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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Meet Brownsville Artist Jose Martinez

Jose Martinez
TAOB: Tell us about yourself: where you are from and what your profession is.
Jose Martinez:
My name is Jose H. Martinez and I have lived in Brownsville most of my life. I have been involved in education since I finished college in 1984.  I received a music degree from the University of Corpus Christi and worked as a band director at St. Joseph Academy for five years.  I have also been a classroom teacher at St. Mary's School, Burns Elementary and The Teen Learning Community. I have been an assistant principal for the last five years, four of those years at R.L. Martin Elementary and for the last year I have been an assistant principal at Gladys Porter High School.
TAOB: How long have you been painting, do you have any formal training or are you mostly self taught?
Jose Martinez:
I have been interested in art all of my life but have never received any formal training.  Everything that I do, whether in woodwork or painting mediums, is self taught.  Whenever we travel, I always make it a point to visit any art galleries we can find.  I particularly enjoy visiting contemporary art exhibits.

TAOB: You are a great supporter of the arts and are in attendance at almost every local art exhibition. How do you feel about the Brownsville art scene?
Jose Martinez:
During the last few years, I see more and more art activities being scheduled in Brownsville and I think that it is very exciting.  I think that we have so much talent here locally and am happy to see that more venues are being provided for local artists to exhibit their work.  I am particularly very happy with the new location of the Museum of Fine Arts on 6th Street.
TAOB: Where have you exhibited your artwork and how often do you get to exhibit?
Jose Martinez:
I have exhibited some of my paintings at the International Art Show at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, at the Amigos Artistas art exhibit and at the shows hosted by local artist Toni Hudson at Imagenes Art Studio. My main reason for not exhibiting more often is my lack of time.  I am usually very busy with work at school and with my involvement at St. Mary's Church.  I am also a licensed massage therapist in the state of Texas and that also keeps me very busy.
TAOB: Where do you paint and how do you go about executing a painting?
Jose Martinez:
I am always working on a painting or two but it usually takes me from several weeks to several months to finish.  I only work on them when I have a bit of extra time and that doesn't happen very often.  I do most of my work during Christmas break, spring break or during the summer months. 

I don't have any particular place where I work at home.  Sometimes I set up in the dining room, or in the family room depending on the size of canvas I am using.  I don't think that I have developed any particular style but lately, I have been experimenting with abstract painting.  Faces and bodies have always come easy for me to paint and draw and it is very difficult for me to place paint on a canvas without trying to make it look like something or someone.
TAOB: Do you have a favorite artist, local or historical, that you identify yourself or your artwork with? And if so, why?
Jose Martinez:
I don't have any particular favorite artist.  I enjoy looking at the work of many different artists but, like I said before, lately I really enjoy looking at the work by any of the modern artists.
TAOB: Are you currently working or making arrangements to participate in any art exhibitions in the near future?
Jose Martinez:
I don't have any plans on exhibiting in the near future but, hopefully, with the work of organizations such as Amigos Artistas and The Art of Brownsville and with the opening of more venues, it will become easier for local artists to exhibit.
TAOB: Please elaborate more on the painting in the photo that is posted above.
Jose Martinez:
The painting in the photo is entitled "Skin" and it's a 50"X 60" oil on canvas.  What I mean to say through the painting is that we pay so much attention to what we see on the outside of a person, but that beauty is only skin deep.  Ultimately, what matters is what is in the inside and the spiritual side of who we are.
The painting in the photo with me standing in front of it holding a candle is a 40"X 60' oil painting entitled "Beginnings".  The painting is now owned by Stefan Schmidt in Bavaria, Germany. The candle I am holding is the paschal candle for our church.  Every year I make and decorate the candle that will be used at the church during our Easter celebration.  It is also a candle that is used during funerals and baptisms at the church.

TAOB: Mr. Martinez, thank you for your interview and for your support of the Brownsville art scene. We wish you much success on your artistic journey and are happy to provide insight about you as an individual and as an artist to our blog readers. Many thanks once again!
Jose Martinez

Readers, Brownsville artist Jose Martinez can be contacted via email at

Interview by Gabriel Treviño.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gallery 409 Small Works Exhibition Opening

TAOB Note: Go meet local RGV artists as well as see TAOB team member Gabriel Treviño's work on display!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Guadalupe 2006 at NMCAC in San Benito

TAOB Note: Attend this one folks! The center is a gem and you'll always learn something new when you go El Narciso, or as many fondly refer to as "El Chicho".

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It doesn't feel like Brownsville, BUT IT IS

"It doesn’t feel like Brownsville", is the comment I received from various people at The Art of Brownsville Mixer at Gallery 409 this past Saturday. The atmosphere that evening was elating as folks enjoyed the eclectic sights and sounds. For one thing, Gallery 409 is an impressive space with its historical and architectural presence. The view of the downtown Brownsville skyline from the 2nd floor is also probably one of the best views in Brownsville. There was also a show by Chicano artist Paul Valadez on the 1st floor and a photography exhibition by Robin Dru Germany and Karen Sanders on the 2nd floor. Guests also got to enjoy conjunto music by accordionist and artist Cande Aguilar and punk and rock music by local bands The Winos and ANYthing Goes.

Perhaps we may have channeled the hip and trendy Manhattan atmosphere or the underground and bohemian culture of the Austin art scene, or perhaps we may have channeled what we have always been, Brownsville! It may not feel like Brownsville, but pinch yourself again, because I assure you it is!

Gone are the days of moping that Brownsville doesn’t have this or doesn’t have that, yes, yes…if you work and/or live in Brownsville, then at some point (and probably various times) you have found yourself in frustration over limited resources. I am not saying that we already have everything we need, because we don’t...but what I am saying is that we should stop moping or pointing fingers, put our egos aside, and get things moving and wisely use the resources we already have to create more opportunities and bring more into and out of our community! (Phew! Did you get all that?).

I may sound like a broken record, but I truly and passionately believe that Brownsville’s strongest resources are its arts, culture and people. And yet, we don’t maximize on them! We have a rich history, and yet we have a neglected downtown with so many buildings (too many abandoned and left to decay) craving for renovation and the vigor of their former lives. We have so many talented people, yet few venues for them to exhibit their talents. We live in a multi-cultural and international area of constant cultural exchange and commerce and yet, we have low retention and academic performance rates in our schools and one of the lowest per capita income rates in the nation. Sometimes I fear, that what we deem as weaknesses should be viewed as strengths or opportunities.

The days of moping are over, because we are obviously a different Brownsville from the Brownsville of 10 years ago and even the Brownsville of 5 years ago. The Arts and Culture scene has grown tremendously. We now have the new and beautiful Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, the Costumes of America Museum, the Historic Brownsville Museum, the Brownsville Heritage Complex, four Art Galleries (Richardson, Breeden, Imagenes and Gallery 409) the Camille Playhouse Theatre, great Fine Arts and Entertainment programs at UTB/TSC and BISD, the Latin Jazz and Cine Sol Festivals, more entertainment venues in town, and just so much more….

Our options and opportunities have increased and with the Cultural Mitte District initiative coming into fruition, I am eager to see more eyes turn back to our roots, to Downtown Brownsville! To see the El Jardin Hotel and the Capital Theatre alive and thriving once more! To see parking garages erected to help ease the parking situation. To see families at Washington Park and the upcoming Linear Park, walking, having picnics, to see children playing. To see more buildings renovated and turned into businesses, into offices, into homes, into hip apartments or lofts, into schools, into more galleries and museums…into whatever great potential downtown Brownsville has…and trust me, it has a lot! If you don’t believe me, just refer to the response by the Art of Brownsville mixer guests, “It doesn’t feel like Brownsville”.

Whatever it felt like, it felt good. And trust me, that feeling was Brownsville. Let’s make Brownsville shine, its beautiful art and culture and its people!

Above Art: "Browntown", 2006, Oil on Canvas by Cande Aguilar. View Cande's artwork on display at Tre Fratelli Italian Restaurant for the month of December. 3001 Pablo Kisel Blvd, Brownsville, TX 78526, (956) 574-9888

Sunday, December 03, 2006

UTB Senior Art Show



TAOB wishes to extend our sincerest gratitude to all those who contributed to and attended our Third Anniversary Mixer at Gallery 409 last night. This event was TAOB's first official event coordinated as a group and we are very happy with its success!

Special Thanks go to:

Mark Clark and Gallery 409

Our musical acts:

Cande Aguilar
(watch Cande perform at The Valley Choice Awards this Wed., Dec 6th at The Dodge Arena)
The Winos
(visit band member Arnie G's website by clicking here)
ANYthing Goes
(watch and cheer on ANYthing Goes at the S.P.I. Christmas Rockfest Battle of the Bands)

The Brownsville Herald

And to all of our food and wine donors!

Pictures will be posted soon! Meanwhile, please check out an article about The Art of Brownsville by Brownsville Herald Life and Arts editor and writer Mike Moody. (also check out Mike’s blog Gold Teeth.)

Click here to read The Herald’s TAOB article: Bloggers Support Local Art Scene

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Most Recent Loss in our Community



Juan Ramirez Garcia, known as a beloved father, teacher, and ardent supporter of the arts, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, at the age of 61.

He is survived by his father Jesus Garcia, Sr., of Kingsville, Texas, his daughter Nora Michelle (Miki) Garcia of Santa Barbara, Calif., his son, John Michael Garcia of Brownsville, his sisters and brother, Mary (Don) Nicholas, Jesus (Sylvia) Garcia, Jr., Elena (Eliseo) Comino Cuellar, all of Kingsville, Texas and Margarita (Baldomero) Alvarado of Mathis, Texas. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Mr. Garcia, originally from Kingsville, Texas, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Art with a Minor in Education in 1977 and later received a Professional Life Principal Certificate in 1980. He served in the U.S. Army from 1970-1971.

Most recently, Mr. Garcia served as the Specialist for Fine Arts for the Brownsville Independent School District since 1992. Previous to that Mr. Garcia touched many students’ lives through his 23-year teaching career at elementary, middle school and high school levels, particularly as the Department Head of Art at Pace High School. Since 1984, Mr. Garcia had been a respected Instructor of Art Education at the University of Texas, Brownsville.

Locally, as well as nationally, Mr. Garcia was a passionate advocate of arts education in public schools. He was an active member of the National and Texas Art Education Association as the Regional Representative, garnering numerous honors such as Outstanding Art Educator/Supervision (1997). He was a member, juror, panel member, and/or advisor to the Rio Art Association, Texas Educational Theater Association, Association of Texas Professional Educators, Texas Education Agency for Assignment to the Fine Arts Essential Knowledge and Skills Clarification Team, and Texas Commission on the Arts Education Advisory Panel, among others.

Here in Brownsville, Mr. Garcia was actively involved in the Brownsville Art League, Brownsville Childrens’ Museum, Odyssey of the Mind, Destination Imagination, and a valued Board Trustee of Amigos Artistas, the non-profit arts organization which promotes the visual arts (with an emphasis on Latino and Latin American art) and involves youth in artistic endeavors.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Amigos Artistas at 1424 W. Price Road, No. 227, Brownsville, TX, 78520 (

See the BISD Memorial Page by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Art Education and You

El Taller de Frida
Originally uploaded by artofbrownsville.

On November 1st, I went to a Day of the Dead art exhibit opening by El Taller de Frida, a Matamoros and Brownsville based art school for young children. I was so outstanded by the creativity and the overall work by these young artists who painted skeletons in scenes or portraits of significance to the child. For example, some skeletons were portrayed as ballerinas, princesses, and baseball players. In the picture, you will see El Taller de Frida art student Beatriz Rodriguez standing next to her painting with a skeleton painting in a garden, a scene that references a special family memory. The exhibit was also well excecuted and impressively displayed and I was so happy for the children who received an opportunity to be recognized for their talent and work by their family, friends and the public.

The exhibit was a great experience, yet my favorite thing about the exhibit was the that I took my niece and nephew with me. Albeit, they are at the young ages of almost-two and four, I wanted to take them with me to begin exposing them to art. It's never too early to expose your children to the arts and even better, to encourage them to participate, be it in the visual or performing arts. Overall my niece and nephew had a good time and we also had an opportunity to play in the museum and spend quality time together.

This may not be on the minds of all parents or families, but making art an intregal part of a child's life will set an valuable impression on their development. Here are some facts about art education as provided by Americans for the Arts:

Did You Know?

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
Perform community service more than four times as often

Still not convinced? Take a look at these Art, Ask for More Campaign ads:
Ad #1, Ad #2, Ad #3, Ad #4(español)

I am also happy with the attention and support Art Education has been receiving in our community. Such as The Herald's recent coverage of the UTB/TSC student art show and of the St. Mary's and Stillman Middle School students who won at state-level art competitions. At the Brownsville Museum of Art you will also find a gallery soley dedicated to exhibiting children's art. There are also more art classes available to children through the museum or through schools like El Taller de Frida and other private and home-based teaching initiatives. We can also count on our public and private school art teachers to bring art education to our children in school, if not in the classroom, then by displays in the hallways and after-school art clubs.

Yet like all things of value, their appreciation begins at home and most importantly with you. What are you doing to bring art to the children in your life? Art is more than just extra-curricular or extra "fun" activities. A society that makes art an intregal part of their way of life makes for a much richer culture. Same goes for people. People who make room for art in their life most likely are more well-rounded individuals with open minds to the world around them. Many children in Brownsville do not have opportunities to travel outside the Valley or visit museums very often. By bringing art into their lives, you bring the world to them, a way to express their individuality and to grow confidence. So next time you hear about an art exhibit, a play, a musical event or any cultural event, take the kids. You won't regret it and your children will greatly benefit from it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Matamoros Artist Mario Jimenez Diaz

Artist Mario Diaz
Originally uploaded by artofbrownsville.

T.A.O.B entrevista Mario Jiménez Díaz, pintor actualmente radicado en Matamoros, con dos exposiciones en la ciudad de Brownsville, una de manera colectiva en la galería "409E" y otra individual en el restaurant "Tre Fratelli"-(inauguración sera el prox. 16 de Nov de 4:30 a 6:30 pm).

*Cuéntanos que te inspira a pintar?
El motivo de mi pintura son los recuerdos; desde pequeño siempre me gusto poner mucha atención en el ambiente que me rodeaba para registrar todo en mi mente y no olvidar los detalles de momentos importantes, por lo tanto creo que somos el resultado o la consecuencia de esos momentos y de sus recuerdos.
En mis pinturas plasmo momentos cruciales en mi vida así como el de otras personas cercanas; imágenes algunas mas claras o nítidas que otras pero saturadas de color y de elementos que agregamos a lo largo de los años y que originalmente nunca estuvieron presentes.
Eso, mas la fuerza y el impacto que los colores causan al espectador.

*Que educación formal tienes en las artes o has aprendido solo?
Obtuve mi título profesional como Licenciado en Artes Visuales con especialidad en Producción audiovisual y fotografía en la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León en el año de 1998.
Originalmente el proyecto estaba enfocado a la fotografía y video experimental pero por azares del destino lleve el proyecto a pintura, obteniendo las bases de alumnos y egresados de la misma carrera para posteriormente aprender a base de pruebas y errores, y de mucha insistencia en lograr mis objetivos.

*Tienes una exhibición en Galería 409 y una Tre Fratelli, cuéntanos un poco sobre obras de arte que preparaste para estas dos funciones y si fue difícil en cuestiones de los requisitos que las galerías te hayan pedido?
En el caso de la exposición “Passers By” en la Galería 409E, un grupo de artistas y yo trabajos en conjuntos y formamos el colectivo “La Azotea”. Después de concretar el tema (el fenómenos de la migración hacia los EUA específicamente en la frontera Matamoros – Brownsville) y las características de la exposición, platicamos con el dueño de la galería, Mark Clark, quien nos dio completa libertad para generar la obra, ya que conocía nuestro trabajo previo.
En el caso de la exposición “Inside looking out” en Tre Frattelli, estoy exponiendo de manera individual algunas de mis pinturas realizadas del 2003 a la fecha.
En ambos casos hubo total disposición y apoyo por parte de los responsables lo cual confirma mi idea de que espacios donde exponer siempre existen, es cuestión de uno como artista buscarlos y ofrecer su trabajo.

*Cuando abrió la exposición "PASSERS BY" en 409 te gusto el ambiente de la Inauguración y si miras o sientes que hay un gran interés en el publico?
Desafortunadamente el día de la inauguración llovió mucho por lo cual notamos una baja afluencia de visitantes pero posteriormente platicando con Mark me comento que ha tenido un gran número de visitantes. Creo que con la apertura de espacios culturales las personas están cada vez mas interesadas ya que se puede ofrecer mayor propuestas artísticas para los diferentes tipos de públicos y esto también tiene como consecuencia que los artistas tengamos cada vez que prepáranos mas y ofrecer un mejor trabajo en busca de la aceptación de los espectadores.

* Que pintor famoso viviendo o en la historia te identificas tu mas con y porque?
Actualmente estoy muy influenciado por un grupo de artistas, músicos y pintores que radican en la ciudad de Monterrey, México y que traen unas propuestas muy interesantes llenas de reflexión a los tiempos que nos toco vivir pero también con un sentido del humor muy especial, como son el caso de Jorge Najera, Ismael Merla, Ernesto Falcón, etc.
Pero al pintor que mas admiro y que considero que es uno de los pintores mas importantes de nuestra época es el pintor austriaco Gottfried Helnwein ( entren a su página y verán porque.

*Cuando pintas, pintas en privado o compartes tus ideas con alguien?
Dado a que siempre e pintado por las noches, por lo general pinto solo, salvo algunas ocasiones en las que me acompaña mi esposa; de esa manera me concentro mejor ya que me distraigo muy fácilmente. En cuanto a la planeación de los proyectos siempre e sido muy abierto con las personas que me rodean; muchos de ellos conocen cuales son mis siguientes proyectos y constantemente ayudan a aterrizar muchas de las ideas.
Creo que mientras mas receptivo se predisponga uno a estar a los estímulos exteriores, será mayor la información con la que contemos para poder traducirla y poder generar productos artísticos de calidad.

* Que precio o valor personal les das a tus obras, o de que forma les mides el nivel de su importancia?
En mi caso el precio de las obras es directamente proporcional al grado de diversión que obtuve al realizar la pieza. Se escucha medio extraño pero es la verdad, mientras el lazo afectivo sea mas fuerte con la pintura, mayor será su precio. Y el valor afectivo se debe a múltiples razones como pueden ser el grado de reto que me represento, el estado de animo que tuve durante la producción, mi situación afectiva, hasta lo bien o mal que me haya caído la comida, las cervezas o los cigarros mientras pintaba cada uno de mis cuadros.

*Que te gusto o te dio interés de The Art Of Brownsville BLOG ?
A principios de año, recién regresando a mi ciudad natal Matamoros después de 14 años de vivir en Monterrey me puse a investigar en Internet espacios en la ciudad de Brownsville donde pudiera exponer mis pinturas, así encontré el sitio TAOB y me ha servido muchísimo para conocer el ambiente artístico y cultural de Brownsville y mantenerme actualizado de los eventos de esa ciudad.
La verdad, viviendo en Monterrey, pensé que no había tantos espacios ni artistas en Brownsville como ahora me doy cuenta existen y esto gracias a la información que encuentro en TAOB.

Saludos cordiales desde Matamoros y espero contar con su asistencia el proximo 16 de Nov. a las 4:30 en Tre Fratelli.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

State of Art

Word is, a sort of Renaissance is in the works in Brownsville. If people are talking like this, great! But this concept is nothing new. It's been on the hearts and minds of many people and, it's already in progression. If you look at the Italian Renaissance, it's beginnings were in the guilds, where simple craftsmen, masons and carpenters were empowered creatively to enhance their surroundings and thus enhance the quality of life and bring Italy out of the Dark Ages! Ofcourse, they had benefactors such as the church and private commissioners who knew how to harness the power of art to influence people. Today this would be called Marketing. And don't you find some interesting similarities between the rise of interest in our local architecture, history and culture and a similar interest by renaissance Italians to revive neo-classical elements in their architecture and culture?

Ofcourse today, we are not in 15th century Italy and artists have more resources and options available to them. An artist does not have to hope for a Lorenzo de' Medici to scoop them under his wings. (Though, wouldn't that be nice?) An artist can have two art agents, be represented by three or five galleries and work on commissions for various benefactors and not just one. Though, what artists are limited by are by the number of locations they can pursue such a career. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and in closer proximity Houston and Mexico City come to mind when considering such locations.

So my question is, can Brownsville become the place to support artists and their careers? Or are local artists fated to continue their art as an after-five pursuit until our city can develop into a busy urban metropolis like Houston or San Antonio?

Personally, I think we don't have to wait. Look at how small towns like Marfa, Texas and San Miguel de Allende have been able to develop into thriving artist colonies where people travel from all over the world to be inspired. Isn't that the initial pull to art in the first place, a desire to be inspired and to be creative? If we keep our goals on that simple notion, we will realize that Brownsville is not such a dry well after all and that we already have the resources to develop our Florence. Mostly, we just need the drive and ganas to make it happen!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The New BMFA Grand Opening

The Art of Brownsville extends the warmest of congratulations to The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art for the Grand Opening of their new 17,000 sq. ft facility in downtown Brownsville! Be assured that we and all artists in our community and friends outside the community are proud of this exciting development in Brownsville and in our region!

We also want to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Browsville Museum of Fine Art staff, board and supporters for all their work in bringing to fruitation this wonderful dream, which has been accomplished through years of hard work, dedication and a lot of heart!

Congratulations once again and many times over and we look forward to the many more exciting developments that will come from your museum ahead!


Readers: The Brownsville Museum of Art will be open to the public Sunday, October 22nd from 1pm-5pm, free of charge! Please visit, bring family and friends and get a first hand look at the new facility and the exhibits such as the world premiere of "Ray Smith: The Painting of Territory". The new BMFA is located in downtown Brownsville at the intersection of 7th and Ringgold Street, adjacent to the Gladys Porter Zoo. The best route is to take the 6th street exit going south on US77.

Local Art Scene, now the land of opportunity

Ever hear the old saying, "well you have to leave the valley to get recognized as an artist"? Is that actually true and to what extent? Brownsville and the rest of the RGV now has several museums, galleries, festivals, organizations and media that support the arts (see TAOB links and calender). Why would any artist want to go anywhere else? It is now up to the artists to take advantage of the resources Brownsville and the rest of RGV has to offer.

Musicians, not to be set apart from visual artists, from garage band acts to Classical or Conjuto, also now have a variety of bars, nightclubs and festivals to play or perform their music. Musicians should feel welcomed to play at art exhibitions. The mixture of music and art is the best combination you can possibly have.

Get started. Now artists also have the power of the mighty Blog and My Space. Artists can simply load there artwork into these cyber spaces and make their artwork available to the Brownsville Local Art scene and to the rest of the world. Visit one of our two Brownsville's' public libraries in case you don't have access to the Internet..

Ever hear the old saying, "el que no ariesga no gana"?

-Gabriel Treviño

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Member of TAOB Team

Hello Folks,
Please give a warm welcome to The Art of Brownsville's newest team member Gabriel Treviño. Gabriel is one of Brownsville's most active artists and recently exhibited at UTB/TSC's Four Emerging Artists Exhibit. He also has a blog of his own which can be visited by clicking here. You can also find Gabriel on most Sundays at the 77 Flea Market bringing his art to the masses. Below you will find Gabriel's first post. Keep an eye out for more posts and developments for the blog! -Mayra


TAOB always on the Rise!

Hello readers of TAOB, its a real honor to be allowed with the privilege of being a new contributing writer to TAOB. The local art scene is definitely on the rise. There is so many art happenings going around, listing them is already a challenge. My goal is to assist Mayra as much as I can in her efforts and contributions to the local art scene managing this great blog she has created for all of us. I feel I share the same goals and dreams like so many of you of wanting to enrich the community with a thriving art scene we all can enjoy and share.

I want to begin by reviving the interest in creative conversations in this blog by talks of our culture, critics, feed back on local artist artwork whether performing artist or visual artist, feed back on what we may need in our community to expand our art scene, share conversations with artist, if you went to an art happening share your story , tell us about what you saw, what you liked, what you didn't like,tell us if you felt the prices of the art was too high or too low or if you thought it was a fare price, tell us if you saw a musician or talked to a poet, what did you think and why,tell us about your art teacher or professor and if they have inspired you to continue in the arts, and if you are a teacher or professor in the visual or performing arts tell us what inspired you to go teach the arts, remember TAOB readers ideas may be the best contributions and or donations too. "Submit your ideas, feedback, story on comments icon below."

Here is one of my stories:
One of my inspirations in the arts is Carlos G. Gomez MFA , Artist , professor at the UTB. I was inspired by his accomplishments as an artist. Just looking at his resume for me was inspiring by setting a high standard. At first glance when I began painting I knew I had a long way to go, but yet through his accomplishments I was inspired of how far an artist can reach. Although I may never reach his level of accomplishment I have definitely been ispired to try...

Gabriel Treviño

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Creative Conversations


WHEN: Thursday, October 5th, 2006
The Brownsville Heritage Complex
1325 East Washington Street
Brownsville, Texas
TIME: 6:30 pm
INFO: (956) 541-5560 or

Hosted by the Brownsville Heritage Complex, the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center and the Cameron County Creative Alliance in partnership with Americans for the Arts

Monday, October 02, 2006

BMFA Call for Volunteers

The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art will be celebrating the the grand opening of their new facility. They need members to help greet the public on Sunday, October 22nd from 1pm-5pm. If you can help us for two hours or four hours, please email Marilyn Brown ASAP. Thanks Folks!

UPDATE: Empty Bowls Event by Food Bank of RGV

Participating Artists: If you wish to be included in the homage to the contributing artists (see picture example), please turn in your donated art, art bio & a photo to Alicia Nevárez-Warner by Oct. 9. Alicia can be contacted at 956-227-2884 or


The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley is looking for help in Cameron County. As a non-profit that serves Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy and Starr County, The Food Bank would like to extend a partnership where joint efforts can produce major results for the hungry in our community.

Empty Bowls ( with its unique showcase of local cuisine and art is slated for October 19 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.. This season, University of Texas Brownsville President Dr. Juliet Garcia has offered to host this spectacular event at Jacob Brown Auditorium.

It is such a simple idea, but it builds partnerships, community and helps feed the hungry. Local students and artists create and donate small cereal-size bowls (usually ceramic and useable for eating--but most media is welcome). Larger bowls and art pieces have been used for a silent auction in the past. Local chefs, restaurants and food distributors donate a simple meal of soup, salad, drinks and dessert. Tickets are sold and guests enjoy a meal with many choices of soup, salad and dessert entrées to sample. The highlight of the event is that each ticket is good for one selection of an amazing array of original art, a bowl that will remind each person that there are always Empty Bowls in the Rio Grande Valley.

Like most non-profits, the Food Bank is limited on staff and help. We also know we will need help from community members who care about meeting the basic needs of the hungry in our Valley. Committee members are sought to help with all aspects of this event. The event benefits the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc.

Imagenes Art Studio "Autumn Art" Exhibit

Imagenes Art Studio & Paseo Plaza presents
"Autumn Art" Fine Art Exhibit - FREE TO THE PUBLIC
"Come and enjoy new art by new artists in all medias from around the

Wine & Cheese Reception - Friday, October 20th, 7-9 p.m. Meet the artists!
Exhibit dates: October 20th - October 22nd

Paseo Plaza Shopping Center
1805 E. Ruben Torres Blvd
Brownsville, TX 78526
Call: 956-574-0088 - For More Information

How: Artists may sign up online at and click on call for
artists to fill out the rsvp form. Also view our quaterly art exhibit video
photo presentation on the same page. Deadline for artists is Friday, October 13th

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Poor Man's Portable Printing Press at 77 Flea Market

Museo {i}menos presents…
The Poor Man’s Portable Printing Press IX
(a stencil making workshop)
by Museo {i}menos founder {active stencilist / stencil activist} René Z.Garza, 956.534.1997

The workshop includes a brief history of the stenciled image and basic stencil making techniques. Make your own images, freely and ready to reproduce, using this historic, democratic art. We will also make a collective work of art for future exhibition.

This is the nineth of twelve monthly workshops in 2006 held by the Museo to promote independent arts practice (that is to say art with very little resources). Donations are accepted but not required to take part in Museo {i}menos activities. It is our goal to make artistic practice accessible to everyone.

The stencil making workshop will be held

Sunday, September 17, 2006
From Open to Close
77 Flea Market
Brownsville, TX

Directions: East US 83 toward Brownsville becomes US 77, exit Stillman Road / Old Alice. The Flea Market is on the south side here and highly visible.

To participate you will need to attend with posterboard, a #1 exacto-type knife, a can of spray paint, some designs, and something to paint your image on {t-shirts have been popular to the workshop, but just about anything goes}. Also, {i}menos will lend you materials or they may be purchased as they are available.

Museo {i}menos is a different kind of museum without walls, formal attire or admission fees. We pop up wherever we can and even in some places that we can not.

Museo {i}menos ¡Para los que hacen mas con menos!

***Note: This will be interesting and fun. The worksop was recently held in Matamoros and covered in The Herald. Check out the article by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

TAOB Update

Hola loyal TAOB readers! I say loyal, because if you are still coming back after such a lack of updates, then yes, you are a loyal reader...and for your loyalty, many thanks and appreciation go to you! And if by some serendipitous act you ended up here, welcome and we hope you keep coming back!

Like all beginnings to Fall, things just get busier and more is going on and unfortunately, some other aspets of life get less exercise, or diets, or sleep...or for me...this blog. But alas, TAOB is not forgotten!

The Art of Brownsville events calendar keeps filling up! Check out the various events going on in September alone! Especially the festivals like Cine Sol Film Festival and The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival.

Don't see an arts and culture related event you know about or want your event on the calendar? Then send an email with details our way to

As for TAOB not being forgotten...this blog has great potential but needs the assistance of contributing writers or web designers. I want to send thanks to our generous sponsors like Jose Hinojosa, Chris Davis and Marilyn Brown. Your donated resources have not been to put to vain and expect some changes to welcome the blog's 3rd anniversary in late November.

For any writers, artists or designers itching to contribute to the blog, please send an email our way to Thanks and hope everyone is well and have a great beginning to the Fall season!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Night of Hope

Aids Survival Project
1st Annual Event: "A Night of Hope"

Where: Gallery 409, 409 E. 13th St., Brownsville, TX 78520
When: Saturday, August 29th from 7pm-11pm
Cost: $5.00 donation at the door, all other donations will be greatly appreciated

All proceeds and donations will benefit the Valley AIDS Council's Education Department. Join the fun and participate in a silent auction and purchase one-of-a-kind art pieces donated by supporting artists. Come enjoy an evening of great art for a great cause.

For more information contact: (956) 459-7762,(956) 465-9313 or

Friday, August 25, 2006

Art at the Park

Amigos Artistas
"Art at the Park"

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Ringgold Civic Pavilion
at Dean Porter Park
(next to Gladys Porter Zoo, exit 6th st, South 77)
Brownsville, Texas

Admission Free!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

RGV Film Commission Call for Volunteers and Artists

The Rio Grande Valley Film Commission’s Executive Committee headed by Nancy Millar of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce (Chair), Evana Vleck of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Martha Noell of the Mission Chamber of Commerce, Iliana Cortez of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce and Chelsea Benham of the University of Texas Pan American, requests a “call” for artists and technicians interested in working or volunteering in the film industry.

If you are interested in serving as a director of photography, light technician, actor, extra or other position in the film industry, your name, resume and contact information will be placed on a major contact list The list will be utilized for interested area and out of area film makers who make the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) their film project destination and are looking for individuals who have experience or who express an interest in the entertainment industry.

The Rio Grande Film Commission is a coop organization consisting of local Chamber’s in the RGV and other interested individuals and organizations that wish to promote the film industry. The Film Commission is dedicated to attracting film projects and serving as a liaison to assist film makers in having their film projects run as smoothly as possible. The Film Commission is interested in welcoming all film makers into the RGVand is currently working on creating a database of potential film locations, studios, actors, film techs and other individuals with expertise in industries relating to the film making process.

For more information and to register your name on the contact list, please contact Evana Vleck of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956-383-4974 or via email at There is no cost to participate.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Art of Brownsville Events Calendar!!!

Take a look at the new Art of Brownsville Events Calendar!
The calendar's URL is:

Want to see your RGV/Northern Tamaulipas arts or cultural related event on the Art of Brownsville Events Calendar? Email information to

***Blog Note:The calendar is very basic and I will work my way up to developing a better one---but for now this one is more than suffice. It has been a concern of mine that much of the space on the blog has been used up on promoting events. While I have no issue with that, I would like the blog to focus more on documenting and commenting on local arts and culture. Keep coming back to see more additions and changes to The Art of Brownsville!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

CineSol 36 Hour Film Race

Brownsville, Texas (Rio Grande Valley) – September 1-3, 2006 — CineSol 36 Hour Film Race, a 36-hour filmmaking competition, has announced a call to entries. CineSol 36 is the first competition of its kind in the U.S., and will take place Labor Day Weekend September 1-3 in Brownsville, Texas. Both novice and seasoned filmmakers will have the chance to compete in this fast paced movie-making contest. Participants, whose completed movies must be no more than ten (10) minutes long, will have their movies reviewed and judged by moviemaking professionals. On Sunday, September 3, 2006 the Top Ten (10) films will be officially unveiled and premiered at the Camille Lightner Playhouse. At the end of the evening, the winning team will receive “CineSol 36 – Bravo Award 2006” title and an industry package worth about $3,000. Other Awards and Recognition will be for the following:

Audience Choice, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Sound, Best Music, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Script

Best Under 18's Film - To be eligible for the “CineSol 36 – Bravo II Award 2006”, and an industry package worth about $500.00 (two- thirds of the team members must be under 18 years of age).

Participants in this inaugural CineSol 36 Hour Film Race will plunge into the world’s most extreme filmmaking. Filmmakers, musicians, and actors of all ages are invited to take part in CineSol 36 Hour Film Race. Interested parties should visit Information and Entry Forms can be downloaded from the site.

“This event will bring the best rookie and experienced filmmakers of the region together in Brownsville to compete in a non-stop weekend of action and fun,” says Nancy Russell, CineSol Film Festival Chairperson. Russell, who welcomes inquiries from additional sponsors, expects CineSol 36 Hour Film Race to draw several hundred competitors to Brownsville. Early interest in the event has been extremely high. “Brownsville is the ideal place to have the first 36-hour filmmaking contest of its kind in the area,” says Peter Goodman with Brownsville Border Film Commission, “because of the city’s high percentage of students, artists, entrepreneurs, and local companies eager to support such a unique event.”

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Artist Beth Fedigan at the BHC

Brownsville-South Padre Island artist Beth Fedigan will be one of the featured artists in the exhibition Hecho a Mano: A Heartfelt Tradition at the Brownsville Heritage Complex. The exhibition opens at 6:30 pm on August 10, 2006 with a reception. The reception is free to the public. The exhibition runs through October 9, 2006 and is included with general admission to the Brownsville Heritage Complex.

Fedigan, who is well-known for her watercolors of fish and beach life, will feature her hand-made baskets which are made from local materials found around South Padre Island.

According to Fedigan, “My work is strongly influenced by texture. Texture is surface enrichment. It’s manipulative; and by staining, scratching, weathering, and whatever else we can do to surfaces, it makes the piece beautiful. We live in a primarily visual world. I feel that the more ways we find to express our ideas and reactions to the world, the more effectively we will respond to the stimulation we receive from our immediate environment. Art is a form of communication, and/or self reflection. Art should make a viewer think, but it shouldn’t tell a viewer what to think. For me, the act of creating is spiritual; it is communicating with the creative forces that drive me. Ultimately, art allows me to express things through visual means that cannot be communicated with words.”

Hecho a Mano: A Heartfelt Tradition explores the hand-made traditions of South Texas and Northern Mexico.

Along with Fedigan’s original baskets, Mission artist Julian Rodriguez will showcase his ceramic bowls, plates and cups, as well as his more sculptural folk-saint series. McAllen artist Raquel Hinojosa will display her paper mache art.

Also on display will be paper crafts, local hand-made piñatas, and textiles of Mexico from the private collection of UTPA Special Collections Librarian George R. Gause.

Through the duration of the exhibition, workshops and public demonstrations are scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex is located in historic downtown Brownsville at 1325 E. Washington St. The Brownsville Heritage Complex includes: The Stillman House Museum, The Brownsville Heritage Museum, The Aiken Education Center, The Heritage Resource Center and the Children's Heritage and Cultural Learning Center.

For more information please call 956-541-5560 or email

EL Second Weensdee

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center

"El Second Weensdee"

and special guest Max Baca

Wednesday August 9, 2006 at 7:00 pm

In preparation for the 15th Annual Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival,
"the Chicho" will feature accordionist Flavio Longoria at the next "El Second Weensdee." The Conjunto Kingz de Flavio Longoria will perform at the Conjunto Festival on Friday September 15, and this "Second Weensdee" conjunto fans will have the perfect opportunity to get to know this rising accordion star.

Longoria is destined to a life of music following his famous father's footsteps, Texas conjunto pioneer Valerio Longoria. The young Flavio learned music quickly, playing accordion, saxophone, bass guitar, drums, singing and recording with his father's band. Together they toured nationally, but one of Flavio's most fond memories is performing with him in 1985 when Don Valerio was honored with a National Heritage Award and proclaimed a National Treasure. With his new group, the Conjunto Kingz, Flavio is committed to keeping his father's style and musical legacy alive, a talent he has keenly inherited, especially with those beautiful and romantic boleros that continue to resonate in the hearts of the Chicano people.

To the delight of "Second Weensdee" fans, the highly acclaimed bajista Max Baca will once again appear at "the Chicho's" stage. Best known for his participation with groups such as Flaco Jimenez, The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, Baca has toured nationally and internationally. Baca has participated in three Grammy Award-winning albums and is now the front man of the group Los Texmaniacs, which will also perform at this year's Conjunto Festival.

a reception follows the presentation

$5 admission
225 E. Stenger Street, San Benito, TX 78586
(956) 361-0110

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sad Mac

Sorry for the lack of updates folks. I don't have access to the internet through my Mac and so I have been stuck with my lame old PC that has the equivalent processing capacity of churning butter. I love RoadRunner service but Time Warner needs to train their techs to know how to install Macs...punto! Then the PC just about freaks out for any command I ask it do that involves running two programs at the same time. It's not that I am an anti-PC fascist...I use a very efficient PC at work, pero...I gotta tell you folks...once you go Mac, it's hard to go back!
I am going to see if I can install wireless in my house so I can once again be whole with my Mac, but untill then please bare with me. The Art of Brownsville is still here...aguitada pero con ganas!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Chilangolandia vs. The Big Apple

Coming Soon... Check out the impressions of one Brownsvillian's visits to Mexico City and New York City.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

"The David" in Weslaco

Weslaco I.S.D. art teachers worked together to purchase an exact replica of Michelangelo Buonarroti's "David". The art teachers raised money through donations from children, parents, teachers, doctors, and private donations from Weslaco families. The replica was created directly from a master mold of the famous sculpture housed at the Galleria Dell' Academia, Florence.

The sculpture will be presented to the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce on September 18,2006 and will be dedicated to the youth of Weslaco. The public will have free acces to the sculpture to admire and study year round.

For more information, please contact James Miller, Head Organizer for Project David
at or contact Weslaco Chamber of Commerce toll free at 888-968-102.


Note: Very cool news! To have a mold of Michaelangelo's most famous work in the Valley will be a great cultural and educational resource for all, especially for art students who can study the piece to help them develop and improve their drawing and/or sculpture technique. I vaguely remember a Simpsons episode where the Springfield citizens protested the viewing of the sculpture. I am glad to see that this is not the case here in the Valley.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Luis Jimenez Sculpture at Brownsville-SPI Airport

Luis Jimenez Sculpture at Brownsville-SPI Airport
Originally uploaded by artofbrownsville.

A while back I was waiting to catch a flight to Houston and my eye happened to catch the sight of this sculpture at the Brownsville-South Padre Island Airport. One name flashed through my mind, "Luis Jimenez". "NAAHHHHH..." Him, his work??... here? In Brownsville? In the airport? The Brownsville airport???

I was in disbelief. (I must admit, even though Brownsville has grown so much, the small town mentality still sticks). But it was no illusion...before me was his signature and unmistakable style as proof. The sculpture was protected only by three rope barracades. "Uff!"...If people didn't know what this was, they could pass it for Dean Porter Park's newest playground installation. "Wait.", I thought, "Do people know what this sculpture is? Do they know who made it? What it means to art? What it means to representation of our culture?" Then I saw a sign near by, "PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO CLIMB"....OK, so my guess most people don't know.

I left the airport thinking, I have to take a picture one day and put it on the blog! Well, like many good intentions...the thought stayed well intended and was not brought to fruitation. Then a week ago came the sad news that Luis Jimenez died from an accident involving one of his pieces. Read the story by clicking here.

I remember one time in art school, my sculpture professor mentioned that Luis Jimenez attended and taught at UT. I was like, "Wow! When? I want the chance to be his student!" The magnificent thing about visual art though is that even though the the artist may no longer be with us, the artist's work is nearly immortal! We can continue to learn from the artist!

In respect to Luis Jimenez, I encourage you to learn from Luis Jimenez's life and work. As a Mexican-American artist from El Paso, he worked to express and share our culture on La Frontera. Thank you Mr. Jimenez for all you have done for art and for our frontera culture!

PS: If anyone may know who owns the piece or how it arrived to be placed the airport please comment below. It would be most interesting to know the story.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sad Day

More info to be posted soon....


Studio Accident Kills Well-known Sculptor
Austin American Statesman

Hondo, N.M.

Luis Jimenez, a University of Texas graduate whose sculptures have been displayed at the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art, died Tuesday in what authorities are calling an industrial accident. He was 65.

Part of a sculture was being moved with a hoist at Jimenez's Hondo studio when it came loose and struck the artist, pinning him against a steel support....He was taken to the Lincoln County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Galleria 409

The Brownsville Town Company Presents


May 18, 2006 6pm-10pm

Art Gallery Networking Mixer
Wine Tasting
Lice Music
Free Dorado's Season Ticket Givewaway
and many more prizes!

409 E. 13th St. Between Levee and Elizabeth St. Brownsville, TX 78520
Free Admission!
Artwork by Cory Berendzen

Sponsored by ClearChannel Radio and The Brownsville Society for Performing Arts

Artist Rene Hugo Arceo at the NMCAC

Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
Host: The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
Location: 225 E. Stenger Street, San Benito, TX View Map
When: Friday, May 19, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Phone: 956-361-0110

You are welcome to join us in an informal conversation with Rene Hugo Arceo. Rene is an experienced artist and arts administrator from Chicago and will speak on the subjects of art education, curating, docent training, per-cent for art programs, and working in grass-roots as well as established arts organizations. Here's a chance to ask questions of someone who's done lots in the visual arts. (

The Narciso will provide coffee, and you are welcome to bring pan de dulce, pastries and/or orange juice. After our meeting we will gather for a dutch treat lunch at Super Antojitos in San Benito - 101 S. Sam Houston (361-7373).

Although admission is free, this is a private event.

For more information on our upcoming art show, "Grafica Popular de Chicago" and the reception and lecture on May 19th, visit

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Grafica Popular de Chicago at the NMCAC

Mario E. Castillo, Nicolas de Jesus, Hector Duarte, Elvia Rodriguez, Maria Evangelina Soliz, Joel Rendon, Alfredo Martinez, Tony Galigo, Carlos A. Cortez, Mirtes Swiersinsky, Leopoldo Praxedis, Jesus Acuna, Guillermo Delgado, Eufemio Pulido, Edgar Lopez, Tomas Bringas, Gerardo de la Barrera, Carlos Villanueva, Mark Ernst, Rita Marquez, Rene H. Arceo, Benjamin P. Varela

curated by
Benjamin P. Varela, Rene Hugo Arceo, Brian and Aleida Wedgworth

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center is pleased to announce the opening of an extraordinary exhibition of graphic art from Chicago’s famed El Taller Mexicano de Grabado (Mexican Printmaking Workshop.) Led by acclaimed artist Rene Hugo Arceo, El Taller was a collective experiment formed to teach and promote printmaking among Lationo artists in Chicago. This show will include works of members active from 1990 to 1997.

Opening Reception Friday May 19th at 7:00 PM
Lecture by Rene Hugo Arceo
“100 Years of Mexican Printmaking: from Posada to the Chicano Experience”
8:00 PM

This lecture will demonstrate, from an artist’s perspective, the rich 20th century graphic arts tradition in Mexico.
Highlights include Jose Guadalupe Posada’s influence in shaping the national Mexican identity, the Open Air Schools, the famous Taller de Grafica Popular , the rupture period, 1968 graphics as well as the Chicano experience.

Seating is limited.
225 E. Stenger Street * San Benito, Texas * (956) 361-0110

Monday, May 08, 2006

NMCAC "El Second Weensdee"

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center celebrates Mother's Day during
"El Second Weensdee"
 Heriberto "Herbie" Lopez
 and guest bajista
Max Baca
Wednesday May 10, 2006
7:00 PM
225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, TX
$5 admission
The multi-faceted musician Herbie Lopez is a staple of the late 1960's and early 1970's Tejano Conjunto sound.  Rooted in Robstown, Texas, Herbie was deeply influenced by the conjuntos that performed for the cotton field workers of the Coastal Bend area and the sounds of radio stations such as KUNO of Corpus Christi and KOPY of Alice, Texas.  Herbie taught himself to play piano accordion, but also played rums and bass with rock'n'roll bands.  His conjunto rhythms were perfected when he played with El Conjunto de Beto Martinez but his musical career climaxed between 1968 and 1974 when he played keyboards for the legendary Conjunto Bernal.  Lopez was influenced deeply by accordionists Paulino Bernal and Oscar Hernandez and remembers fondly his days performing with Juan Sifuentes, Eloy Bernal, Beto Salinas, Chacha Jimenez, Joe Ramos, Beto Torres and Joe Solis.  Lopez settled in the Rio Grande Valley in 1982 and taught high school band in Weslaco for twenty years.
As a special treat, accompanying Lopez on bajo sexto will be one of the most talented bajo sexto players in the music industry, Max Baca.  Best known for his participation with groups such as Flaco Jimenez y su Conjunto, The Texas Tornados, Los Hermanos Baca, Aztex and Los Super Seven, Baca has toured nationally and internationally.  He has participated in three Grammy Award-winning albums and is now the front man of the group Texmaniacs.
Herbie Lopez will tell his story and perform with Max Baca at the next "Second Weensdee."  A reception will follow the presentation.
"El Second Weensdee" is an oral history series on a local cultural treasure - conjunto music.  The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center preserves, promotes and advances the rich cultural heritage of the "Mexicano" community through programming in the arts.
For more information call (956) 361-0110

New Brownsville Blog

Check out my cousin's new Brownsville Blog. Read and contribute to the interesting and thought provoking discussions he has begun there.

In This Corner...Your Talk Around Town

Want to check out other Brownsville Blogs? Click any the links below.

Cafe Brownsville
Brownsville Eats
Brownsville Talk
Brownsville Scenes

Have a Brownsville blog and want to promote it? Send a link by clicking here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Art School Confidential

From the makers of "Ghost World" and "Bad Santa" comes the movie "Art School Confidential" based on an original comic strip of the same name by the screenplay writer and comic artist Daniel Clowes. This movie is a parody so it will have the obvious art school stereotypes but I couldn't help but laugh and recognize some elements. Ah, I am probably biting my own tongue here. Art school is a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. But check out the movie if you ever want to have a laugh and recognize some of those elements as well.

To see the "Art School Confidential" trailers CLICK HERE.

To go to the movie website CLICK HERE.

If you want to share some thoughts on the movie or art school in general feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section linked below this post or CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

UTB/TSC Scorpion Scholars

I know this is not art-related, but this is a great opportunity for our local youth wanting to pursue a higher education.


The deadline is quickly approaching for high school seniors planning to apply for the new UTB/TSC University Scorpion Scholars scholarships.

The new Scorpions Scholar Scholarship (USS) program, available to the top 10 percent of graduating high school seniors residing in the TSC taxing district, offers up to four years of tuition, fees, books and on-campus housing.

The USS scholarship will cover tuition and fees for 15 or more college credits; $500 per fall and spring semesters for books and supplies, plus $1,150 per fall and spring semesters for on-campus housing on a space available basis.

Students have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 to submit their scholarship applications to the Financial Aid Office. The scholarship is limited to 115 students.

Award letters will be mailed out the recipients the week of May 15-19.

Under the old Scorpions Scholar program, $600 was awarded annually to the top five and 10 percent of graduating high school seniors for their first year at UTB/TSC.

For more information, call the Financial Aid Office at 882-8277

Support the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art

As Brownsville Museum of Fine Art nears completion at 7th and Ringgold, Brownsville, the entire community is coming together to bring the project to fruition. "We are $500,000 short of our capital campaign goal" said Mary Carey, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art Board Member "All together it will be a 3 million project.

To assist in the fundraising, International Bank of Commerce is sponsoring an art show by sculpture, Victor Gutiérrez, Thursday, May 25th at the Bank's main branch 1600 FM 802. Doors will open at 6:00 for the wine & cheese ($25 per person) with the artwork of Sculpture Victor Gutiérrez on display and for sale. The artist Gutierrez, currently touring in Europe is the creator of the renowned " El Angel in Mexico City."

He will be in Brownsville for the exhibit and has donated a bronze to be raffled at the event. Raffle tickets are $100 each. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art Building Fund.

On June 2, 2006, at the current Brownsville Museum of Fine Art photography by Dr. Jose Castañeda will be exhibited. "The COLORS of Brownsville" is a collection of forty photographs of botanicals from the lawns in and around Brownsville. Again, all proceeds will benefit the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art Building Fund.

"We are very honored at the commitment of Dr. Jose Castaneda and others" said Carol DeMoss, Executive Director with the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. "This is several years of outstanding work Dr. Castañeda has donated. Many times, Dr. Castaneda would go to a home as many as twenty times to meet owners and ask permission to photograph a plant or flower. His images are exquisite."

A U.S. Multi -Regional Impact Assessment System statement indicates:

The nonprofit arts sector is the incubator for the vast role of cultural activity in the economy. For every $1 spent on those activities more than $2.98 of cultural impact on the economy occurs. The contribution of the cultural arts as traditionally measured has a substantial impact on the economy of Texas including 63.7 billion in total expenditures, $31.5 billion in Gross Product, $18.7 billion in Personal Income and over 600,000 Permanent jobs.

For anyone wishing more information regarding the Building Fund or the any of the upcoming art shows to benefit the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art contact the museum at (967) 542-0941.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Artist Directory Update

Check out The Art of Brownsville Artist Directory!

Mosaic of El Valle: Expresiones del Pueblo

AUSTIN, Texas (April 25) – Mosaic of El Valle: Expresiones del Pueblo, a unique community residency program scheduled for May 1-6 in the town of Mercedes, explores the legends of South Texas’ Rio Grande region as represented though traditional storytelling, dance, visual art, and music.

Choreographer Jesse Murguia, visual artist Rosendo Sandoval and traditional musicians Rosa and Joe Pérez will participate in performances, workshops, informal lectures, pláticas and exhibits during this residency, co-produced by Texas Folklife Resources and Mercedes Independent School District as part of an outreach program that celebrates Mexican-American cultural traditions. All events are free and open to the public.

Through their performances and pláticas, residency artists and community members will examine Valley leyendas such as “La Llorona,” “La Bikina” and “La Lechuza.” Included in the program is “Las Llogas de Agua,” a song by Rosa Pérez that tells a story of illegal immigration and reveals how art can effectively reflect current issues. It also demonstrates the processes by which experiences ingrained in a community’s life become part of local lore. Each performance shows the power of collaborative creative projects in forging the Rio Grande Valley’s identity. Through their life stories and representations of local legends, these artists help community members consider the historical significance of South Texas lore and its relevance to their cultural identity. Events take place at several venues including schools, senior-citizen centers, performing arts centers, libraries and auditoriums

Choreographer Jesse Murguia, a Rio Grande Valley native, studied dance and choreography at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg and trained under several internationally renowned dancers. An instructor in the Mercedes Independent School District Fine Arts Program, Murguia founded the Brazos Rio Grande School of Dance in 2003 to produce programs that capture the Valley’s history, folklore and stories. Through an understanding of dance not only as a part of life, but as a way of life, Murguia aims to create cultural self-awareness among his students and encourage them toward creative outlets for expressions of their heritage and identity.

Self-taught musicians Rosa and Joe Pérez bring familiar tunes to life for new generations of South Texans. Weaving original poetry and song with vintage música ranchera, the guitar-playing duo performs as Rumbo al’ Anacua, traveling on the Texas-Mexicano path of cultural memory – remembrances of their parents and grandparents, the history of their barrios and the experiences of their community. Theirs is a presentation of “Cultura con Canción.”

Painter Rosendo Sandoval’s emphasis on composition, color and contrast bring Valley legends to life on canvas. He captures through art the story of his childhood memories of Mexico and his experiences in Texas, where his family immigrated in 1970.

The community is encouraged to attend all residency activities, particularly evening performances and exhibits at 7 p.m. May 1 and 3 at the Mercedes Memorial Library; “Legend Tripping” at 6 p.m. May 5 at the Graham historical building; and the final event at 2 p.m. May 6 at the Graham Auditorium. For a schedule or more information, contact Jesse Murguia at (956) 279-8238 ( or Michelle Wibbelsman at (512) 371-9128 ( For information about Texas Folklife, call (512) 441-9255 or visit our Web site at

The program is made possible in part through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities Texas and Texas Folklife Resources. Texas Folklife’s residency programs are designed to educate the public about Texas folk traditions by highlighting extraordinary local talent in rural communities throughout the state. Texas Folklife is a non-profit cultural organization that serves Texas folk artists and their audiences by helping to present and promote a diverse and living artistic heritage for all Texans.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Quinta Mazatlan Call for Artists and Artesans

Quinta Mazatlan the new world birding center in McAllen is having a grand openning for the general public May 6, 2006. Mayra Brown with McAllen's Art House will chair the Quinta Mazatlan Market Place where artists and arteseans will be able to sell their goods. The event will take place May 6, 2006 at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The cost to the artist will be $50.00 per booth that includes one 8 ft table covered. If anyone is interested, please contact Mayra Brown at 956-490-5507 or email me at

Musicians are also sought…of course other arrangements will have to be done with the musicians… thousands of people will be there that day to hear you and see your craft.

Ivan Xavier Ramirez Photography

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Artist Directory

The Art of Brownsville is collecting an artist directory to publish on our website. The artist directory will basically feature contact and reference info about local artists. To be on the directory you must provide all of the following information:

Name: (First, Last)
Location: (ex. live in Brownsville, Texas)
City of Origin: (ex. raised in Matamoros, Tamps.)
Art Medium: (ex. Painting, Sculpture, Video Art, Installation, Multi-media, Ceramics, etc..)
Webpage: (must have atleast one picture of original work)

Artists must live or originate from the Rio Grande Valley/Tamaulipas Frontera and must have a current email and online gallery. Phone #'s and Mailing Addresses will only be provided to inquirers by personal request to the artist, at the discretion of the artist.

If you do not have an email please consider using any of the free services available with any of the following sites: Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail (by far The Art of Brownsville favorite...if you cannot get a hold of an invite or mobile phone, email The Art of Brownsville for a Gmail invite).

A online gallery or webpage is also required. Currently, the Art of Brownsville cannot maintain a gallery service through our website (though definitely a goal in the works), so we will need the artists to provide a visual reference for their work. Links to online articles, online picture albums and blogs with pictures are okay. Personal, non-art oriented blogs, albums or webpages (such as MySpace, Friendster, ect...) are not permitted. If you would like to create an artist webpage consider using any of the following simple to use sites:

World Wide Arts Resources

To join The Art of Brownsville Directory send an email with the requested information to

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Strengthening Arts Curriculum in Reforming Education

An interesting and valuable letter to the editor from Texas Senator Eddie Lucio advocating arts education was published in The Brownsville Herald on April 5th, 2006.

Here are some snippets:

..."Chairwoman Victoria Hodge Lightman of the Texas Commission on the Arts says, “We continue to see evidence that students involved in arts education programming perform better academically, are more likely to graduate and have fewer discipline problems than students without access to arts education programs. Unfortunately, we also see continued reduction in access to arts education as budgetary cuts result in the elimination of quality arts programming from our schools...”

"..Stanford University and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching discovered in their study that the arts develop skills and habits of mind that are important for workers in the new “Economy of Ideas” (Alan Greenspan). Their findings link arts education with economic realities, asserting that young people who learn the rigors of planning and production in the arts will be valuable employees in the idea-driven workplace of the future..."

"...We need to fund public education fairly and equitably. We need to reduce the heavy burden of taxes on property owners. We need to give teachers pay raises. We need to expand facilities funding to build badly needed schools, gymnasiums, libraries and other edifices critical to a well-rounded education. We need to determine the best way to educate our children and reduce dropout rates. And somewhere in this heavy mix, we must do all we can to see that arts education remains or becomes a required segment of public education in Texas...”



Want to support arts curriculum in our public schools? Here is a way to start...attend any of the events listed on the BISD Fine Arts Spring Schedule.

NBC-TV 23 Call for Art and Poetry

NBC 23 is working on putting together a small publication called "The Art of Healing". The publication will feature art and poetry by valley artists and supported by advertising, mainly from the medical community. The publications will be distributed for free.

To participate:
Art Submission - paintings, photography and sculpture
Email a print quality digital image of your piece to
subject line: Art of Healing
Title & medium
where you live
website, email or phone contact information
please also feel free to include a short statement about yourself and/or the piece.

Poetry Submission
Email me a copy of your poem preferably in Word to
subject line: Art of Healing
where you live
website, email or phone contact information
please also feel free to include a short statement about yourself and/or the poem.

Deadline for submission is May 1, 2006.
If you have any questions email Wendy Gilbert.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

BISD Fine Arts Events

Mark your calendars for the following Spring Brownsville Independent School District Fine Arts Events. Let's support our local young artists and performers!

April 28, 2006
“Middle School Art Competition”
Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
230 Neale Dr.
4:00 – 6:00 pm

May 5, 2006
“A Night of Percussion”
High School Drumlines
Sam’s Stadium
7:30 pm

May 8-12, 2006 “Fine Arts Festival”
Middle & High School Fine Arts Students
Jacob Brown Auditorium
7:00 pm
May 8 – Rivera Cluster
May 9 – Hanna Cluster
May 10 – Porter Cluster
May 11 – Lopez Cluster
May 12 – Pace Cluster

May 15, 2006 “High School Art Competition”
Brownsville Museum of Fine Art
230 Neale Dr.
4:00 – 6:00 pm

For more information, contact the BISD Fine Arts Department at 982-3730.

Annexation: Celebrating 150 years of Texas Statehood

Brownsville-The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located in historic downtown Brownsville, invites the public to view Annexation: Celebrating 150 Years of Texas Statehood, a Humanities Texas exhibition. The exhibit opens on April 10, 2006. The exhibition at the Brownsville Heritage Complex is made possible through the support of the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation.

Texans enjoy a special status because their state was once an independent republic, a nation among nations. This fame, however, was more or less thrust upon Texas by political issues that occupied the United States, Mexico, and various European nations for almost a full decade following the Texas revolution. It was not until 1845 that U.S. support for the doctrine of “manifest destiny” brought about the annexation that an overwhelming majority of Texans had so fervently desired.

This fascinating story has been told through an exhibition of original documents and artifacts organized by the Capitol Complex Visitors Center in Austin; and it is now retold for all Texans to view in a traveling photo-panel exhibit organized and circulated by the Humanities Texas.

Annexation: Celebrating 150 Years of Texas Statehood is designed for humanities projects that focus not merely on Texas history but on the mythic power of events that help define a community, state, or nation and on the ways in which people learn history. The photo-and-text panel exhibit was produced by THRC with support from the Humanities Texas.

The exhibit will be on view until April 29, 2006. The exhibit is included with the cost of general admission to the Brownsville Heritage Museum. General admission is always free for Brownsville Historical Association members.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex is managed by the Brownsville Historical Association. The Heritage Complex is located at 1325 E. Washington in Brownsville. The Brownsville Heritage Complex includes The Stillman House Museum, The Brownsville Heritage Museum, The Aiken Education Center, and the Heritage Resource Center.

For more information please call 956-541-5560 or

The Poor Man's Printing Press Seeks Space

Museo {i}menos is currently looking for spaces in the Rio Grande Valley and the bordering Frontera Tamaulipas to host its monthly stencil Making workshop entitled

The Poor Man's Portable Printing Press

We have had three in Hidalgo county already, with two of them in Donna, Tx. , and the first in Weslaco. We have had more offers in Hidalgo County but we really want to spread the workshop around to allow more people to participate. We are seeking alternative spaces, ideally residences, public parks, colonias or social activist groups.

We are not really considering museums, galleries, or public libraries because we are in effect an outreach program.

So if any of you would like to host a workshop, or know of someone who might, outside of Hidalgo County {but in the RGV or Front. Tamps area} in an alternative space, then contact the Museo so that we can get the ball rolling...

Mil Gracias,

René Z. Garza
René Z. Garza
Museo {i}menos
623 S. Indiana Ave.
78596 USA
¡ Para los que hacen mas con menos !

Call for Mail Art

Museo {i}menos is launching a call for mail art for its official inauguration on AUGUST 8th 2006. The site for the inauguration is to be determined closer to the opening date. The site will be from the geographic center of the Rio Grande Valley and the bordering Frontera Tamaulipas.

We have been collecting Mail Art from all over the world to be exchanged for Art from The Rio Grande Valley, TX and the bordering Frontera Tamaulipas .

365 Openings… is a Mail Art Exhibit pulling from Mail Art's Eternal Network. RGV and Front Tamps residents can exchange their own Mail Art and postage for original Mail Art from around the globe, during the event. This is an exhibit that truly belongs to the people. It is our goal here to create art correspondence with this area and the rest of the world for future collaboration. It is free and fair trade/exchange of culture and ideas. It is a globalization from below .

As is the case with mail art: no juries, no fees, no returns, & no social control!


Deadline: JULY 28th, 2006

To participate send Mail Art Submission to: 365 OPENINGS ...
Museo {i}menos
623 S. Indiana Ave.
Weslaco, TX 78596

Museo {i}menos is a different kind of museum without walls, formal attire or admission fees. We pop up wherever we can and even in some places that we can not. Museo {i}menos is a work of art. We are an independent arts museum currently developing mail art and stencil art events, collections and workshops (but many more independent arts exist and need to be included). Our goal is to make art public and the only real way to do that is to have the public produce its own art. It is only through active participation that art becomes truly public.

Friday, April 07, 2006

McAllen Art Walk

Every first Friday of the month from September through May.
Free Admission.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

UTB Student Juried Exhibition

The 2006 UTB Juried Student Exhibition

Opens March 28, 2006 and closes April 13, 2006
at the Richardson Gallery /UTB Campus/ Art Building upstairs

80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, TX

For more information
call (956) 882-7097

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Vagina Monologues in Brownsville!

The Offices of Dean of Students & International Services are proud to present

by Eve Ensler

Day: Wednesday, March 8
(International Women's Day)

Time: 7pm
(informal Q&A forum and reception will follow)

Where: Science and Engineering Technology Building Lecture Hall (UTB/TSC)
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas

Cost: $3, all proceeds will go to Friendship of Women, Inc., a Violence and Sexual Assault Crisis Center in the Brownsville community

What is V-Day?
A global movement to stop violence against women and girls through education and awareness. V-Day helps anti-violence organizations throughout the world continue and expand their core-work on the ground while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence (including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sexual slavery) against women and girls.

For more information:

Friendship of Women, Inc.: (956) 544-7412
UTB/TSC V-Day 2006: or visit UTB/TSC Cardenas Hall North 103-H

Saturday, March 04, 2006

An Evening of Culture at the BHC

The Brownsville Heritage Complex presents An Evening of Culture: History, Herstory, and Heritage through grant from the RGV Arts Council

Brownsville-The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located in historic downtown Brownsville, was recently awarded a grant from the McAllen Chamber of Commerce/Rio Grande Valley Arts Council in support ofWomen's History Month programming.

Through the grant support, the Brownsville Heritage Complex is proud to present An Evening of Culture: History, Herstory and Heritage, scheduled for Saturday, March 4, 2006 from 6:00 to 9:00. The event is scheduled in honor of National Women's History Month. The event is free and open to the public.

An Evening of Culture is a historical, cultural, educational art exhibition and programs that feature the history and stories ofwomen in Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, and Texas in an evening of art, music, dance and food. The event will open with a dance performance by Brazos Rio Grande School of Dance, a dance group that is comprised of young women who are known for interpreting original dances based on the folk stories and legends of the region. The dances will focus on women's topics. One example of a dance they perform is La Llorona.

An Evening of Culture continues with a musical presentation by Joe and Rosa Perez of Rumbo al'Anacua who will be performing 'Cultura con Cancion" songs of the ranches and of the Rio Grande Valley. Many of their songs will focus on the experiences ofwomen.

A component food installation called 'WomenofTaste" will feature a variety of traditional and favorite dishes of Brownsville women. Along with their favorite dishes, interpretive material about the women who cooked the food will be featured. This presentation of the food will be a unique way of telling the Brownsville woman's history.

The feature exhibition for the month is 'Revelations of Lylith and Eve," a collection of visual art by ten women artists living in the Rio Grande Valley. Each art piece tells a story of the woman who created it. The exhibition challenges the viewer by dispelling common notions about art produced by women while describing the artists' thoughts, experiences, and observations. The exhibition is curated by local artist and Brownsville Heritage Complex Public Program Coordinator, Aleida Garcia Wedgworth.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex also provides a permanent exhibition about Brownsville women throughout the year.

Through this event, the Brownsville Heritage Complex hopes to introduce and promote an appreciation for the contributions of local women artists and community women. The event will also provide an opportunity for residents of the Rio Grande Valley to travel to and experience historic downtown Brownsville.

Additional support for the event is provided through the Brownsville Society for Performing Arts.

The Brownsville Heritage Complex is located in historic downtown Brownsville at 1325 E. Washington St. The Brownsville Heritage Complex includes The Stillman House Museum, The Brownsville Heritage Museum, The Aiken Education Center, and the Heritage Resource Center.

For more information please call 956-541-5560 or email or visit

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Chupacabra Chronicles Exhibition

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
6:30 p.m.

$3.00 admission

UTB/TSC Fine Arts Professor and Artist Carlos G. Gomez will have his artwork displayed at the Richardson Gallery, Feb. 21- March 23, 2006. The opening reception will be this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Richardson Gallery
UTB/TSC Art Building
80 Fort Brown, Brownsville TX

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Carmen Lomas Garza

This Thursday, February 2, 2006
10:00 A.M.
The University of Texas At Brownsville
El Gran Salon-Student Union
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, TX
Ms. Carmen Lomas Garza, Chicana Artist, will be the speaker for Professional Women Speak at the UTB/TSC Main campus. She has published two books and has received numerous awards. One of her paintings is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection.
The lecture is open to everyone that wishes to learn about art career opportunites from this successful woman's experience. For more information click here..

Sunday, January 29, 2006

SUAP Fest 06 (Shut Up And Paint) Graffitti Festival

SUAP Fest 06 (Shut Up And Paint) Graffitti Festival

February 4th, 2006
"La Plazita Park" Donna, Texas
All Day
Free For Everyone!

Directions: If coming from McAllen exit Salinas Blvd. Turn Right (South)
past Bus.83 First stop light turn Left (East) 3 blocks.
Contact: or visit for more info.

Live Music!
...two of the hottest djs bringin' you the illest underground hip hop in a hot minute!

FUSE from Edinburg
dj DABBLE from Weslaco
Live Grafitti!
...artists or vandals?

WIZDOM from kansas city/kansas
...and local valley artists
Museo {i}menos with a stencil making booth.
...also check out
Deep Thinkers
Dante Everglade
from Kansas City at the after party!

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