Mexic-Arte Museum Exhibit Opens in Saltillo, Coahuila
On July 23rd, Mexic-Arte Museum opened the exhibition Life and Experiences in the U.S/Mexico Borderlands at the Instituto Municipal de Cultura, Centro Cultural Casa Purcell in Saltillo, Coahuila. The exhibition will be on display from July 23 to October 10, 2023. The exhibit is presented in the spirit of friendship and cooperation with Saltillo, Coahuila as part of the 446th Anniversary of this great city and in conjunction with the 2023 Fiesta Internacional del Arte. The exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the Austin Saltillo Sister Cities Association.
At the opening reception ceremony, Mayor of Saltillo José María Fraustro Siller commented, “En este gobierno estamos comprometidos para colaborar y propiciar las condiciones para que más exposiciones nacionales e internacionales arriben a nuestra ciudad y fortalecer nuestros lazos y vínculos con otras comunidades a través de la expresión artística y cultural.” (“In this government we are committed to collaborate and promote the conditions so that more national and international exhibitions arrive in our city and strengthen our ties and links with other communities through artistic and cultural expression.”)
For over fifty years, Austin and Saltillo have worked in harmony, sharing resources and developing long-term relationships. The Mexic-Arte Museum has collaborated with Austin Saltillo Sister Cities Association on numerous cultural programs throughout the years including the presentation of Treasures of the Saltillo Cathedral, the art of Ruben Herrera, and other exhibitions. Mexic-Arte Museum’s exhibitions have also traveled to our sister cultural institutions in Saltillo.
On this occasion, Mexic-Arte shared work from the permanent collection, Life and Experiences in the U.S/Mexico Borderlands, from the Juan Sandoval Collection. This artwork represents the unique, distinct history and culture of the borderlands, or la frontera, the land, the dreams, and the struggles, as well as the joy of living in a bicultural region.
Just as the Austin Saltillo Sister Cities Association served as a bridge between Texas and neighboring Mexico through its many civic, public safety, and education programs and exchanges, this exhibition fosters greater cross-cultural understanding and brings our communities closer together.
During the Sister Cities festivities, Sylvia Orozco was presented as a “Distinguished Guest,” recognized by Ing. José María Frausto Siller, Municipal President of Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragosa. He said the following: “The cities of Austin, Texas, and Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragosa, beyond being linked by geographical and territorial proximity, share history, economic relations, cultural heritage and bonds of friendship. The greatness of our cities is largely due to the values, work and strength of our people.
In this regard, for her collaboration and dedication to strengthening the ties between Saltillo and Austin, on behalf of the Municipal Council of Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragoza, I am pleased to recognize: ‘Distinguished Guest’ to Silvia Orozco” on July 26, 2023.”
Mexic-Arte Museum, the Austin Saltillo Sister Cities Association, and the City of Austin thank the Instituto Municipal de Cultura Centro Cultural Casa Purcell and the City of Saltillo for allowing us to share this collection with the community in Saltillo.
Welcome, Rudy K. Metayer
We are thrilled to welcome Rudy K. Metayer to the Board of Directors. He is an attorney with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, where he specializes in administrative and regulatory litigation, civil litigation, bankruptcy and creditors’ remedies, fiduciary, probate and trust litigation, tax exempt/non-profit organizations, tax planning and controversy, construction law and personal injury.
The son of Haitian immigrants, Rudy is the first in his family to graduate from college in addition to public policy school and law school. He attended the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 2006); University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs (MPAff, 2016); University of Texas at Austin (B.A., 2003).
He has been a tireless advocate in the community, speaking and working on a host of issues ranging from teaching at-risk children, co-authoring an honor code for the University of Texas, helping form a partnership with local law enforcement and the State Bar to address the issue of community policing, and creating pro bono legal advice clinics for U.S. military veterans. He has been recognized numerous times as one of the most influential young professionals in Texas. Rudy and his wife Letisha are the parents of three, yes three, daughters: Celeste, Arielyn, and Brooklyn.
Paul Saldaña Receives 2023 ESB-MACC Life Time Achievement Award
We congratulate Paul Saldaña, Mexic-Arte Museum President of the Board of Directors, for receiving the 2023 Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence. These awards, which were established by the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center Advisory Board in 2009, recognize individuals in Austin that have demonstrated significant leadership and passion and have made meaningful contributions to Latinx cultural arts.
Paul Saldaña is a native Austinite and has spent nearly 30 years in local government affairs, public policy, public relations, multicultural communications, and community engagement. He is the Principal and President of Saldaña Public Relations and a firm believer in giving back to the community as an advocate through volunteer work, service on various boards, organizations, initiatives, and being actively involved in issues that enhance and impact the quality of life for all Austinites.
Paul served as the Chief of Staff for Austin’s only Latino Mayor, Gus Garcia, is a former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Austin ISD, and a co-founder of Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin (HABLA). Paul currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Mexic-Arte Museum, Vice President of the RBJ Senior Housing Center Board, and a Board of Director of the Austin Monitor. Paul comments… “as a native Mexican American Austinite ‘six generations strong’, my family and friends who know me well, can attest to the significant PRIDE/ORGULLO I have of our cultural arts, heritage and history in Austin, Texas. It has been an honor and privilege to be mentored and work alongside so many local leaders and family from our community over the last 30 years”.
Membership Party- You’re Invited!
Membership at Mexic-Arte comes with so many benefits, and we’re adding another one – a membership party!
On Thursday, August 10, from 6pm – 9pm, Mexic-Arte will host a celebration of our wonderful Museum community! There will be food, drinks, and music, courtesy of DJ King Louie. If you’re not already a member, feel free to come! Memberships will be discounted at the door, and this is not a deal you want to miss.
All levels of membership include free admission to exhibitions for one year, which will allow you to view 40 Years of Dia de los Muertos, Mix ‘n’ Mash, and more! Check out our website for information on the different membership tiers, and find one that works for you today!
Expresiones de México: Continuing Traditions Highlight
This month Mexic-Arte Museum highlights masks in our current exhibition, Expresiones de México – Arte de la Gente/Arte of the People. These masks are part of the section Continuing Traditions. This section illustrates innovation in arte de la gente; artists experimenting with new aesthetics, techniques, non-traditional colors, and forms, with international collectors seeking out vanguards of particular traditions.
Many creative traditions of arte de la gente can also be traced back to pre-colonial times. Several artists in this section adhere to traditional materials, techniques, and forms. The artwork of traditional artists are also highly valued, as their objects create a through line from contemporary to pre-colonial times. Throughout the exhibition, pre-colonial imagery and symbols can be seen in ceremonial masks, árboles de la vida (trees of life), huichol designs, and ceramic pieces.
Miniature masks created by Juan Orta Castillo (b.1940 – d.2006) are featured in the exhibition. Orta Castillo and his family in Tocuaro, Michoacán are prolific mask makers. The Orta Castillo family’s masks are made with a machete and chisels, painted with enamel paint, and then lacquered. Selected subjects include monsters, skulls, faces, mermaids, animals, toothless people, old men, and devils. Orta Castillo created his first mask at ten years of age out of a desire to participate in his hometown pastorela (a Christmas celebration). Orta Castillo’s two sons, Manuel and Modesto, continue the family’s mask-making legacy.
Castillo created functional and miniature masks. Most of Castillo’s masks are from the Pastorelas Dance. The players include devils, Michael the Archangel, a hermit, shepherds, and townspeople. During the dance devils tempt the shepherds before being defeated by the angel. Since pre-colonization, Purépecha indigenous people have made masks for worship practices. Missionaries introduced masked religious pageants. In Michoacan, masked dances are performed on holy days. Dances pursue desired effects through the magic of imitation.
You can see these masks and other objects that continue the traditions of the art of the people in Expresiones de Mexico – Arte de la Gente/Arte of the People until August 20th!
July Changarrito Artist, Alán Serna
On July 20th, 2023 at 5:00 pm, Mexic-Arte Museum Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs Isabel Servantez interviewed Alán Serna, as part of the monthly Changarrito art cart residency on Mexic-Arte’s Instagram Live. During the interview, they discussed Alán’s art-making process, how his Mexicanidad has influenced his artwork, and his experiences as a practicing artist, Assistant Professor, and co-founder of Feral Editions.
If you missed the interview, you can watch it here.
About the artist
Alán Serna is a mixed media artist from Huanusco, Zacatecas, MX, now living and working in San Antonio, TX. In 2018 Serna earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking in 2015 from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Drawing. Serna is the co-founder and Master Printer of Feral Editions, an independent publisher of fine art prints, artist books, and ephemera.
About Changarrito Program:
Changarrito is an art vending cart conceptualized by artist Maximo Gonzalez as an alternative to the official gallery selection presented by the Mexican cultural authorities.
True to the Mexic-Arte Museum’s mission, the Changarrito is dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary Latinx and Latin American art. Artists have the opportunity to sell their art on the Changarrito cart in front of the Museum (or an offsite location, as a representative for the Museum during various Austin festivals). It expands the reach of the artist by presenting their gallery online, while allowing the option to sell merch over Instagram and receive 100% of the sale. For each Changarrito artist, the Museum acquires a work of art for its permanent collection.
Join us for the Changarrito cart with artist Bianca Olivares, who will be at the Museum offering her artwork for sale on Aug 19-20 and Aug 26-27from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST. Come by Mexic-Arte to support Bianca and ask about her work!
Isabel Servantez will be hosting the Changarrito virtual interview on Mexic-Arte’s Instagram at 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 24th. The interview will involve questions about her work and a Q&A session during the final 20 minutes.
You can see and learn more about Bianca’s work on her website
“My name is Bianca Olivares, and I am a Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Austin, Texas. I was born and raised in Austin, I’d be so rich if I got a penny every time I’ve been compared to a unicorn. I’ve been on a journey for the last few years to learn more about my heritage. Because of this, it has become important for me to include my culture in my passion projects. When I am not learning and producing graphic work, I like to learn about the tattoo industry. It has been a dream of mine to become a tattoo artist since middle school. I am almost there!”
40 Years of Día de Los Muertos: 110thAnniversary of José Guadalupe Posada
In the Mexic-Arte Museum’s upcoming exhibition, 40 Years of Día de Los Muertos, we will be highlighting artwork from the Permanent Collection that focuses on images inspired by Día de los Muertos in honor of 40 wonderful years of the Mexic-Arte celebrating Dia de los Muertos! Along with our own anniversary, we will be celebrating the 110th Anniversary of José Guadalupe Posada.
José Guadalupe Posada (b.1852-d.1913) is known as one of Mexico’s famous political cartoonists and illustrators. He created legendary calaveras (skeleton) figures and the popular ‘La Catrina’ (elegant skeleton) image largely associated with the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
Posada was born in Aguascalientes in central Mexico on February 2, 1852. When he was 18, Posada became an apprentice to printer, publisher, and graphic artist José Trinidad Pedroza. Under Pedroza, Posada honed a thorough knowledge of printmaking techniques- engraving on metal and wood, and lithography. After working with Pedroza for a time, Posada moved to Mexico City and he became the staff artist for Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, an enterprising publisher of broadsides and chapbooks in 1890.
The Posada-Vanegas Arroyo relationship is best known for their broadsides, inexpensive street literature that deterred bold headlines, illustrations and texts that displayed sensational crimes, natural disasters, humorous depictions of the Día de los Muertos, and satirical critiques of current politics. With Posada’s dynamic and simplified style, combined with striking stories, these broadsides were able to appeal to lower class audiences that were entertained by the humor and political commentary. Posada’s broadsides was art that was socially relevant, accessible, and popular that defined a specific style that defined contemporary Mexican art and inspired artists for generations to come.
Original Posada broadsides from the Mexic-Arte Museum Permanent Collection can be seen at the upcoming exhibition, 40 Years of Dia de Los Muertos, starting September 16th!
Mexic-Arte Museum’s 40th Annual Viva La Vida Festival and Parade is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event. Co-presented by the Austin Convention Center and the City of Austin, this year’s festival will take place on Saturday, October 28 at 4th Street and Congress Avenue.
The festivities begin with a Grand Procession at noon. Festival activities run until 6 p.m. Participants can enjoy the Education Pavilion with hands-on art activities and artist demos, traditional foods, local artists and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition, and live performances throughout the day.
The Parade brings together a vibrant and varied mix of the traditional, contemporary, and Austin “weird”. The Procession – including costumes, props, live music, dancers, and floats – marches down historic 6th Street and culminates at E. 4th Street and Congress Avenue.
Viva la Vida features over 20 Día de los Muertos inspired artists, artisans, vendors, and makers! Visit the Muertos Mercado for the perfect addition to your Día de los Muertos altar or the perfect gift for a friend.
Nuestro Estilo/Our Style Shines at Central Library
The Nuestro Estilo/Our Style Indigenous Fashion Design Summer Camp came to a close on Friday, July 21st with a fashion show. The fashion show gave each camper the opportunity to showcase the huipil that they designed and created over the week. Fashion enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds gathered for a week of creativity, culture, and education at the Central Branch of the Austin Public Library.
Guided by master artist Andrea Calderon and friends from Colectivo In Situ, the campers delved into the rich history of indigenous fibers, dyes, and designs, forging a deeper connection between clothing and the earth. Embracing the significance of cultural identity and heritage, the campers eagerly designed and crafted their own vibrant huipils, employing traditional techniques like weaving, embroidery, and linocut stamping.
On Friday, each camper proudly graced the runway, adorned in their self-created huipils, amidst cheers and applause from their family and friends. Beyond a display of talent, the event symbolized the celebration of diverse cultures and sustainable fashion practices. This left a profound impact on the campers, inspiring them to continue as ambassadors of indigenous fashion philosophies of making what you can with what you have and being guardians of the earth’s precious resources.
This summer camp was part of Mexic-Arte Museum’s education program amArte, funded by Austin Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention, in collaboration with the Austin Public Library, who graciously hosted the event and had helpful staff every step of the way.
The education team at the Mexic-Arte Museum is excited to continue to partner with the Dove Springs Recreation Center to bring more fun art activities focused on building and strengthening the community through art and education. During Nuestro Mundo, participants identified a change they wished to see in the world. Each student created an infographic poster using silkscreen printing technology, an accessible process. The purpose of these posters is to communicate to the public the necessity of social change in an area of importance to the students. If you have participated in our previous summer camps and want to sign up for summer camps please reach out to Jasmine Chock at
Thank You to Lola Wright and GTOPs!
Mexic-Arte Museum is thrilled to announce that we are the recipients of a $7,185 grant from the Lola Wright Foundation and a $2,500 GTOPs Capacity Grant from the City of Austin.
Established by Miss Johnie Elizabeth Wright in 1954, the Lola Wright Foundation supports children and youth, public health and human services, education and community development, and arts and culture. The Mexic-Arte Readiness Project Grant will purchase photography equipment, collections storage, and shelving.
GTOPs Capacity is intended to fund a non-profit’s technology infrastructure as well as staff training and development related to digital equity. The Expanding Digital Access Grant will purchase new education technology to support the amArte and ScreenIt! programs.
Thanks to community support from organizations like Lola Wright and GTOPs, Mexic-Arte is able to bring great programming to Central Texas and beyond!
Shop the Mexic-Arte Museum Store!
Purchase the newest items on display at the store — inspired by Mexic-Arte’s Expresiones de México, Arte de la Gente / Art of the People exhibition.
Hi, I’m Gabi, a recent Studio Art graduate from UT. My work largely explores femininity, gender outside a western perspective, immigration and citizenship, and the political atmosphere of the Philippines, through mixed media and found objects. I’m also currently one of the Store & Visitor Associates at the Mexic-Arte Museum and I am looking forward to expanding my own understanding of art and art history through a local museum.
Blue Star Museum
Blue Star Museums is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and museums across America. Mexic-Arte Museum, a collaborator in the Blue Star Museums program, offers free general admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and up to five family members—including U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, and NOAA Commissioned Corps—from Armed Services Day May 21st, 2023, through Labor Day, September 5th, 2023.
For free and discounted military tickets, present your ID in person at the admissions desk. Sundays are free admission for all!
Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors!
This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
Exhibition and Art Education Programs Support: Ampersand Art Supply, Applied Materials, Austin Convention Center, Austin Independent School District Creative Classrooms, Austin Lowriding, Michael Best, Brown Distributing Company, CC West Printing, Center for Mexican American Studies – UT, City of Austin Departments: Cultural Arts Division; Economic Development; Health Department; Community Youth Development Program; Parks & Recreation; Public Works; and Special Events, Clay Imports, Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, Erwin Cuellar, Libby & Lloyd Doggett, Downtown Austin Alliance, El Mundo, Endeavor Real Estate Group, Facebook, Fenix Post Tension, Inc., Fonda San Miguel, Ford Foundation, Gente Chicana/SOYmos Chicano Fund, Tom Gilliland, GoDaddy, GTOPs Capacity, Greater Milwakee Foundation, Juan J Gutierrez and Rosa K Gutierrez, Charlotter Hage Dalbey, Jennifer Hage Bond, Patricia Hage Hirsh, Robin Suzanne Hage, H-E-B, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Hendler Flores Law, Humanities Texas, IBC Bank, IBM, Institute of Museum & Library Services, JP’s Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, La Voz, Linbeck, LMN/Page, Ann McEldowney, Bettina & Travis Mathis, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Nettie & M.K. Hage Family, Laurel Prats, Elizabeth Rogers, Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr., Rosa Santis & Pedro SS Services, Serie Print Project, Siete, Delia Sifuentes, Silcone Labs, Spurs, State Farm – Alejandra de la Torre, Susto Mezcal, Ingrid and James Taylor, Texas Gas Service, The Texas Tribune, Thompson Austin, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Toyota Honda Hyundia – Round Rock, Tribeza, Univision 62, Univision Radio, Warfield Center, Waterloo Greenway, Lola Wright Foundation, Jane & Manuel Zuniga, and Mark Zuniga.