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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Art of Brownsville : "SELF-PORTRAIT"

"Self-Portrait"by Antonio Antinori

"Self-Portrait" by Carlos G. Gómez

" Self-Portrait" by Gabriel Trevino

SEND IN YOUR SELF PORTRAIT TO and post here on The Art of Brownsville .

About the Galeria 409 / Picture Series

"Puente "

"Toni Hudson"

"Chris Leonard"
About GALERIA 409 .......
In my opinion Galeria 409 has been established in one of the many historical buildings that make downtown Brownsville unique and stand out from others cities.. From my understanding Galeria 409 a business, currently not a non-profit, is owned by Mark Clark who is also an artist who's work and studio occupy a room in the upstairs of the gallery... From what I have seen Marks works have been studies reflecting his interpretation of the Mexican culture, and regional historical events including several works of saints and demons,which I thought were a dramatic change to his previous work which was more of an American pop culture style.
As it has been seen in the last 3 years Galeria 409 is a gallery that mostly features and represents the work of Cliff Welty, Cande Aguilar, Oscar Alvarez, Paul Valadez, Chris Leonard and Franchute......
Galeria 409 in occasions calls for local artist in open themed group art shows.
Galeria 409 has also been a venue for more than several musical events, cause events and poetry readings which has helped gain its popularity .
Similar venues in the downtown area include: Historic Alonzo Building, Heritage Complex and University of Texas at Brownsville -Rustenburg Art Gallery..

"CROSSFIRE" by Cande Aguilar

"This is what I felt when I first saw Bustinza's work..." Cande

"I have always felt in order to understand the work you need to understand the artist and his background, which was the reason for several interviews that included questions like, child hood and character " gt
For me its been exciting seeing the work of Cande Aguilar grow in size and in numbers, but also his professional presentation as artist as well. I think his work has grown but only at the same speed as local interest in the arts, which I think has grown within the last 12 years and spread like wild fire, from Amigos Artistas, new BMFA Museum Building, Mcallen Art Walk and Galleries..not to forget Corpus and San Antonio...all of which have become venues for his work.
Who doesn't want to see a another Brownsville native succeed, Cande who was born in Brownsville and background includes a transition from accordion musician to painter. Cande's work has also been noted for his previous 02 "BARRIO POP" style. Jeniffer Cahn :Curator of the BMFA who opened the doors to his first and most important one man show :"vivo mas", a show which possibly shocked the art community. I did think the largest scale work changed into more of a surrealist style which I thought was influential of Ray Smith former show at the BMFA..
But going back to this painting , which is typical o Candes medium size work, florescent pinks, blacks scribblings, blues which always seem to create the space dimension in his work, tans and orange, I think typical of his pallet, which has remain consistent and reason why his work is recognizable.., I think the tittle which is "crossfire" which is in my thoughts a battle between two entities, being that he is reflecting the work of Bustinza another abstract expressionist, there is a link and recognition , almost a territorial feeling that both are much alike..
Perhaps regionally/locally speaking there is not many abstract expressionist similar to the work of Cande, with the accepting of Jesus de la Rosa who backs his abstract with complex logic, but nationally and historically a style that has been typically repeated. Cande's work can be said to have only emerged, if we were to say this is the hight of his carreer, we would be shorting it for he is still young with a life time of work to produce.. I don't think critics should be quick to judge yet but support a painter that is pushing the limits and remaining true to his work.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Video de la exposición de arte "Pinturerías"- Galeria Albertina.

Video producido por Cliff Welty, ver video en este link:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Latina/o Art Community

Latina/o Art Community

" Place and sell your work, purchase art, learn about the work of others, announce or read about events and exhibitions. Join the directory, enter the chat room, or link to museums and galleries."



Saturday, April 25, 2009


TAOB interview with Mayra Cruz

TAOB: Its been a while since you have said goodbye to TAOB, first of all Mayra how have you been and what have you been up to, I know you are a person that likes to take on special side projects and working with your Church , and last I talked to you, you were taking up a dance class ?
Mayra: Hi Gabriel, thank you for inviting me to this interview. I was very much surprised and honored by the request. Yes, I do like to take on side projects, which is both good and bad for me. I like planning and setting goals, I guess it's the designer in me, pero como dice el dicho "Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta"...I am trying to work on that and hopefully this summer will offer some relief. This summer, my main project is to direct the Vacation Bible School at my church La Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana from June 15-19. If any parents would like to take their kids, send an email to As far as dance, I sponsor a ballroom dance club and it has turned out to be quite fun. I have managed to learn (not yet master) steps in 6 types of dance, my favorites being Tango, Merengue and Cha Cha. It's a fun and good workout as well. If anyone were to start a Brownsville Ballroom Club, I would so be in!

TAOB: Have you done any recent paintings, drawings or sculptures, or perhaps any "shoe" designs you can tell us about ?
Mayra: I have worked on some shoe designs actually, nothing major or finalized for sure. I have gotten ideas for some installations and paintings but I will not be revealing anything just yet as I am hoping I can make them a part of a show in the near future. God willing, my current long-term plan is to go a get a Masters in Shoe Design in Italy come January 2010. So I would love to have a show to jump start that ambition. I have provided two images of a finalized drawing and a sketch. I do more sketches than anything, the ideas I get for shoes just come very spontaneously so I have to draw them on what's handy, be it a sketchbook or napkin. I hope that once I have the means and knowledge, that I can translate my 2-D designs into actual 3-D creations, be it functional or purely for arts sake. I design shoes both for function and style and I also design what I would say are very surreal shoes that are for personal expression, which I call shoe art. Many times the designs also have a quirky phrase that give some literal reinforcement to a very figurative, visual expression. I like how the shoe art blurs the line between the function of design and the expression of art.

TAOB: Have you visited any art exhibits and or seen any art that you would like to talk about, that my have caught your eye ?
Mayra: Unfortunately, I have not been to many shows this year, mainly because of schedule conflicts. I have seen plenty of student art and I really enjoy to see the creativity of the children in our community, especially at the secondary level because when you come across some really great pieces, especially by such young talent, it's like finding a diamond in the rough. As a teacher, one could only hope to polish a little corner of the stone. As far as catching my eye, only one piece has completely floored me by its power of expression and it was a painting by a former student. It is a beautiful and yet simple self-portrait of the artist as a child. She never picked it up after the art show, so Carmen Arias who graduated from San Benito HS, I still have your piece so if you would like it back, please contact me. Two local artists whose work I like are Cande Aguilar and Noel Palmenez. To me they are extremes in style (abstact vs. realism), but what gets my attention is the mastery of their technique and strength in expression. I guess as a designer, I am really attracted to the craftsmanship and how they have created a personal style/ can recognize their work just by looking at it. Of course, I enjoy the art of various local artists! To name a few, I love the abstracts by Carlos G. Gomez, "Migas" and "Huevos con Chorizo", recently posted on TAOB. I got a real kick out of those, I even showed it to one of my students. I like art that makes me laugh, and I mean that in every good way! The artworks of Celina Hinojosa and Jennifer Rodriguez also touch a vein in my heart. In general, I love Renaissance art, especially Venetian. They were masters of color and light, even before Thomas Kinkaid got the title. The artist Titian is my favorite, I get chills just looking at how he captured the textures and color transparencies of skin. I also admire artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, just for being such bad-asses. lol! If I could make my public plea here on TAOB, it would be for Christo and Jeanne-Claude to choose Brownsville, Texas as the site for their next project!

TAOB: I liked this question I have asked several painters,I think I'll ask you too, tell us what do you most remember about your childhood and how or what first interested you into art ?
Mayra: I would have to go back to Kindergarten for this one. I can actually remember the first critical thought I had about art. I guess you could say at the time, I was drawing like most kindergarten students- stickmen, corner suns and m-birds...but then one day I realized that the drawings could look better, that they could be improved on. I thought, hey this stickman needs some meat! lol! And since then, I've never looked back...just to keep improving, especially in drawing. Drawing to me is the most fundamental and basic medium because it can translate into any 2-D or 3-D medium and is almost always needed for preparations to make art. I also remember asking my 1st grade teacher what the job was of the person who drew the pictures in the books. So for the earlier part of my education, I would tell most people I wanted to be an illustrator....then comic artist, then architect, then fashion designer, then humanities college professor, then art museum coordinator, then art teacher, and now shoe designer / entreprenuer....yup, I always knew I would be working in the arts sector. I have been making my shoe art and designs for over six years now so I am glad that I am finally going to try to translate that into a career.

TAOB: In order for the city of Brownsville to continue enhancing interest in the Arts what do you think is the next step from where we are at the moment as a whole ?
Mayra: I think all the cards are on the table. I have no doubt that Brownsville has the talent and resources needed to keep the momentum going for further development. I think it's all a matter of how the cards are being played. I think we are in a current transition that will lead to the creative aspirations we have for our city, but we must be willing to grow and work hard for the changes we want. Overall, accountable leadership with vision supported by good short-term and long-term strategic planning, continued professional development and advocacy supported by research and the community will make the difference we are looking for. Phew! Is that all??? lol! And that's not it, OVERALL, we must keep making art and being passionate about it, to keep doing what makes Brownsville unique and one of a kind, because we need a reason why all the hard work is worth it.

TAOB: Mayra I have to ask, are you happy, I mean with TAOB, when you left it, did you in some ways wanted it to end with your departure? or are you glad it continues?
Mayra: I am definitely VERY happy that The Art of Brownsville continues. I probably kept with it a year more than I wanted to because I hated the idea of its existence coming to an end. So I was so absolutely relieved when you decided to continue with it. I don't know if other artists could relate, but sometimes your own creations become autonomous and carry on their own life, their own story. The Art of Brownsville was very much like that for me, but after a while I knew it was time, for me at least, to part ways. I hope that TAOB continues to grow and God willing, have a deeper impact that we could ever imagine.

TAOB: Mayra, again many thanks for your support and response to this interview.. I hope you are doing well and I know your response is appreciated by all TAOB readers and those who truly support local art.

Art is Important for Graduation - Take Action

Please call our state senate and house representatives and ask them to vote NO for House Bill 3.. this bill states that Texas High School students will no longer need to take fine arts to graduate from high school.I need you to do this today if you have time.. this will be voted on early next week.Its really easy.,.. just call and say "my name is _____ ______ and i am calling to ask Senator (or representaive) __________ to vote NO for Senate Bill 3(or house bill 3 if you call the House Representatives).Thank you.. here the info you need..House District 38--Representative Eddie Lucio <>Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0606House District 37--Representative Rene O. Oliveira <>Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0640Senate District 27--Senator Eddie Lucio <>Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0127This is very easy.. takes 30 seconds.. thank you all..


We need your help! Please read below and contact our Senators and Representatives as requested. The future of Fine Arts depends on it! Believe me, all of your voices together WILL make a difference! I attached what I wrote just to give you an idea. Thanks!

ACTION NEEDED: CONTACT YOUR SENATOR & REPRESENTATIVE ASAPIf you believe fine arts should continue to be required for graduation because it is important to the overall education of Texas schoolchildren and you believe that if the legislature doesn't require fine arts they will be sending school districts the wrong message about its importance, you need to call your Senator's and Representative's capitol offices. Ask them to vote no on SB3 and HB3 unless fine arts is kept as a graduation requirement (as is required in the current Recommended Program). This notification is urgent as Senate Bill 3 is expected on the floor Wednesday, April 29.Find your Senator's and Representative's Capitol Office Numbers <>SUMMARY* The current one-credit fine arts graduation requirement will be eliminated if the Senate and House pass their current committee substitutes for Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 3 (the new accountability bills).* Senate Bill 3 is expected to go to the floor on Wednesday, April 29.* The bills include revisions to the Recommended Program for graduation. The revised program (commonly referred to as the 4x4+2) will require a student to take four years each of math, science, English Language Arts, and Social Studies plus two years of foreign language. The other eight credits in the 26-credit plan will be academic electives. After more than twenty years, there will be no fine arts credit requirement for graduation from Texas public high schools.* Without a fine arts requirement, many students will never experience rigorous, meaningful instruction in the arts.TALKING POINTSYou may select from the following talking points for why a fine arts requirement is important as well as add your own:1. Supports Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Fine Arts Graduation Requirement: Currently, the THECB requires three credits of fine arts for a student to graduate with a baccalaureate degree from a Texas institution. To not include a fine arts requirement in high school is philosophically counter to this requirement. With no high school requirement, there would be no fine arts required for students in public school after grade five. A 4x4+2 plan does not support a seamless K-16 education for Texas students.2. Supports Leading Business and Technology Author Dan Pink's Philosophy of 21st Century Workforce Training: Twenty-first century work skill development should be the driving force behind our education system moving forward in Texas. As Pink details in his best-selling book, A Whole New Mind-Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, while "left-brain" abilities are absolutely necessary, that dominance is gone and the workforce of the future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind - creative and empathetic "right-brain" thinkers. Rigorous instruction in fine arts is a major component of this workforce development.3. Impact on Minority and Low Socioeconomic Students: There is a genuine concern that these students, with no required exposure to fine arts in middle school or high school, will simply be channeled into courses focused on TAKS or end-of-course performance and not clearly given their options to explore fine arts, an area of study that may keep them in school and encourage successful academic performance in other subjects.4. Aligns Texas Requirements with Federal Legislation: The current core academic subjects defined in No Child Left Behind include mathematics, science, English language arts, social studies, languages other than English, and fine arts. Requiring a fine arts credit aligns Texas with NCLB as well as the core subjects of P21 - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills.5. Aligns with the College Board Publication, "Academic Preparation for College - What Students Need To Know And Be Able to Do": This College Board document defines the basic academic subjects as English language arts, fine arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign language.6. Creates Flexibility: Even with a fine arts credit requirement, the Recommended Program will provide for seven academic electives from the foundation and enrichment subject areas versus the 3.5 elective options in the current Recommended Program.7. Offers Broad-Based Academic Experiences: Fine arts is a subject area offering students the opportunity to explore a variety of academic disciplines through state approved courses in music, art, theater and dance. The arts options are expansive and diverse unlike the other current required enrichment subjects such as communications applications and physical education which are singular or limited course offerings. One ISD includes over forty TEKS-based fine arts courses in its course catalogue.8. Supports Texas Education Code (TEC) Objectives: Adding a fine arts credit requirement supports a "well balanced and appropriate education" as called for in Objective 4 of Section 4.001 of the TEC.9. Supports Student Success: Based on a TMEA study of TEA data, students who participate in fine arts courses demonstrate higher achievement in other academic areas, better attendance records, and lower drop-out rates than students who do not participate in fine <>7900 Centre Park Dr, Austin, TX 78754

Los Placasos de Javier Hernandez

Since the 70's no tattoo artist had the amount of respect than Javier Hernandez had, a tattoo artist who was recognized by la raza all over Brownsville from la moraya to la parra, la Quatro, Southmost and Cameron Park. Javier was born and raised in Brownsville and attended Cummings middle school and Hanna High School in the late 70's , in the 80's grew up in Villa Verde a low income Projects Housing in an era of vatismo, barrio pride, pachucos and one of the toughest neighborhoods ever to grow up in..Javier Hernandez passed away in Brownsville back in 2004 , but his story as an artist is not forgotten, the ink still lives on amongst the thousands he tattooed...from camaradas, to familia, and vatos from the neighborhood, it has also been said that even cops and lawyers demanded that Javier be the one who can tattoo them..
Javier lived the life of a painter and was paid for his services as he walked around from neighborhood to neighborhood with his ink. Sometimes making up to $300 a day when he demanded it and other times its been said he would ink you for a twelve pack of beer or a few dollars.. Most remember him as a peacefull guy who liked to tell stories..
Javier painted mostly from ideas of his mind, the body for him was the canvas..But he also did some actual canvas paintings and paño art, to date I have been told that his work can be seen on a mural at the Cameron County Jail - in one of the walls where he painted the Sacred Heart Christ, a jail where he had done time for Javier was an artist with an unfortunate fast addiction to heroin, a struggle that soon cost him his life....
You can ask some one (30yrs and up) in Brownsville "where did you get you placaso/tattoo" and most if not all the time they will say Javier... Javier is remembered by the thousands he inked all over Brownsville and those who came from the upper valley throughout his life time from the 70' s up until the day of his passing around 2004. Javier now rests in Houston Texas where his mother and family reside.. In his head stone is an ingraved paint brush and mixing pallet to honor his work..
By those who carry his tattoos, Javier is remembered as a true artist with a quick visionist to interpret the dreams of many and capture them in his tattoos..

It is important that the work of Javier Hernandez is not forgotten. There are much stories to be said about his work and his life..This story is just a small tribute..

I am in the works of getting some images of his work to put here on TAOB..
Any of you out there who has a tatoo by Javier Hernandez send a picture or share a story to EMAIL: and post here on TAOB.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Borderline" by Celeste de Luna


Borderline M.F.A Art Exhibit
Where: Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center , 225 Stenger St . , San Benito , Tx 78586
When: April 8-May 8, 2009

Local artist and University of Texas Pan American M.F.A. candidate Celeste De Luna will be presenting her Master of Fine Arts exhibition at Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito , Texas . De Luna will be presenting a body of about 20 artworks including paintings and installation.
De Luna says about her work, “My artwork seeks to validate Latino/Chicano experiences and yet strives to be universal. Common themes in my work are based on the migrant/border experiences of women, children, and families throughout generations in the context of the larger American experience.”

For more information, please contact Cristina Balli at or Celeste De Luna at (956) 454-1809.
TAOB GT NOTES : "Celeste de Luna, congratulations on your art exhibit, truly work that is important and much needed in the Valley ."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

POETRY:The Holiday Gallery Artist... by Pena de la Voca

I paint with my heart regardless of what you say or think.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, some say what they think other quietly not.
The poetic thought is illusive..
What is more important in your work:the level of skill or the subject matter ?
If your a political painter, why not just be a politician ?
If you really like the culture, why don't you just wear it ?

What is beauty ?

Perhaps no more the flowers bloom.
Have we forgotten what a bird looks like.
Up until now since the last three decades perhaps all art has been political one way or another..
A painting about border walls, no longer a painting of a beautiful river.
Picking tomatoes, no longer with pride.
Painting our culture with death always around its back.
A portrait of a beautiful woman, now exploited by society.
Using discarded industrial materials of mass consumption to reflect the earth.

Do we respect the decorative artist or the commercial painter ?

Is a painting of a fish or a building still important ?

What if I moved to Nebraska and painted corn husks ?


Museo {i}menos : INVITES YOU

Museo {i}menos presenta…
¡Arte Pulguera!:Stencil Workshop & Tianguis

The workshop includes a brief history of the stenciled image and basic stencil techniques.Make your own images, freely and ready to reproduce, using this historic, democratic art.Donations are accepted but not required to take part in Museo {i}menos activities.To participate you will need: posterboard, a #1 exacto knife, spray paint, designs, and something to paint your image on {t-shirts have been popular, but anything goes}.Also, {i}menos will lend you materials or they may be purchased as they are available. Bring your own original works for sale or paint right on the spot!

The stencil making workshop & Tianguis
will be held at: La Pulga de Alamo
1602 West Highway 83
Alamo, Texas
Saturday, April 25, 2009
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Directions: Traveling on US 83, exit Cesar Chavez Road. If traveling east, turn north (left) under the underpass. If traveling west, the flea market will be on the right hand side of the frontage.

René Z. Garza

Museo {i}menos
Weslaco, TX78599 USA

¡ Para los que hacen mas con menos !

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Two years ago I can recall seeing Puentes work at the Galleria 409 during an open group show, I would say poorly framed pen drawings on note book paper depicting the innocence of small children which I thought were of a Sunday pass time artist. Now present day Puentes work stands a little taller from a few years ago, bringing forth a one man or in this case one woman show worthy for the Galeria 409. It can be said that some of Puentes new paintings are very similar to that of Oscar Avlarez, surreal, mystical and whimsical . Puentes presentation has also taken a turn for the better from two years ago with more professional framing and presentation. Overall her work as a whole does carry a consistency, great quality, but I didn't feel the subject matter of one painting stood out beyond all the others with a strong message, in a sense it is a world of humanly creators with no purpose (perhaps a life in purgatory) , but then again what is the human purpose in life I thought or possibly a reflection of that istself, in the end people see what they want to see..
The future questions the work of Puente, will it remain consistent to this style of work for the rest of her life, now at the start of her painting carreer .......

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



"LIFE AND ARTS" which runs on the Sunday paper.
STORIES/articles by: Travis Whitehead, Laura Tillman
Previous writers : Mike Moody now of theV247, Sarah Williams now writing for the City of San Benito .
Check out BH photographers: Daniel Lopez also an active Photo Artist as seen on 3 anniversary at the Galeria 409, as well as Brad Doherty .

Who could forget theSCOOP which had a nice run, which I also hope they rethink that one and perhaps to go out on Thursdays instead of Fridays well I just thought it was a great source to see what was going down on the weekends which around here begins on shows and music shows / band articles which was what I would look forward too and of course the movies.. maybe when the economy looks a little healthier its la SCOOP.

Well you can research the Brownsville Herald Archives to find they have covered several artist and art shows from back to god knows when, just gotta key in the write words..

"SET IN STONE" by Don Breeden


OPENS April 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm
"A Religious Retrospective of The images of Brownsville by Artist Don Breeden."
(956) 548-1313


Artist rates are 55% off. $300 full page, $150 half page. $100 1/3page. Prices should be valid throughout 2009.
We're 25,000 copies and full color. Also, we are the only periodicalin South Texas using 100% recycled paper.
David Robledo
South Texas Nation

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



AWARDS UP TO $100.00





Monday, April 13, 2009

The Arts Center - Lobby Gallery in honor of Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, Mr. Butt's mother, HEB Chairman and CEO.

Is opportunity knocking here or what.... What do you think of this project? Comments welcomed..

" The Arts Center lobby gallery will cover 5,300 square feet. It will have large glass windows to provide excellent views of the Fort Brown Resaca and historic Fort Brown buildings. The lobby gallery will be a venue for art exhibits by students and invited community, national and international artists. It also will be an elegant space for banquets that will accommodate 200 people seated and receptions for up to 1,200. "

read more at:

Voices from the Valley

Press Release

Release Date: For Immediate Release, expires April 28, 2009
Contact Information: Betsy Price 956-466-0182

Background information:

Event: Voices from the Valley open board and information meeting
Location: Galeria 409, 490 East 13th Street, Brownsville, Texas 956-455-3599

Description of Event:
Monday April 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Galeria 409 there will be an open forum meeting for
the Voices of the Valley board members and general public to meet with local and
national radio advisors to continue the planning for a new public radio station in the Rio
Grande Valley.

Special guests will provide information and advice about the stages of organizational
structure for starting an independent radio station. Panelists include Ken Mills of Ken
Mills Agency, Minneapolis, Minnesota who is in radio programming development,
marketing and evaluation.

The future is yet to Ramblings of Paranoya Insomniac

I can not think, my mind is blocked, I have no faith, I have lost it all, all thought, all reason, there is nothing but darkness when I closed my eyes. I can't write if not write about the writing, it is not fantasy or a dream, this is real. I feel nothing, no laughter, no emotion, it is hopeless. I am not inventing this, I think its all over, I have nothing else to say, I think I said it all..a moment, a pause... silence grows...where am I ? Have I escaped self doubt ? Is this part of the subconscious ? If I am a bird I can fly, transformation is easy, I am an eagle, in the sky far high looking down, the clouds , become part of me now I am the sky, above the stars and night, the sun my friend radiating splendor, a vacuum this earth and the consumption of time, could ramble on forever, my fingers, why are they writing where is my mind, now lost again, a pause, moment to rest and breathe, a memory , walking in the night the tracks the crackling of the rocks , the shadows, who hides inside those shadows, I hope no one, the neighborhood is silent and sleeping, what am I still doing up, awake, this heat, weighs down on me, nothing to eat , nothing to drink , I lay on the floor thinking..

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Parables of Life and Mind" Exhibit Opens April 20

The Art Gallery in the Rusteberg Building at UTB/TSC
Parables of Life and Mind

Brownsville, TX – The Art Gallery in the Rusteberg Building is proud to present the “Parables of Life and Mind”. This show consists of senior student work from the University of Texas at Brownsville. Opening reception will be held Monday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.

· Opening reception: Monday, April 20, 2009: 6:30PM
· Location: The Art Gallery in the Rusteberg Building at UTB/TSC
· Exhibition runs from April 20 to May 1, 2009
· Admission fee: $1.00

Artist Statement:

My work conveys short allegorical stories that are parables of life. They illustrate the truth about our society.
One of the many parables of life is the obsession of material objects and external appearance. It is this idea of obsession that I explore within my work.
I have always been interested in the female figures because of there form, beauty, elegance and their important part of are society. Through observation I study the things they consider valuable. Women tell many parables of vanity and obsession and it is through them that I not only address women’s obsession, but society in general. Sometimes society’s obsession with the material things and appearances is so great that they forget what truly matters, such as having good moral values. For example, in The Past, No Longer Obtainable, the woman is looking at a house that represents her past, a family oriented life that is no longer there because she disregarded the truly important things in life. In my idea she left her life and part of herself for material things such as clothing and jewelry, which are items visible in most of my work. Like in William Holman Hunt’s The Awakening Consciences she too has awakened from a life of depravation and has realized what truly matters in life.
I address these obsessions and the lack of moral values by telling parables within most of my work.

-Frank Barrera

My main focus is in painting and drawing, including mix media. I have experimented on paper, canvas, raw canvas, wood, cardboard, egg cardboard, masonite, and compress triply. I have combined different compositions with oils, acrylics, watercolors, ink, oil pastels, crayons, wire, and staples. I do not consider myself a traditional painter that stays true to a usual media. Instead, my work can be seen in a variation of medias but still can be recognized because of my set style.

My subject matter deals with humanity and sometimes nature. I present my humans-like gesture figures without eyes, lips, nose, ears, skin color, age, or gender. My reason for this is that my subjects are universal, they do not relate to any specific group in the world. I am treating the human society as a whole because I believe that is the way it should be, without divisions and stereotypes. I often bring together the human society with the nature world. I believe that humanity does not respect nature or gives it its place. In my work I explore issues such as division between nature and humanity, division between humanity itself, reverse societies where nature has the power that man has in present time.
My work also evolved into a narrative way, I started to create short stories about humanity and its adventures. I have created worlds where everything can be possible, a place where the most important themes are dreams and imagination.

-Yareth Fernandez

Wednesday, April 08, 2009









It's back....Imagenes Studio at Paseo Plaza

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Alfredo Bustinza a friend and a good painter by Carlos G. Gómez

One of the things that is not being said and many times forgotten is that there was very little support for him and his work in the valley and Brownsville. I first met him in the late 80’s in a show we were both in called Cara on Cara held at the Mexican Cultural Institute. He was surprised that I was from Brownsville and wondered who I was. We talked over a beer together with Cesar Martinez, Benito Huerta, Pedro Rodriquez and other good painters and since that time we kept in touch.

He was a loyal patron of art and attended almost all university shows and whatever else was around in the area. We often talked about not having any support except from people like Romeo Montalvo and later on Conrad Bodden. Both of these men were very sincere about appreciating what Fred was fighting for and kept an eye on him. On many occasions we talked while drinking a beer which he liked very much and that is when he would open up and bluntly put it as it was and often he would reminisce of his Rutgers days and his friends in the East Coast whom he spoke of very highly. He was a loyal friend who was misunderstood and had great passion for life, art, family and did not hesitate to speak his mind which was one of the qualities that I really liked about him. Frankly he was the only person who knew what I was trying to accomplish as an artist and on his frequent visits to my home would also say, “you’re getting better” which was his way of saying; “I am keeping my eye on you”.

He was competitive but did not show it as he always desired to project a relaxed easy demeanor. I showed with him on several occasions and he would always say, “semos chingones….we kick ass”. See he had a lot of pride and was true, a characteristic many younger artists today don’t understand. This “truth” is vital and is what separates the art hierarchy into levels. Sure there were some who bad mouth him and always tried to denigrate him, but his art always spoke for him and so he quiet them. Of course he was not perfect, who is? Like most he had his faults, but note that most were related to his lack of support in the area. “No me dan chansa” he would say after a day or so of trying to get a show. How sad the whole thing. Here is a guy who is extremely committed to his work and who actually has good work and the only one man show he ever had in Brownsville was the one I gave him when I was gallery director at then TSC. I doubt that he would have liked the current art scene in the valley especially Brownsville. He did participate in group shows but that was not what he existed for. He did so because that was what he was about shearing his work. He could pick the “so-so’s” and as he would say “es puro pedo ese vato, no tiene nada”….that is how he spoke, he was who he was! How nuts is this, in the 20 years that I knew him he had only one, one man show in Brownsville! Like him or not he was a friend, and like him or not he was a good painter.

I kind of miss him and his 2am runs to my house to borrow a gallon of gesso, which on occasions would end up at his house and a hot cup of coffee and sweet bread from Senora Bustinza…what a sweet lady. This I think is where he got his balance and strength from his mom and father, but mostly his mom. She was the only one who dare call me Charlie, so when around her I was Charlie. Those of you who have been lucky to have met her know what I am writing about.
Much has been said about his work and rightfully so, but what I remember the most was the man. Alfredo Bustinza, Fred to some, Bert to others and those who knew him Bustinza, or as I like to call him; “pinche” Bustinza. The last time I saw him was when he went to the university and was all fired up, he was in love and glowing. A black cowboy hat, black jeans and boots, a bandana around his neck and a girl friend. He dropped by to say hello and see what my painting students were doing, but I really think he was there to say; “hey Charlie everything is alright, I am happy and doing fine”. He sure was, I don’t think that I had ever seen him so happy. The guy had just come back from the east coast and as he would say; “the real art world”…see this is the way I remember him…happy….ay te wacho Bert have a cold one ready for me…..gómez

Carlos G. Gómez, MFA
Professor of Fine Art
Fine Arts Department
The University of Texas at Brownsville and
Texas Southmost College
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas 78520

Maricela Lara Puente

" Maricela Lara Puente is originally from Mexico City, but has lived in Brownsville for more than two decades. She studied art and vocal music in D.F. at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. I first saw her work in the Small Works show at Galeria 409. She brought in two drawings that were ball point pen on typing paper. I liked her style of drawing. There are things happening in the pictures that you can't explain. She's created her own world and populated it with her own creatures. It's a world that often defies conventional perspective and reason. Her work has evolved a bit, gotten larger and more colorful as the artist experiments with watercolor and acrylic paint and pastels, but I think Puente's work is consistent, and she has stayed true to her original vision. There's a whimsical, fantastic quality to most of her work, but it's got a dark side, and a bit of an edge. There's beauty, but something dark is going on in the shadows. It's not a Walt Disney fantasy land, but a world where the witches roast babies for breakfast and the dead don't stay in their graves after the sun goes down. Hey, that sounds just like Brownsville, doesn't it? I hope you enjoy the show." Mark Clark

New Work by Puente
Galeria 409 invites you to a reception to celebrate
the opening of an exhibition of new work by Puente.
The show opens at 6:00 pm on Thursday,
the 9th of April and continues thru May 2nd
and is free.

Galeria 409 is located at 409 East 13th Street,
between Levee and Elizabeth Streets, a block
from the Gateway Bridge in downtown historic
Brownsville. Hours are Wednesday - Saturday
from noon until 5:00 pm.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Anonymous notes on Alfredo Bustinza

Anonymous said...
I read the post on Alfredo Bustinza and did a bit of research. This is what I located...

Alfredo Bustinza attended Ebony Heights Elementary, Cummings Junior High, and was a 1976 graduate from Homer Hanna High School. At the age of 18, Bustinza, a talented artist, presented his first exhibition, “All Mixed Media,” in Houston, Texas.

Shortly after his high school graduation, Bustinza, began his college education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where he eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and remained on the National Dean’s List for the majority of his undergraduate program. Upon graduation from Texas Tech University in 1980, Fred moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey to attend Rutger’s University and, in 1983, received a Master of Arts in Fine Arts degree. While in graduate school, Bustinza furthered his artistic career by displaying his art at various galleries throughout the nation. During the late 1980s, Bustinza held countless exhibitions, among them include: the Lerner Heller Gallery in New York City; the University of Tampa; the Lachaven Art Center in Tampa; the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in New York City; the Lubbock Fine Arts Center in Lubbock; the Blue Starr Group in San Antonio; the Midtown Art Center in Houston; the Multicultural Center in Corpus Christi; and the Blue Collar Gallery in San Antonio. Throughout the 1990’s, Bustinza held exhibitions at The Visual Arts Annex Gallery in San Antonio, the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi; and the Robinson Gallery in Houston.

Aside from his countless exhibitions, Bustinza’s work was recognized by a number of the world’s most renowned institutions. He was nominated for “Awards in the Visual Arts” sponsored by the Equitable Life Insurance Society, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Another nomination was made by the Texas Arts Award for “Distinguished Contributions to the Arts.” Bustinza was also a recipient of an artistic grant funded by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and another grant financed by the National Endowment for the Arts. He was later granted a fellowship by the Jentel Artist Residency Program to further develop his skills and hone his artistic talent.

In 1997, Mr. Bustinza received the greatest accolade of all. His work was archived into the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as a part of a permanent collection of the American artists who were bestowed grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Most recently, Alfredo Bustinza sought pleasure in giving back to the community which had been so kind to him by donating artistic works to different philanthropic causes throughout the greater Brownsville area. He led a mural painting project at the Good Neighbor Settlement House and participated in a “Wine and Cheese Art Auction” to benefit abused children.

Throughout the latter part of his career, Alfredo continued to travel the nation exhibiting his works at such galleries as the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida and Closson’s Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Throughout the years, The Brownsville Herald published several articles about this artist's work and accomplishments. For more information, follow the links listed below.

It is a shame that such an accomplished and talented individual was not more readily recognized in his hometown.

TAOB NOTES : This research was posted as a comment Aug. 25 2005 here on TAOB ... I encourage anyone having any pictures or more information, any special stories "prehaps in specifics " about his life and or art you may want to share... on Alfredo Bustinza send it in to : to post here on TAOB blog in order to better understand the work and the artist....... Also want to give a formal thanks to who posted this research comment.. send in your name would like to give you recognition for your great and honorable work...

Paintings by Alfredo Bustinza

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Adelante Website....and hey I painted that..

Tony Zavaleta a noted supporter/advocate of local art and collector, at his office ,which was the old or should I say previouse UTB painting room, I actually got a chance to take painting class here..and yes ofcourse the Virgen de Guadalupe is one of my works.... This photo, well I snagged while reading website on Border Issues...below..

Check out:


Friday, April 03, 2009

"The purpose if life and fame "

Where does Art come from ? You mean Arturo ? He comes from aya por la 12 y Polk or maybe from Matamoros. No, where does Art, that thing you create with paint or ink or pencils, with brushes on canvas or paper , in forms of paintings or sculptures, collages, and instillations, informal or unformal, conceptual, visual ? That Art.
Where does it come from ? Where does your Art come from ?
Does it come form a thought, a reflection of society, a self-portrait, a muse, what you see from real light or another visual source, energy, a sketch or a dootle que siguio y siguio hasta que se miraba una idea, a reflection, an expression from within oneself, chaos, abstract, what you learned at school or college, what you see on tv or what you read in a book, influence by popculture, the past the present the future, a beleife -religion, what you think you see , isnpiration, a feeling, spiritual moment , the subconcious, an interpretation of a dream , or is it part of a culture - who's culture and of what date, and or is it part of your life no different than the seat you sit on ?
Does Art have to come from somewhere and or does Art have to look like Art ? Is Art real, can you eat it ? Can you live with it, wear it, use it to better your life? Does it cure deseases ?
How do you creat it ? Who can creat it ? Who should creat it ? Is Art for everyone ? Who needs Art and for what purpose ?
What skills does it take to creat Art ? Does Art have to be perfect ?

What Art are we talking about? The Crafty kind or the Fine Art kind, or the commercial kind, or the non-commercial kind ?

Can an animal creat Art ? Can a child creat Art ? Would Art be important then ? What if your blind and deaf can Art still exist and serve its purpuse ?


press release
Art Expressions Home of the UTA (United Through Art) Gallery813 N. Main, Suite 2McAllen, TX 78501(956) Art Walk marks opening of Ramirez’s Collection at UTA GalleryApril 3rd is the first Friday of the month, and marks McAllen’s next Art Walk. Every Art Walk the UTA Gallery, located inside Art Expressions, features a different artist in the group, and for the month of April the art of Malena G. Ramirez will be on display. Ramirez has been painting since 1968 and her work has been exhibited in both the US and Mexico. Ramirez's style is realistic and impressionist. Her current collection features a nature theme.
The Gallery opening will take place Friday, April 3rd during the Art Walk. Following the Gallery opening we will have music by local band, Ram Danesse. Ram Danesse plays rock and blues and has had their music on local radio. Their debut album Sights of Sound will be available.


APRIL 3, 2009

Ramiro Paz , Richard Hyslin , Ben Martinez , Isaac Santiago , Linda Lewis , Veronica Jaeger , Isai Mireles , Ines DeLeon , Jerry Lyles , Philip Field , Wil Martin , Robert Gilbert , Maria Elena Macias , Dave Martinez , Donna Sweigert , Beth Fenigan , Eddie Quintero , Angel Berrios , Efrain Salinas , Marina Salinas , Marilyn Carren , Eugene Allen , Chris Leonard , Bejamin Varela , Paul Valadez , Reynaldo Santiago

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