mistakes. I have to remind myself of that all the time. So hearing this dicho hit the spot today and I wanted to share it with you all.

I have learned so much wisdom from the women at church. What frustrates me is that women's church groups are made fun as "la chismenil"...a pun on the spanish term "la feminil" to mean "gossipers". From my observations, women often are the most active members and contributors of the church. In most evangelist churchs, women are not even considered for deacon positions much less as pastors. I think this is terribly unjust...but when I bring this up with my mom it really isn't an issue. For her, the work has always been more for God than the politics of the church...For the greater truly is an unselfish act. Now if we could only have more people like that in power.


If you would like to share a dicho please fell free to use the comments option below. Any insight on it would be great as well. Dichos are such a staple cultural element in Valley culture. In the future I will also want to cover Harlingen artist Jennifer Rodriguez's interpretive paintings of Mexican American dichos. I wish I had a picture I could show you all (they are wonderful paintings) but hopefully by next Dicho post, I will have some more info to share on her work.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Latin Festival Call for Artists

You are welcomed to display your art FREE at the 9th annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival.
October 13-16, 2005

Art to be displayed at all festival locations.
Produced by local artists and friends of Imagenes Art Studio!

Space is limited! Get in contact with Imagenes Studio now!

For more info on the Jazz Festival click here.

Tears, Passion and Rage

Catch another opportunity to attend Rogelio Agrasanchez Jr.'s presentation

The heyday of Mexican movies in the United States

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Arunlfo L. Oliveira Memorial Library
Benito Longoria Room
(956) 882-7410

For more info on the event click here.

For more info on Mexican Cinema click here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Healing Colors of the World Reminder


Just wanted to remind you all of the

Healing Colors of the World" Art Exhibit
October 7th - 9th
Presented by
Imagenes Art Studio & Paseo Plaza

Come and enjoy new art by new artists from around the Valley
Reception Friday, October 7th, 7-9 p.m.
Exhibit dates October 7 to October 9th (All Day)

Paseo Plaza Shopping Center
1805 E. Ruben Torres Blvd
Brownsville, TX 78526


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Something to think about

Received this artcile via the Texas Commission on the Arts:

NEA and CPB Funding UPDATE
Republicans Eye Killing NEA, CPB

By Roger Armbrust

An advisory panel composed of over 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives has recommended ending all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The NEA is the federal government's chief source of funding for nonprofit theatre groups, dance companies, and arts presenters. The CPB is a major funder of noncommercial broadcast programming of the performing arts.

The Republican Study Committee recommended that the two agencies be eliminated as part of its "RSC Budget Options 2005" report. The 23-page analysis offers cuts in nearly every area of the federal budget, leading to savings of $102.1 billion in fiscal year 2006, five-year savings of $369.9 billion, and a decade's savings of $949.7 billion.

Presented by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the RSC's chairman, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the committee's budget and spending task force chairman, the study indicates that the lost federal funds could be made up through private sources.

"In 2001, America spent $27 billion on nonprofit arts funding: $11.5 billion from the private sector; $14 billion in earned income (tickets sales, etc.); and $1.3 billion in combined federal, state, and local public support (of which $105 million was from the NEA -- 0.39% of total nonprofit arts funding)," the report states. "The funding could easily be funded by private donations. Savings: $1.8 billion over ten years ($678 million over five years)."

As for public television, the report notes, "CPB, which receives $400 million annually from Congress, funds the Public Broadcasting Service at 15% of its annual budget. The other 85% of PBS's budget comes from viewer donations, local government, and universities. CPB and PBS continue to use federal funding to pay for questionable programming, such as a documentary on sex education funded by the Playboy Foundation. Additionally, much of the programming on PBS, such as 'Sesame Street,' could bring in enough annual revenues to cover the loss of federal funding. Savings: $5.6 billion over ten years ($2.2 billion over five years)."

The report does not indicate specifically how programs such as "Sesame Street" could raise that revenue.

The RSC has also recommended eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities, which supports research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. "As with the NEA, the general public benefits very little" from the NEH, the report declares, "and it could easily be funded by private donations. Savings: $2 billion over ten years ($769 million over five years)."

A revised version of the report is dated Sept. 22. On Wed., Sept. 28, Americans for the Arts, a national arts advocacy group, alerted its membership to the threatened funding cuts. The organization said in an emailed "arts action alert" that the RSC was using the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as a rationale for the recommended cuts: "Needless to say, cutting this funding would not even make a dent in the need for hurricane relief, and at the same time it would deprive the affected areas of much-needed help in rebuilding their vital cultural sectors."

Although the RSC makes no mention of Hurricane Katrina in its report, the document is headlined "Operation Offset," a reference to the group's "effort to find savings in the federal budget to pay for hurricane relief," according to its website.

Americans for the Arts did not respond to questions about whether a House bill that would end funding for the NEA and the CPB was actually in the works. A call to Rep. Pence's office in Washington was not returned by press time Tuesday.
Backstage 10/5/05


Yes, as always when budgets need to get cut, it's usually the arts that get the ax. While I do think that arts entities need to continue to search for more private-sector sponsors, I also believe that support from the public sector needs to remain as a vital option to protect the arts from too much commercial infiltration. Will Elmo have to exclusively wear Nike shoes on TV so that PBS can keep operating? Will our children have to start learning about Jazz through interrupting commercials for MP3 players? Yes, just like our government protects our constitution and our national security, I also believe that our government should protect, preserve and promote the cultural arts of our nation. And while the arts can be a controversial field, there is much integrity in it to defend! The arts have power to inspire passion and action in individuals and communities alike! The arts will also become a key economic force in the revitalization of communities affected by Hurricane Katrina, especially in concern to New Orleans. The arts will continue to tell our story for times beyond our own. Public funding for the arts must remain so that when these stories get passed on, it's not with a corporate logo branded on. Don't get me woring, I think private-sector funding is great, but I strongly believe that public funding needs to remain in the picture to act as a balance, because once commercialism becomes the only option things can get out of hand! Don't believe me? Click here for an example of commercialism going to far.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

BISD Faculty Art Show

11th Annual BISD Faculty Art Show
September 30 to October 28, 2005

The 11th Annual BISD Art Faculty Art Show opens Friday, September 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Brownsville Art League Museum of Fine Arts on 230 Neale Drive. There will be 2-dimentional and 3-dimentional original artworks from 20 art educators in the district. Invited artists this year are Jose Martinez, Martin Elementary Assistant Principal, Sue Tarrant, retired art teacher, and Mayra Cruz, Brownsville artist. The show is organized by Juan R. Garcia, BISD Specialist for Fine Arts. The show is free to the public and will be on exhibit until October 28, 2005. Call the Brownsville Art League at 542-0941 for museum hours.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Brown Bag Lunch

Hello folks! Hope you all are doing well. Just wanted to invite you all to the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art's Brown Bag Lunch Lecture for this month, on Friday, September 30th, 2005 from 11am-1pm, where I will be the guest artist/speaker. I will be talking about my art, in particular about my shoe art and will lead a shoe portrait art activity. I will also talk about The Art of Brownsville.

WHAT: The Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts Brown Bag Lunch Lecture
WHO: Guest Artist Mayra Cruz
WHERE: The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, 230 Neale Drive, Brownsville, Texas 78520
WHEN: Friday, September 30th, 2005
TIME: 11am-1pm
The public is invited to bring their lunch. The lecture series is free. RSVP at (956) 542-0941.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Celebrity Anime Voice Actor in Brownsville

Received this info by way of the UTB Anime Viewing Club:

The Brownsville Otaku Anime Society presents

Vic Mignogna
voice of Edward Elric from
Fullmetal Alchemist
(for TV viewing times visit

October 1, 2005
12pm - 4pm
Brownsville Public Library
2600 Central Boulevard

Vic Mignogna is a professional music composer/producer and veteran actor with ADV films, most recently voicing characters in such anime series as Edward Elrich in Fullmetal Alchemist and Broly in Dragonball Z. Vic has been guest at many anime conventions across the nation and will be coming to the Rio Grande Valley for the first time ever. The Rio Grande Valley will have its first anime convention SHIMAKON on September 22-24, 2006 at the South Padre Island Convention Center.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

An Eventful Sunday

Today I had the opportunity to attend two cultural arts events. The first event I attended was a presentation by Rogelio Agrasanchez Jr. on the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema at The Brownsville Historical Association. It was an interesting presentation with a really good turn out and some good food if I may add (my mom catered). I also enjoyed the wealth of knowledge and visual resources Mr. Agrasanchez shared and you can learn more about his Mexican film archives by visiting The only thing that I wished he could have done is to focus more on the topic of Mexican films in The Rio Grande Valley. I really would have liked to know more on that subject but he will be back in Brownsville to give a presentation at UTB on October 11th, so maybe then he will give more local insight.

The event was also a bittersweet experience because it was Carmen Zacarias's last event as director of the Brownsvillle Heritage Complex. Carmen will be greatly missed and The Art of Brownsville gives her praises and appreciation for all of the work she has done for the Brownsville community. As director, she was most instrumental in making the Brownsville Heritage Complex an impressive facility dedicated to the history and heritage of our beautiful city and to serving its public. Brownsville is going to be loosing one heck of a community and cultural advocate and I hope Carmen will come back to visit us often! (Thank you so much for everything Carmen!)

Originally uploaded by artofbrownsville.

After this event, my cousin David and I headed over to San Benito to attend the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival. People were enjoying the activity, hearing live music and socializing. I especially enjoyed watching and taking pictures of the couples dancing in front of the stage. We also got a look at the John Dyers "Conjunto" art exhibit and I was so impressed with his color photo technique and of his ability to capture the essence of the musicians he pictured. David and I had a good time trying to decipher what statement the photographed musicians were saying through their expressions and poses. The show will close on October 12th so go see it before it's gone!

I was also happy to see the San Benito square bustling with activity and people and I hope that the City of San Benito will continue to work to make that a much more common occurrence. Truly, this is a community dedicated to local music (you have The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, The Conjunto Hall of Fame and Freddy Fender active in the community). If Austin is the "Live Music Capitol of the World", I would say San Benito is the "Live Music Capitol of the Rio Grande Valley", but to people who love their town, San Benito is "the Center of the Universe". More people should learn from the example of these San Benito community members because we need more support and appreciation of The Rio Grande Valley/Tamaulipas Frontera by its own residents.

To see more pictures of the festival CLICK HERE.
To read Herald coverage of the events click the links below:
Golden Age of Mexican Cinema
Conjunto Festival

Friday, September 16, 2005

TCA Rio Grande Valley ARTSMeet

You are invited to take part in the ARTSMeet dialogue that will bring together the arts community in the Rio Grande Valley! The Texas Commission on the Arts will facilitate this initial meeting. This gathering will introduce you to concepts that will assist you in building organizational capacity, audiences, and to create an important and valuable impact in your community. Texas Commission on the Arts’ Executive Director, Ricardo Hernandez and Jim Bob McMillan, Deputy Director will lead the discussion. Invited guests include representatives from Texans For the Arts.

Who should attend?
· Local arts organizations (incorporated and unincorporated)
· Arts Administrators
· Board members of nonprofit local arts organizations
· Arts Educators
· Arts Advocates/Supporters
· Artists
· Local Media

Who: Texas Commission on the Arts
What: ARTSMeet
When: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Where: South Texas College, Weslaco Campus
Lecture Hall G – 191
400 N. Border, Weslaco Texas 78596
Time: 6pm—7pm Meet and Greet Reception
7pm-8pm ARTSMeet Meeting will begin.

To RSVP, contact Mia M. Buentello-Andrade at, or call 956-682-5336. RSVP deadline is Monday, September 26, 2005.

CineSol Film Festival

Via Las Comadres:

Sept. 23 - Oct. 8

BROWNSVILLE - The CineSol Film Festival opens Sept. 23 in Brownsville and concludes Oct. 8 in McAllen. The two-week festival kicks off in Brownsville with a public reception from 7-8 p.m. at Four Points Sheraton, 3777 N. Expwy 77. Free admission. The opening weekend includes independent film screenings with special guests, filmmaker's workshops and forums, live entertainment and a one-night art exhibition. Opening weekend workshops and screenings take place at Cinemark Movies 10 at 3471 Old Hwy 77 (across from the Red Roof Inn), (956) 544-7200. This year, Cinemark, an annual sponsor of Cinesol, increased their support by providing one screen for the exclusive use of the festival for their opening weekend. Screenings include the work of local filmmakers as well as works submitted by filmmakers from California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York. This year, for the first time, one entire day is devoted to local filmmakers. A catered after-party and one-night art show takes place Sat. night at the Ringgold Civic Pavilion at Dean Porter Park from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., $25 at the door or included with the $50 festival pass. Festival passes for opening weekend are on sale at the Brownsville Convention and Visitors Bureau and, during opening weekend only, at the Cinemark Movies 10 in Brownsville. The $30 festival pass gives access to all opening weekend screenings and workshops. The $50 festival pass gives access to all opening weekend screenings and workshops, plus the after-party on Sat. at the Ringgold Civic Pavilion. Admission to each feature film screening is $10, sold at the door only. Admission to workshops and afternoon screenings is $10 each day, sold at the door only. (Combined admission to screenings/workshops is $50.) After the opening weekend, special outreach screenings are scheduled at schools and theaters across the Rio Grande Valley and in Matamoros, Mexico. To celebration their continued working alliance, the Brownsville Border Film Commission, a major sponsor for the opening weekend, will join CineSol to promote independent films, documentaries and shorts and the talented people who create them. A Sept. 9 film commission press release states that they are very proud that CineSol decided to bring "one of the top media art events in Texas" to Brownsville. "It is our hope that Brownsville will become the permanent venue for the kick-off weekend of the CineSol Film Festival," said Peter Goodman, Border Film Commissioner. Schedules, dates, times, ticket locations and other vital information are posted on

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival

Received word of this via Las Comadres Network:

BROWNSVILLE – The Ninth Annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival, Oct. 13-16, features nightly dance concerts and a Sunday afternoon street party. The festival headliner this year is top Conga player, Giovanni Hidalgo, and his Latin jazz ensemble based out of New York City. Opening for Hidalgo is Melena, considered the top female Latin jazz percussionist, and her eight piece band based out of Los Angeles.

“Because of the talent that is being brought, this is one of the most exquisite jazz festivals in the U.S.” – Henry Brun, Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz (Brownsville Herald 10/29/05).

As the heat of summer fade into perfect balmy evenings, it’s time for normally laid-back locals to cut loose and dance.

This year’s festival opens Oct. 13 with “Latin Jazz Jam at Las Campanas,” a free outdoor concert featuring Tomás Ramirez, Charles Hearn and other regional performers, from 8-12 p.m. at the Las Campanas Mall at corner of Rubén Torres (FM 802) & Paredes Line Rd. in North Brownsville.

Friday night is “Michelob-Ultra Latin Dance Night” the Rio Grande Valley’ premier Salsa dance event featuring the Shati Orchestra from San Antonio and showcases by Salsa dance masters from throughout Texas. Jacob Brown Auditorium, doors open 7 p.m. and event concludes at 2 a.m.. Tickets are $20. Purchase discount tickets online at or at the door on the night of the event. Discounted advance ticket sales start August 15 (online only).

The Jacob Brown Auditorium is transformed into a tropical nightclub for “Night at the Copa with Giovanni Hidalgo,” Saturday, 8-12 p.m. Melena and her eight piece band open for Giovanni Hidalgo and his Latin jazz ensemble. Food and beverages on sale. Mojito cocktails, beer and wine available. Reserve tables are $500, purchase at or call (956) 831-9590 for more information. $20 general admission tickets will be available at the door the night of the event.

THE “CAPITOL THEATRE STREET PARTY” on Sunday is a free outdoor concert in front of the Capitol Theatre in Historic Downtown Brownsville. Acts to include Chuchito Valdes Jr. (Chicago), Rosalia de Cuba (Houston), Melena and others. This is a popular family event with food vendors, art show and dance exhibitions. Event opens at 3 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. Located on Levee Street between 10th and 12th Streets. Take Expressway 77/83 to 6th St., exit south to St. Charles St. and turn left. Drive to 11th St. Free parking available on street.

For more information and advance ticket sales, visit or call (956) 831-9590.

WHAT: Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival
WHEN: Oct. 13-16 (Thurs -Sun)
Thursday - “Latin Jazz Jam at Las Campanas,” at Paseo de la Resaca
FREE, 8 p.m.-12 midnight
Friday - "Michelob-Ultra Latin Dance Night" at Jacob Brown
Auditorium, $20, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Saturday - "Night at the Copa with Giovanni Hidalgo" $500 reserve
tables, $20 gen. admission at the
door. 7 p. m.-12 midnight.
Sunday - Capitol Theatre Street Party in Brownsville's Historic
District. FREE, 3 p.m.-10 p.m.

Tickets and complete schedule available online at

Monday, September 12, 2005

Conjunto Festival Reminder

14th Annual Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival
Sept. 16, 17, & 18, 2005
The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
(956) 361-0110

For more information about the festival CLICK HERE.

More Calls for Artists

Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival

Artists! You are welcomed to display your artwork at the Latin Jazz Festival

Exhibit Day 1
When:Thursday, October 13th
Where: Las Campanas Shopping Center (by paseo plaza just off FM802)
How: Art display will be set up outside under a roof.
Cost: Free for artists to exhibit (not free to attend actual festival)

Exhibit Days 2 & 3
When: Friday & Saturday, October 14, 15
Where: Jacob Brown Auditorium
How: Art exhibit is indoors
Cost: Free for artists to exhibit (not free to attend actual festival)

**Please note that space is limited. The art exhibit is NOT a part of the street dance at the capital theatre**

For more information please contact me at 956-574-0088
tues-sat 11 - 5 or 6 or email me back. Hope everyone can attend. This is a great opportunity to show your art FREE OF CHARGE!!

Evelyn Cameron, Marketing Assistant for Imagenes Art Studio


Dia de los Muertos Exhibit at the McAllen Creative Incubator

The McAllen Creative Incubator is calling artists for the exhibition, Dia de los Muertos- Interpretations: Traditional and Contemporary. Artists working in all media and styles are welcomed to participate. Selected works will be displayed in a 2 week exhibit October 18—November 3, 2005. Artists may enter up to two original works in any medium depicting interpretations of the traditional celebration.

For an entry form send an inquiry to the following email:

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Promote Your Art Here!

If you would like to promote your RGV/Tamaulipas fine arts related (visual arts, perfoming arts, film, humanities and/or internet) related events/activities/work/site, send me an email or leave a comment with your email on this post. Thanks!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Help Those Affected by Hurricane Katrina...updated

Please help the thousands affected by Hurricane Katrina's massive destruction. Make a donation to the Red Cross through their website or by phone at 1-800 HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669.) People are dying and starving in the streets and many people who can help have their hands tied due to flooded buildings and streets, overcrowded and depleted facilities, lack of electricity and social choas. This is nothing short of a major crisis. So please make a donation now.


Straight from the source. No Hoax.

Thanks to Wendy who also has a blog called All My Tediousness Upon Thee for emailing me information about a new donation opportunity. Valley TV station KVEO will hold a booth at The Scorcher on Sunday, September 11th in the Hidalgo Dodge Arena, to collect donations for the hurricane relief effort called The Wall of Caring. 100% of all money collected will go to the National American Red Cross hurricane relief effort.

If you are looking for donation outlets closer to Brownsville, check out the Herald's new list.

If you are feeling a little demoralized or down about the matter, click here to listen to Coldplay's song Don't Panic. It always lifts my spirit in worrisome times.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Imagenes Art Studio: Call for Artists & Upcoming Exhibit

Artists! You are cordially invited to participate in the
"Healing Colors of the World" Art Exhibit
October 7th - 9th
Presented by
Imagenes Art Studio & Paseo Plaza

Come and enjoy new art by new artists from around the Valley
Reception Friday, October 7th, 7-9 p.m.
Exhibit dates October 7 to October 9th (All Day)

Paseo Plaza Shopping Center
1805 E. Ruben Torres Blvd
Brownsville, TX 78526

FOR ALL EXHIBIT INFORMATION AND TO SIGN UP ONLINE PLEASE VISIT: and click on Imagenes Art Studio. Deadline is Sept 30th.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

The Brownsville Historical Association presents: A presentation on the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

Join us for a spectacular PowerPoint presentation by Rogelio Agrasánchez, Jr.
Sunday, September 18, 2005 @ 2:00 P.M.
The Brownsville Historical Association
Brownsville Heritage Museum
1325 E. Washington St. (956) 541-5560
No admission fee – open to the public

Mr. Agrasánchez will discuss the exhibition of Mexican movies in the United States during the 1940s-50s and his upcoming book, Tears, Passion & Rage: The Heyday of Mexican Movies in the United States (1920-1960). He is the curator of the world’s largest private collection of Mexican movie memorabilia.

Monday, August 29, 2005

TCA Class of Young Masters

By way of Texas Commission on the Arts:

2006 Class of Young Masters

Every two years, the Texas Commission on the Arts awards the Young Masters Scholarship to talented 8th through 12th grade Texas students. This program is not a college scholarship, but instead it is a unique program offering Texas students advanced arts training so that when they apply for college programs or art schools they will have an extra competitive edge. It is the hope of the Texas Commission on the Arts that each Young Master will be a professional artist one day.

You will find extensive online content designed to help you complete the application process. Please take care and read all the material first. Click on Young Masters Application when you go to TCA's website....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Young Brownsville Artist On The Rise

by Rachael Rudnik
24 x 36
Acrylic on Canvas

Artist Statement:

My painting represents who I am. It is a collage of images from my culture, both inherited and acquired. I demonstrate the mix of cultures I experienced growing up by incorporating my Spanish mission style Episcopal church in the bottom left, my two older sisters who were both born in Honduras in the lower right and elements of historic Brownsville blended with images from travels in Britain, where my grandfather grew up . I also incorporated Polish designs into the road, representing my Polish heritage. I put an image of myself into an open field which graduates to large sand dunes and a vast mountain range to show my independent character and my appreciation for natural formations.

Artist Bio:

Rachael Rudnik was born in Brownsville, TX and is a senior at the Lopez Fine Arts Academy. She has demonstrated an interest and ability in art since she was a young child. Some of Rachael’s work has been displayed at the Brownsville Independent School District Administration offices, Lopez High School, Brownsville Historic Museum and the Brownsville Art League. She participated in the Fronteras Cruzadas ArtsReach program in 2004, developing a 3 dimensional display of historic Brownsville photographs and in the Tercera Cultura Visual Arts Education program of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, Texas. She works in a wide range of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. She plans to attend art school after high school graduation to continue her studies of the visual arts.


Personal Note:
I had the pleasure of getting to know Rachael as participant of the Fronteras Cruzadas and Tercera Cultura programs. She is a dedicated and talented artist who puts great effort and heart into her work. She rose to the challenges set by both programs and incorporated Brownsville, Texas into her to work to visualize her diverse cultural heritage. (Take note of the Episcopal Church, La Madrileña Building and the Palm Boulevard entrance in her painting above.) Rachael has the drive and potential to become a great artist and I wish her the best in her all of her endeavors! For any inquires about the artist Rachael Rudnik or about her work, you may contact her via email at

Preservation Brownsville

The organization Preservation Brownsville is looking to recruit more people to join in its efforts to preserve and develop historical buildings in downtown Brownsville. For more information read this post on the blog Brownsville Talk. It is important to preserve our city's heritage by protecting our historical buildings and sites. If we cannot understand and appreciate our city's history and culture, then there is not much hope for the progression of our city's future.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Art Behind the Man

On Tuesday morning, shocking news was on the front page of the Brownsville Herald about the murder of a Brownsville artist named Alfredo Bustinza. His obituary describes him as a nationally reknowned artist and the article states that he received an MFA in art and exhibited in art galleries from Matamoros to several Texas cities to New York to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C.

My questions were (and of many people who I have conversed with on the topic) were, "Who was this man? Why have I never heard of him?". This is where my mother would inject something like, "Los profetas son desconocidos en su propia tierra ". (Prophets are unknown in their own land.) I wanted to know more about his work and so I googled his name and found a few things such as pictures of three paintings, a short bio and an artist statement. Here are some samples from the page I found the information on. Check the actual webpage out.

Alfredo Bustinza
20 x 30

Here is what he had to say about art:

"The extension of the year 2000, as an artist, would consist not of social reform or cultural influences, but of new technology and new ideas, which will mesh the world together, and in return, enhances new views of exploration. The individual cities and towns will be facing new advanced stages of changes. These changes will continue to mold the underlying value system that is the Americas. In return to the next generations that will precede the millennium, this is what I perceive as an artist."

I think he is stating that future artists now have technology as a force to contend with as a generator of ideas and bridge of communication. His work exemplifies an expressionist style and it evokes the influence of Jackson Pollack's early work (before the drip paintings) and it also reminds me of Basquiat. Bustinza's enthusiasm for Pollack is also evident in his choice to paint a portrait of the artist.

Alfredo Bustinza
Portrait of Jackson Pollack
30 x 30
Oil on canvas

The Herald ran another piece on Bustinza's life and art. Read it by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Carmen Lomas Garza in the RGV

Prickly Pear / A little piece of my heart

Oil and Alkyd on wood
32 x 24 inches
Collection of Carmen Lomas Garza


Artist Carmen Lomas Garza: Life in South Texas exhibit to be on display at the 3rd Annual South Texas Literary Festival. To get more info visit the International Museum of Art and Science website.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

More Brownsville History

I came upon another Brownsville history site created by a team of UTB history students. It's called History of Brownsville and Matamoros and it documents the history of this region into simple categories of interest, such as events, attractions, people, projects, etc. It also has a brief breakdown of important events in Brownsville history. Check the site out.


Hi Folks. Just wanted to let you all know that I deleted my Raspas y Resacas blog so please adjust your links or newsreader channels because the the blog basically no longer exists. Meanwhile, please continue reading the Art of Brownsville and keep an eye out for some changes and additions! Have a great week!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

1 Degree from Fame

Right now, the rage in Latino/Hispanic media seems to be Time's magazine pick of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America. While many have commented on Time magazine's more mainstream picks on the blogosphere and internet, I was suprised and delighted to see that Time had picked contemporary latin art curator Mari Carmen Ramirez from the Museum of Fine Art of Houston (not New York! not San Francisco! not L.A.!) to be on their list. Then, the name struck a cord. Where do I know this woman from? I know that name on a personal level and not just from the news. Whosh! I am taken taken back to my freshman year of college at UT-Austin where I began my first work-study job at The Blanton Museum of Art. And then I remembered, Mari Carmen Ramirez, curator of Latin American Art (now former curator). I used to see her setting up exhibits and carrying piles of materials, usually with the help of a curator assistant. I remembered I wanted to apply for that assistant job but did not qualify as a lower classman. To me she was just soo cool because had the coolest job and was doing the coolest things. From her exhibits and from the education I obtained from a course in Latin American modern art, I was able to emerse myself in the art of Latin America. My perspective had extended beyond the world of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and I embraced the South American Avant Garde and Contemporary artists, like Joaquín Torres García, Cildo Meireles, Luis Felipe Noé, Fernando Botero and Liliana Porter. Even today, I can decipher much influence from Latin American artists in my own college work. I am very proud of Time magazine's choice to have Mari Carmen Ramirez on their list. Hardly will you hear of a latina in the visual arts sector get recognized on such a national level (and from Texas no the less!). I doubt she'll read this, but congratulations and I hope that her work will continue to influence more people about art and latin culture everyday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Active Brownsville Bloggers

I came upon the blog Brownsville Scenes by local blogger Steven Saul King. He also has a site about W.A. Snake King, an interesting figure of Brownsville's rich history. If you ever wondered why King's Highway is "King's Highway" or want to know why the area now known as Palm Village was once known as Snakeville, then give his site a visit.

Also, check out the Herald community commentary on the need for more local sports initiatives made by David Blanco of the Brownsville Blog Momma, I'm Coming Home. To read click here.

Upcoming Brownsville Arts and Humanities Events

Brownsville Museum of Fine Art Board of Directors Meeting Aug. 18

BROWNSVILLE MUSEUM OF FINE ART Board of Directors meets at noon every third Thursday in the museum, 230 Neale Drive. Call (956) 542-0941.

Tile Painting Aug. 20 &21

The City of Brownsville and the Brownsville Urban System (BUS) will host at the Northside Transfer Station a Painting Party from 10am to 7pm Saturday and from noon to 6pm Sunday at Sunrise Mall. The public is invited to paint ceramice tiles which will be installed in the new BUS transfer station. For more information call (956) 548-6000. Read the Herald news story here.

Papermaking Presentation Aug. 28

Papermaking will be the subject of the next Brown Bag Lucnh Series, a free community service by the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, 230 Neale Drive. Artists Olga Villanueva and Natali Treviño will demonstrate papermaking using resources such as thread, old paper leaves and flowers from 11:30am to 12:30pm on Aug. 26. The public is encouraged to bring paper scraps and participate. Dessert and punch will be provided by the museum. To RSVP (required) call (956) 542-0941.

Preserve Your Memories Sept. 24

Preserve Your Memories
Basic Paper Preservation of Paper Materials: A Practical Perspective

a presentation by
George R. Gause, Jr.
Special Collection Librarian
The University of Texas-Pan American

Saturday, September 24, 2005
No charge to attend
at the
Brownsville Historical Association
1325 E. Washington Street
Brownsville, Texas 78520

Duet to limited seating, you must RSVP to be admitted. Thank You. Please call (956) 541-5560.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Garzaderas at McAllen Art Awakenings

By way of RGV artist Rene Garza:

Pieces (Spaintings = Spray paint paintings) of Garzaderas' new production/series Les Nouvelles Recuperees/Recycled News/Noticias Recicladas will be at

Art Awakenings' exhibit
Summer Breeze,
this Thursday August 18 2005.

This series consists of new stencil images that are sprayed into the "local" paper weekly and then circulated to the public. It may have already hijacked your paper on your front doorstep, in your car, on the toilet, at the breakfast table, etc...
So it's ripped from the newspaper and into the gallery on this one.

Art Awakenings can be contacted at 1.956.668.1366
and they are located at 719 dove McAllen, TX

Bring your 'pasamontaña' or the cooler fresher (it's summer after all) 'paliacate' in solidarity and bring something to spray paint on.


If you are a local artist or arts and/or humanities related group and would like to promote an event or website, just send me word with the important logistics via email and I would be happy to promote it here. On average, 50 unique vistors come to this site each day so it will be a good way to get exposure.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival

NMCAC announces the

14th Annual Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival

Sept. 16, 17, & 18, 2005

225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
(956) 361-0110

Join us for three days of typical south Texas conjunto music, food & beverage, and lots of dancing!

Friday, Sept. 16 7:00 - 11:00 pm - Noche de San Antonio
Dos Generaciones
Bene Medina
Henry Zimmerly

Saturday, Sept. 17 4:00 - 11:00 pm - Gran Baile
Grupo Estrella, Conjunto Heritage Taller
Los Arroyos, Linda Escobar
Mingo Saldivar

Sunday, Sept. 18 7:00 - 11:00 pm - Puro Valle
Martin Zapata, Los Carnales Luna
Gilberto Perez, Los Angeles del Sur
Los Fantasmas del Valle, Benny Layton

$2.00 daily admission - children free

Volunteer opportunities are available - please call NMCAC.

Food/craft vendor booths are available for rental
($160 rental fee for three days)
Please call Yolanda Lopez at (956) 571-3325

2005 Festival Sponsors
Miller Lite
Su Clinica Familiar
San Benito Chamber of Commerce
City of San Benito


Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 471
225 Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
(956) 361-0110


Go check the festival out and bring the family! Conjunto is the Valley's original music genre and it needs to be celebrated and shared for the future generations of our region.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

SM Unique Webisodes

On Sunday, the Herald gave a report on SM Unique's webisode series "The Bridge", which was described by the Herald as a monthly, Web-based show presented in streaming video, designed to help the local online community navigate the Web with ease.

This project has my interest due to its technological, creative and community appeals. I think it is great that the creators of "The Bridge", Mauricio Peña, Saul Torres and Kevin Diaz (also fellow Brownsville bloggers) have taken an initiative to contribute to the growth of our city's technological infrastructure by wanting to educate people on how to get connected to the World Wide Web. I think it will be especially appealing to people from our community to learn about online technology from local representatives, in other words, from people they can relate to. If we could get more locals online, we can get more communication and information across about Brownsville, and hopefully influencing more interest, activity and positive morale in the community.

All I have to say is that I am happy that SM Unique will be providing this virtual "bridge" for our community to the Web. Best of luck to you guys and just keep it going!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Junior Service League Art Contest

Junior Service League
Children Art Contest

The Brownsville Junior Service Leaque will be hosting an art contest from Aug. 8-28 at The Children's Museum of Brownsville. All chidren from ages 5 through 12 are welcome to participate. For contest rule or for more information please visit the museum or call (956) 548-9300.


Read about this on The Herald Community Section. I really need to give Kudos on the coverage they have been giving the cultural arts of our city lately. I hope to start commenting on stories I read soon, but for now I am happy to help spread the word.

El Second Weensdee

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
"El Second Weensdee"
Clemencia Zapata
of Conjunto Aztlan

Wednesday August 10, 2005
7:00 PM

This month's Second Weensdee features a powerful duet of women in the music, art and culture scene.

Clemencia Zapata is a well-known ground breaker in several intersecting worlds, including music, cultural arts and activism. Zapata is one of the few women in the conjunto music scene and the fact that she is a percussionist makes her more unique. Currently she plays drums for Conjunto Aztlan, an Austin and San Antonio based conjunto ( Versatile and equally at home with the caja, drums, bongos, timbales or congas, Zapata is also an exquisite singer with a rich, full-bodied voice drenched with fire and passion.

Also in this Second Weensdee, award-winning photographer Liza Longoria showcases her work as a photojournalist on the U.S.-Mexico border in her inaugural exhibit. The Rio Grande Valley native considers photography her life and enjoys the challenges of the profession. Despite her petite frame, Longoria captures gigantic and powerful images of border life behind her lens. Longoria has amassed nearly a decade of photo journalistic experience working for The McAllen Monitor, The Saratosa (Fla.) Herald and The Brownsville Herald.

a reception follows the presentation

$3.00 admission

225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, TX 78586
(956) 361-0110

Thursday, August 04, 2005

RGV Music Festival Scene TV Special

at 8:00 PM on Saturday, August 6

The All-U-Can-Eat Texas Music Café
presents the
The Music Festivals Scene of the Rio Grande Valley

To kick-off our Summer Time Fund Raising Campaign, this coming Saturday night KMBH TV/60 Cable/10 will broadcast the All-U-Can-Eat Texas Music Café from 8:00PM to 10:00PM. This award winning radio and television program, featuring Texas music in all its forms, is filmed on location at events throughout the state then broadcast nationwide on dozens of public radio and television stations.

This show reports on the very active music festivals scene in the Rio Grande Valley and will feature highlights of Blues on the Hill and the performance of famous bluesman Rob Roy Parnell that took place on Saturday August 18th, 2004 at McKelvey Park in Harlingen. It also has great interviews with festival organizers from throughout the Rio Grande Valley including the producers of Rio Fest, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival, the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center's Conjunto Festival and the South Texas Music Festival, among others. The program was hosted by Chris Ermoian, Executive Producer of the All-U Can-Eat Texas Music Café, Chris Maley, Program Director for Public Radio 88FM, and Guillermo Campos for Sana Life Promotion Company.

DON'T MISS IT! Show-time this Saturday at 8pm-10pm on KMBH TV/60 Cable/10!

Art Blogs

I recently read this Forbes article about Art Blogs via ArtNewsBlog. This is what Forbes had to say about Art Blogs:

"Ever start to read a newspaper or magazine review of a contemporary art show and give up because the writer seems to be speaking in a foreign tongue? The art world sometimes feels like another country with its own language and customs. Blogs can offer a passport. While some mirror the insular and gossipy nature of the art world, there are many that are thoughtful, accessible and dedicated to taking (at least some of) the mystery and intimidation out of the looking experience. You'll find everything from museum news and reviews of up-and-coming artists to art travelogues and gossip on who's who at openings. Perhaps most importantly, blogs revive the fine art of discussing ideas--an antidote to one-sided, jargon-filled critics' pronouncements.-- Liz Tunick"

The sentences I put in bold really caught my attention. As of now, I am formulating a strategic plan to eventually develop the blog into a comprehensive resource site. Ofcourse, with any strategic plan I need to make a mission statement ..and lo and behold, as soon as I read the statement by Liz Tunick, it was right in front of me. In terms of the "art of Brownsville", I would like the site to be thoughful, accessible and dedicated to taking the mystery and intimdation out of the art experience and most importantly to revive the fine art of discussing ideas.

Yet, an endeavor such as creating a comprehensive website is no easy feat. It takes loads of research, planning and personal investment to get it ready for launch. Then there is the management of the site, which is a whole other story! Really, the management of a comprehensive site is very much like the management of a small business but most of the time without any monetary profit, other than the webmaster's own personal value. As of now, I measure this blog by three values: by quality of content, by visitor feedback and by unique visitor statistics. The blog will be turning two years old come November and at its first inception, I never thought it would grow to offer so much potential. I have much more thinking to do about this, but I am glad that I have Step One (mission statement) more or less put down.

Here are some my personal picks from the Forbes list that are good models:

Gallery Hopper
Absolute Arts Blog
Art Addict

Then there are other sites and not just blogs that I am looking at as well:

Art by Latina Artists (my top model right now)
The Harry Potter Lexicon (this comprehensive website with everything Harry is pure eye candy to me!)
The Glass Tire (awesome, just awesome)

I don't know yet, how large the site's scope will be. I don't even know if I will be able to manage such an initiative alone. Various factors will come into play and the largest one will be on what sort of personal investment I would be willing to make. Perhaps, I should just keep the scope of the site to the blog and just work on improving the quality of my content. It may be the only thing I can realistically manage. But for sure, I have moved a step forward towards the development of The Art of Brownsville.

Art by Rosendo Sandoval - Title:"La que bailo con el diablo " contact:

Art by Rosendo Sandoval - Title:"La que bailo con el diablo " contact:

Historic Brownsville Museum