Miembros Newsletter: June 2021

From the Director

Enjoying Getting Back to Normal

Nikki Diaz,  Education Associates welcomes
students from Smithville Elementary

Kids talking and making noises in the gallery, students raising their hands, guests asking about the art, shoppers in the store! Yes, we are getting back to the normal days at Mexic-Arte Museum. We and our visitors are all so happy. We can finally see and enjoy each others’ smiles and company. We are planning a welcoming reception on August 6th for members and the general public to view the current exhibit, Mexico, the Border and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr. Collection Exhibition. Stay tuned!

Other organizations have also started programming. Recently I was recognized by Latinitas along with six other women from disciplines including technology, arts, education, public leadership and media with a mosaic portrait that will be displayed in a public place in Austin. Other women that were recognized include Ana Sisnett, Dr. Teresa Lozano Long, Bertha Salder Means, Cathy
Vasquez, Peggy Vasquez, and Martha Cotera.

The portraits were presented at the Purple Party for Chica Power, Rock the Block party on June 19th. My portrait was created by artist Lys Santamaria. Lys was born in Colombia and grew up in Canada and the United States. While in Canada, the First Nations people shared their traditional beading techniques

Jose Martinez,  Education Associate leads tour with
students from Smithville Elementary

with her. Since then, she has been painting with beads by embroidering thousands of tiny beads into fabric to create 2D artwork, sculpture, jewelry, and mosaics.  Lys participated in Mexic-Arte Museum’s Changarrito project, and several of her artworks are part of the permanent collection. We congratulate Lys on her artwork and success.

I am honored to be a part of the program that chose art to recognize women leaders. The mosaic technique is an appropriate medium to use for an organization focused on technology. Mosaics are created by assembling tiny ceramic tiles to create images, just as pictures on a computer screen are made up of pixels.

Latinitas was founded in a class at UT Austin to increase the representation of Latinas and other girls of color in media and technology. First as the only magazine made for and by young Latinas, then as a resource of STEAM training and mentorship for girls ages 9-18. Thank you Latinitas for all your work in the community, and for helping to build future leaders!

Sylvia Orozco with Artist Lys Santamaria

Executive Director

Sylvia Orozco


Life and Experiences in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands: Examines The Culture Continues/La Cultura Sigue

The current exhibition at Mexic-Arte Museum Mexico, the Border, and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Sandoval Collection is dedicated to Life and Experiences in the U.S ./ Mexico Borderlands; an important part of the exhibition that is organized according to five sections, each with a theme interpreted by selected artists. The fifth and last section The Culture Continues  / La Cultura Sigue speaks to the revolution and fluorescence of Mexican, Mexican American, and Latinx cultures. Because of and despite of their ongoing struggle for civil rights, Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and other Latinx people continue to progress and contribute to their respective culture in the U.S. / Mexico borderlands and beyond. 

To better understand the culture of the borderland, one must remember that the land was a part of Mexico for many years. The community continued to grow and develop; cultural traditions were maintained, as well as transformed. As time went on, ongoing migration reinforced the culture; first, many fled the harsh conditions under the dictatorship of President Porfirio Díaz, then in the early 1900s, numerous Mexicans migrated to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution. Immigration continues today, and migrants from Mexico and Latin America revitalize communities in the U.S. and rejuvenate American society as other immigrants have done throughout history. The largest sub-group in the total Latinx population, and the fastest growing ethnic minority, Mexican Americans represent nearly 11% of America’s total population, and comprise the bulk of the population in many cities throughout the U.S. Southwest. In the 1960s, Mexican American/Chicanx activists organized the Chicano Movement (El Movimiento) to protest social injustice and discrimination suffered by the Mexican and Chicanx peoples. Inspired by Chicanidad (an awareness based on Chicanx identity), the Movement promoted cultural affirmation, political resistance, and self-determination in the struggle toward social freedom and equality. Chicanx art was greatly influenced by the Mexican Mural Movement and its ideology. Artists worked individually and in collectives to produce murals throughout the community. Themes in the murals included Chicanx history, women’s cultural history, the United Farm Workers (UFW), cholo and street culture, familial relations, and religious iconography. Overtime, Chicanx murals became diverse in content and style. In Texas, artists from Brownsville, Kingsville, and Laredo, helped to foster the emergence of Chicanx art throughout the borderlands. Artists exhibited in major cities like Austin, Dallas,  El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, and throughout the state’s Valle (Valley). Eventually, Chicanx art migrated from the U.S. Southwest to Northern and Eastern states, changing to reflect differences and similarities in these regions. Chicanx art today has expanded throughout the nation, and Latinx artists from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and many other Latin American cultures with roots in the U.S. contribute to the contemporary art scene.  Mexican and Mexican American experiences have heavily influenced popular culture. While English is the national language in the U.S., Spanish comes in at a close second, and is the dominant language in many cities. Mexican influenced cuisine has increasingly become part of the American menu. Visual arts, music, literature, dance, theatre, and film melded into mainstream culture. Catholicism and Christianity have merged with pre-Columbian traditions, creating new subsects of religious ideology. Immigration continues to inspire a creative outpouring in Mexican and Chicanx cultures at the border and in the American heartland. 

Carmen Lomas Garza 
The Fighters, Las Peleoneras, 1988
Color lithograph on paper, 32½” x 39½” 

The Texas-Mexico border is a living metaphor for the Mexican and American cultures that live side by side, speaking Spanish and English and engaging in cultural and religious practices. Living in the border region, people have made their own “in between” culture, often leaving behind expressions of their ancestral culture, language, and religion in the synthesis of the new. The explosive growth of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the U.S. reveals their indomitable spirit. Selected artworks refer to the traditions and customs that continue to transform borderland culture and inspire its fluorescence.

A featured Chicana artist and illustrator in the current exhibition Mexico, the Border, and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Sandoval Collection, Carmen Lomas Garza created a series of artworks in which she visually shares memories of growing up in Kingsville, Texas. Here, she presents two women fighting in the center of this print. We have no idea why the two rivals are brawling in front of the El Rio bar. On either side of the two women, onlookers watch the fight. Looking through the port windows of the front door, a man and woman observe the combatants with curiosity. Symbolizing anger and treachery, a small black dog barks at the women, while a full moon floats in the dark sky. The artist stimulates our imagination, so that we can complete our own version of her story. A narrative artist, Carmen Lomas Garza is a skillful storyteller who specializes in relating to her Mexican American heritage.

Carmen Lomas Garza is an award winning artist-educator, who was born in Kingsville, Texas in 1948. She attended Texas A & I University (renamed Texas A & M University, Kingsville), Juárez-Lincoln/Antioch Graduate School, and San Francisco State University. The artist is known for her use of papel picado in large ofrendas. She describes her life as an artist: “At the age of thirteen, I decided to become a visual artist and pursue every opportunity to advance my knowledge of art in institutions of higher education. The Chicano Movement of the late 1960s inspired the dedication of my creativity to the depiction of special and everyday events in the lives of Mexican Americans based on my memories and experiences in South Texas. I saw the need to create images that would elicit recognition and appreciation among Mexican Americans, both adults and children, while at the same time serve as a source of education for others not familiar with our culture. It has been my objective since 1969 to make paintings, prints, installations for Day of the Dead, paper and metal cutouts that instill pride in our history and culture in American society.”

Changarreando with Artist Guadalupe Hernandez

Now through Monday, July 12th

Guadalupe Hernandez, Sabor de Mexico,
Oil on Panel, 16” x 12”, 2021
Guadalupe Hernandez, Rebeldia de Juventud,
Oil on Canvas, 32″ x42″, 2020

Support our June 2021 Changarreando Artist, Guadalupe Hernandez, as we adapt the program to an exciting feature: “Changarreando”. In the spirit of Changarrito, the pop-up mobile art gallery where artists can sell their work to the public, Changarreando with Guadalupe Hernandez allows the artist to bring their work to you. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on original work available for purchase as well as behind the scenes of the artist’s work, space, and creative process. 

Mark your calendars! Mexic-Arte Museum Curator and Director of Programs, Dr. George Vargas is set to interview Guadalupe Hernandez on Thursday, July 1st from 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm CST virtually through the Museum’s Instagram account @mexic_arte. The virtual event includes a Q&A taking place during the last 15 minutes of the live interview.

A Series of Visual Talks with Texas Artists

Dr. George Vargas, Curator and Director of Programs at Mexic-Arte Museum spoke with Austin-Based Transmedia Artist Michael Anthony Garcia in front of a live audience on Tuesday, June 29th starting at 12pm CST. Watch the entire discussion!


For a list of upcoming programs and more information, please visit texastalkart.org. Join the conversation using #txtalksart on all social media!

About Texas Talks Art

Texas Talks Art is a multi-dimensional initiative intended to introduce the work of artists across the state of Texas to a wider audience, and to foster collaboration between local nonprofit arts organizations. Taking the form of virtual 30-minute lunchtime talks, the series features 50 Texas artists and artist collectives in conversation with 50 Texas curators beginning in January 2021 and continuing throughout the year. Texas Talks Art is built on a belief in the need to work collectively to support the remarkable and diverse community of artists living and working in Texas. The series features an intergenerational roster of artists working across various mediums and at differing points in their careers. Texas Talks Art encourages dialogue between arts professionals and emphasizes the broad range of concerns and questions that animate Texas-based artists. Each free, virtual talk will take place on a Tuesday at 12pm CST and will be recorded and archived.

Mexic-Arte Museum Hosted Its First In-Person Performance of the Year: A TransfronterizXperience

Tereso Perfecto Contreras and group performing during the event. Photo by Sara Palma & Jordan Steyer
Artist Victor “Mask” Casas live painting during the event. Photo by Sara Palma & Jordan Steyer
DJ Birth DFX performs. Photo by Sara Palma & Jordan Steyer

The Mexic-Arte Museum hosted its first in-person performance of the year, A TransfronterizXperience & Friends on Friday, June 25th from 6pm – 8pm. Performers included Tereso Perfecto Contreras, singer/songwriter Amalia Mondragón, DJ Birth DFX, and Victor “Mask” Casas. The event celebrated both Pride Month and the Museum’s current in-person exhibition, Mexico, the Border and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr. Collection. Amalia Mondragón and Tereso Perfecto Contreras are currently working on a concept album entitled “Transfronterizx” which seeks to amplify the unique life of the Transfronterizx — people who transit and navigate the U.S.-Mexico border as a way of life — through the lens of two individual, two-spirited people: Tereso Perfecto Contreras and Amalia Mondragón. Part of the album has been funded in part by NALAC and the Ford Foundation through the Border Narrative Change grant. Thank you to everyone who joined us that night!

Consejo Gráfico Visits Mexic-Arte Museum

Members of the Consejo Grafico Nacional attended the TransfronterizXperience event during their visit to Austin for their annual meeting.  Consejo Grafico Nacional members in the photo include (left to right) Dewey Tafoya, Jose Arenas, Ramiro Rodriguez,  Francesco Siqueros, Michelle Mouton, Sandra C Fernandez, Juan Fuentes, Pepe Coronado, Marianne Sadoswki,  Rene Arceo, Paloma Obergh,  Malaquias and Lezlie Montoya (not pictured).  Also in the photo are Sylvia Orozco, Nikki, Diaz and Adrienne Sanchez.  The Consejo Grafico Nacional is an independent coalition of printmaking workshops/Talleres formed to advance the capacity and legacy of Latino printmakers (inclusive of all Americas) in the United States. Through a combination of collaborative projects, exhibitions, educational outreach and conferences, the Consejo promotes the continuity of critical and cultural activism in contemporary art.


Mexic-Arte Museum Acquires Perro Mundo/ Raw World Portfolio

Mexic-Arte Museum acquires Perro Mundo/ Raw World portfolio and receives a visit from Consejo Grafico Nacional Director Sandra Fernandez.  Since its foundation, the Consejo Grafico Nacional talleres have been producing print portfolios hoping to foster opportunities for the Latino artists to engage in printmaking, and for a larger community to appreciate the importance and value of the Latino printmaking tradition. “Perro Mundo is a portfolio focused on transborder themes covering the extreme conditions produced by neoliberal-ism and the social responses that resist said conditions. Perro Mundo covers a recognized, iconographic social geography that incorporates traces of a Chicano aesthetic but that is reconstructed with grotesque, spectral forms. These excessively “real” imaginary beings are symbols of a victim-ization and oppression without borders. They are reconfigured in the mirror of a dark and illusionary American Dream. This hybrid world addicted to metamorphosis is a geography actualizing mythical beings in perpetual transformation-fantastic spaces in which familiar animals take shape, topographies that we daily cross and in which we live and dream.” Essay by Ramon Garcia, 2020.

Dalila Mendez, 
Weaving stories of Resistance, 2019. 
Self Help Graphics, Silkscreen 11”x15”

Featured Artwork from Collection: Federico Villalba, Bici Rider #1 of Saipan

Bici Rider #1 of Saipan is my Desert Triangle serigraph, which originated with the crisp click of my camera’s shutter, while covering a grassroots rally in May 2014 to save the historic Lincoln Center in El Paso, Texas, from the destructive swing of a wrecking ball for new freeway construction. The still photograph has been featured in several art exhibitions in the photography form. My friend, Karl Whiataker, asked to use the image for a print created by maestro Arturo Negrete and his team at Mexico City’s Taller 75 Grados. 

The print features Luis (Tego), a young Chicano bicycle enthusiast proudly resting on his beautiful blue and chrome, three-wheel custom lowrider bike in the midst of Lincoln Park, an urban jungle playground of grass and freeway concrete pillars adorned with colorful art murals with Mexican American themes. The area has become a center of the celebration of Chicano culture, art, and heritage with its Chicano-themed murals and events like the annual Lincoln Park Day, featuring lowriders cars and bicycles, art, music, dance, and attire. It is El Paso’s flavor of San Diego’s famous Chicano Park. 

Lincoln Center and Park are located under several feeder arteries in the I-10/54 “Spaghetti Bowl” freeway exchange area, historically known as Concordia and Saipan. Lincoln Center, the last remaining structure from El Paso’s past, was a training camp for Buffalo Soldiers (1860’s) and the first non-segregated school, admitting Mexican American and Black students (1915). The summer when I took the photograph of Luis, the issue of Lincoln Center’s future had reached a fevered pitch,

Federico Villalba,
Bici Rider #1 of Saipan
Photography Print on Paper, 20″ x 24 1/2″, Taller 75 Grados, Mexico City, MX,
Digital Triangle Print Carpeta

involving the Texas Department of Transportation, El Paso City Council, multiple car clubs, and several grassroots neighborhood groups, like Save Lincoln Center and Lincoln Park Conservation Committee.

El Paso is my home base to wander the US/Mexico border. My street photography art tends to focus on visually documenting the things – dimples and blemishes – that make life along “la frontera” so colorful and unique. The debate on the future of Lincoln Center is still ongoing.”

 – Federico Villalba

Welcome Collections Summer 2021 Interns!

Todd Rychener is enjoying a summer student internship in the Museum’s Collections department. His work at the museum includes accessioning recently acquired artworks, helping to preserve and maintain 2D and 3D artwork in storage, and helping to prepare for exhibits. Todd studied photography, painting, and sculpture as an undergraduate student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. His work experiences and continuing education post college have included commercial book printing and studying handcrafted book arts, proofreading, and carpentry and construction. He is currently enrolled at The University of North Texas where he is studying library science with a concentration on archives, and is planning to graduate in August 2021.


Summer Camp at Houston Elementary

Photo by Mexic-Arte Museum Education staff
Photo by Mexic-Arte Museum Education staff

Beginning at the end of June, Mexic-Arte Museum is offering a summer camp that gives Houston Elementary students an opportunity to complete a mural at their school with Education Associate Nikki Diaz. The students will help design and paint a community mural at the entrance that will “Welcome” visitors to Houston Elementary. Thanks to sustained funding from Community Youth Development, the Mexic-Arte Museum is able to offer free summer camps to youth who reside in the 78744 area code. 

Mexic-Arte Museum Educational Tours

Photo by Mexic-Arte Museum Education staff
Photo by Mexic-Arte Museum Education staff

In-Person Tours

The Education Department is offering in person, summer tours of the exhibition, Mexico, the Border, and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Antonio Jr. Collection to students grades K-12. Educators can book a tour by contacting Education Associate Nikki Diaz at . Tours may also include an accompanying art activity upon request. Thank you to the students who have visited us from Smithville Elementary, Strawn Elementary, and the students in the Arts for Life program! 

Virtual Tours

The Education Department recorded a virtual tour of the Life and Experiences in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands section of the Mexico, the Border, and Beyond Exhibition, to send to schools throughout the May/June. The virtual tour reached approximately 400 students, and is now available for the public to view through Youtube or Vimeo. 


Thank You to The Brown Foundation and Bettina and Travis Mathis

The Mexic-Arte Museum would like to extend a special thank you to both The Brown Foundation and Bettina and Travis Mathis for their continued support. Bettina and Travis Mathis are longtime supporters of the Museum and members of the Board of Directors.  Their donation of $10,000 was eligible for a match with The Brown Foundation, culminating in a $20,000 donation to the Museum. We thank both the Mathis’ and The Brown Foundation for this generous donation, and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future. This donation will support the Museum’s education programs.  


Latino Representation in Museum Leadership | Nonprofit Report

Mark Oppenheim led a discussion on Latino representation in museum leadership, with guests: Amanda de la Garza, Director of MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Sylvia Orozco, Executive Director of Mexic-Arte Museum and Alejandra Peña-Gutierrez, Director of Museo de Arte de Ponce. Watch the recorded discussion!

Nonprofit Report is a weekly webinar on nonprofit organizations, issues and leaders.

Welcome Summer 2021 Marketing Intern Victoria Hernandez!

Victoria Hernandez (she/her/hers/ella), is a proud Latina from Brownsville, Texas. She is currently double majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at St. Edward’s University and is excited for what lies ahead through the internship!


A new grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts will support Blue Star Sundays. Blue Star Sunday will offer art activities and programming to military families as an additional feature of the Blue Star Museums program for summer 2021.  The Blue Star Sundays program will take place every Sunday from July 18th-August 22nd 2021.   Active Military families will participate in hands-on printmaking activities in conjunction with current exhibition, Mexico, the Border and Beyond.  The program will feature  a teaching artist who coordinates art making activities with assistance of interns. 

Thank you to Our Sponsors

The Life and Experiences in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands

An online exhibition and lecture series are made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Learn more about the Mexic-Arte Museum

Exhibition and Art Education Programs Support: 3M, AeroMexico, Ampersand Art Supply, Trey Andrade, Applied Materials, Austin Community Foundation/Stand with Austin, Austin Convention Center, Austin Independent School District Creative Classrooms, Austin Latino Coalition, Charles Beckman, Michael Best, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Brown Foundation, Brown Distributing Company, Dr. Frank Cardenas, City of Austin Community Youth Development Program, Clay Imports, Endeavor Real Estate Group, Fonda San Miguel, Tom Gilliland, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, Juan J Gutierrez and Rosa K Gutierrez, H-E-B, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Hendler Flores Law, Humanities Texas, Junior League of Austin, JP Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, Mickey and Jeanne Klein, Ann McEldowney, Mindpop, National Endowment for the Arts, Ingrid and James Taylor, Mike Taylor, Michael Torres, Serie Print Project,  Morgan Stanley, Efficient Steel, Bettina & Travis Mathis,  Elizabeth Rogers, Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr., Rosa Santis & Pedro SS Services, Marina Sifuentes,  Susto Mezcal, Texas Mutual, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Delia Sifuentes, Texas Gas Service, Texas Commission on the Arts, Tribeza, Univision 62, Univision Radio, Lola Wright Foundation, and Jane & Manuel Zuniga.