Wednesday, October 21, 2015

'Icons & Symbols' at UTEP Centennial Museum

"Icons and Symbols of the Borderlands" is one of the most powerful art exhibits I've ever seen. Hats off to curator and former Austin-ite, Diana Molina, for doing such an excellent job in pulling all of this exquisite, hard-hitting work together.

The exhibit is at the Centennial Museum at the University of Texas El Paso and runs through January 16, 2016. Among the featured artists are Cesar Martinez, Antonio Castro, Margarita Cabrera, Mery Godigna Collet, Delilah Montoya, Benito Huerta, Richard Armendariz, Delilah Montoya, Andy Villarreal, Lydia Limas, Oscar Moya, Luis Gutierrez, and Diana Molina herself.

Read below the El Paso Times review of the exhibit.


'Icons & Symbols' to open at UTEP museum

The Rio Grande. La Virgen de Guadalupe. Pancho Villa. Matachines.
Some images have shaped the El Paso region throughout its history, says artist Diana Molina, curator of the upcoming Juntos Art Association exhibit “Icons and Symbols of the Borderlands.”
“Who are those cultural figures that we've seen and we've grown up with?" she asked as she surveyed some of the art that will be featured at the Centennial Museum and the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at the University of Texas at El Paso.
"The artworks are symbols of the Borderland," Molina said. "They reach across time and across continent."
More than 60 pieces will be on display for the “Icons and Symbols of the Borderlands” show. They will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $800 to $10,000.
Molina, who is executive director of Juntos, used one of her own paintings — one that combines the flow of the Rio Grande with green and gold color — to illustrate that the exhibit is meant to represent the broader history of the border region, from the arrival of the Spanish to the importance that religion and landscape play in the shaping of the region's identity.
Her "Serape XX" is a collage using of what she called basura, trash — discarded beer labels and candy wrappers.  "Some people see  the river," Molina said, pointing to the stream of Dos Equis wraps. "It's just an abstract depiction. People see many different things in it."
The piece is listed to sell for $7,700.
Among other noted artists in the exhibit are César Martínez and Gaspar Enríquez. Some of the artists will talk about their work before an opening reception Oct. 10.

The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 16 at UTEP's Centennial Museum. It will feature artists from the Juntos Art Association, which was founded in 1985 and aims to promote cultural awareness through the arts.

“I’m excited more now than with any Juntos shows that I’ve ever been involved in,” Molina said.
The exhibit will feature a lecture series from October through December. They will offer short films and themed discussions on topics such as “Día de los Muertos” and “La Virgen de Guadalupe.”

"Our museum serves many different functions. First and foremost it's a natural history museum of the Chihuahuan Desert, so that's what our permanent galleries are about. With our changing galleries, we do like to focus on border life and culture as well as the Chihuahuan Desert," said Maribel Villalba, Centennial Museum director.

"This show was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the border life and culture."

Luis Carlos Lopez may be reached at 546-6381;; @lclopez4 on Twitter

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