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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Tercera Cultura Exhibition Press Release
February 24, 2005
Contact: Mayra Cruz
Tercera Cultura Program Coordinator
Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
NMCAC Announces “Tercera Cultura” Student Exhibition
SAN BENITO, TX - The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center announces the student exhibition for the visual arts education program entitled “Tercera Cultura”, which means “third culture” in Spanish. This program was created to provide Rio Grande Valley high school art students with an opportunity to participate in an intensive studio art course, provide meaningful exposure to the Rio Grande Valley art and cultural community and to prepare their own exhibition. The exhibition will be on display at the center from March 6th to April 6th and the opening reception will be on Sunday, March 6th from 3pm-5pm.
The concept of a third culture refers to the culture that is created when two mainstream cultures merge. The premise of the Tercera Cultura program is a fundamental belief that the Rio Grande Valley’s heritage and history is a wellspring of artistic inspiration because of the constant intercultural exchange between Mexico and the United States. The students will exhibit the paintings and photographs they have created during their course of study at the center. “Their work reflects on the culture of this region and how it has come to influence the formation of their cultural and personal identities, which will make for a very eclectic and interesting exhibition,” says Mayra Cruz, instructor and program coordinator.
The student exhibition will be the culmination of a nine-week guest-speaker and studio intensive program scheduled from January 8th to March 5th. Classes have been held each Saturday at the center in San Benito from 10am to 5pm and have included lessons on Rio Grande Valley heritage, a photography expedition, special quest speakers and seven intensive studios in drawing and painting.
Thirteen students from San Benito High School, Harlingen High School and Lopez High School in Brownsville are active participants of the program and were admitted through a selective application process. The students whose artwork will be on exhibit are: Enrique Lozano of Harlingen High School, Raul Izaquirre, Benjamin Mora and Rachael Rudnik of Lopez High School and Carmen Arias, Brenda Gonzalez, Cassandra Lopez, Hector “Rudy” Golina, Relleny Mungia, Bobbie Sue Naranjo, Jacqueline Ortiz, Monica Rodriguez and Briana Taylor of San Benito High School.
The guest speakers who have graciously volunteered their time to the program are: Cristina Balli, Director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, musicians and cultural activists Joe and Rosa Perez of Rumbo al’ Anacua, Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center founders Rogelio Nuñez and Dr. Ramon de Leon, musicians Rigoberto Garza and Jose Moreno of Los Patrulleros, artist Frank Diaz of Brownsville, art collector Bitty Truan of Brownsville, Michelle Wibblesman of Texas Folklife Resources, artist Izel Vargas of Alamo, artist Carl Vestweber of McAllen, photographer and artist Noe Truan of Brownsville, Rey Avila of the South Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame, artist Daniel Govea of San Benito, artist Roel Flores of Weslaco, Dr. Manuel Medrano, social sciences professor at The University of Texas at Brownsville, artist Ted Estrada of Houston, artist and poet Nephtali De Leon of San Antonio, Carmen Zacarias, Director of the Brownsville Heritage Complex, Daniel Tyx, Education Director of the International Museum of Art and Science, Priscilla Rodriguez, Director of Public Relations and Programming at International Museum of Art and Science and Jeannie Floyd, features reporter for The Brownsville Herald.
Sponsors who have graciously funded the student’s lunches are: Jason’s Deli of Harlingen, Alberto Gonzalez, Executive Director of the San Benito Community Economic Development Corporation, Bitty Truan, owner of Bitty Truan State Farm Insurance of Brownsville, Esiquiel Padilla, Manager of the San Benito Chamber of Commerce. Special supporters of the program are Sue Tarrant and Linda McGonigle of the Lopez High School Fine Arts Academy in Brownsville, Image Formula Creative and Marketing Services of Brownsville and the online literary magazine The Backword.com based in Austin, Texas.
The Tercera Cultura Program is an extension of “Fronteras Cruzadas,” an arts outreach program implemented by Mayra Cruz and Frank Diaz in Brownsville in the Spring of 2004. Supported by the College of Fine Arts of the University of Texas at Austin, “Fronteras Cruzadas” served 15 high school art students in Brownsville. Due to its success, the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center has adopted the program. “This is a very important program for local art students,” says Cristina Ballí, NMCAC director. “Currently there are few opportunities for Rio Grande Valley students to enhance their art skills outside of regular school instruction, and few opportunities to exhibit their work. The Tercera Cultura program has provided them with added instruction and solid experience to use in college applications.”
The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center preserves, promotes and develops the rich cultural heritage of the "Mexicano" community through programs in the visual arts, music, theater, dance, literature and media arts. NMCAC is located at 225 E. Stenger Street in San Benito. For information, interviews and inquiries concerning the Tercera Cultura program contact Mayra Cruz at (956) 361-0110.
# # #
Director of Programming & Development
Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 471
225 Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
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