Miembros Newsletter: October 2023

A Message from the Director

The Fall Brings Exciting Art & Activities – You’re Invited!

In order of Appearance: Mary J. Andrade, The Honorable Luisa “Lulu” Flores, Edwin R. Jordan, and Elaine Salazar

Mexic-Arte Museum Honors Four Distinguished Patrons

We invite you to join the Mexic-Arte Museum at the 2023 Catrina Dinner! This spirited evening combines great food, great company, and great art to create a truly unique evening. You can also look forward to an auction featuring special edition Mexic-Arte prints from the Mexic-Arte collection, a night at the Thompson Hotel, and more! Dinner will be prepared by highly acclaimed Fonda San Miguel. This evening is not one you will want to miss.

2023’s honorees are Mary J. Andrade, artist and photojournalist; the Honorable Maria Luisa “Lulu” Flores; Edwin R. Jordan, artist and collector; and Elaine Salazar, Ampersand Art Supply. We are so grateful to these individuals for their significant contributions to Mexic-Arte over the years. 

In addition to these wonderful people, we are commemorating 39 years of critically acclaimed exhibitions, award-winning educational programs, and unique cultural events. Proceeds from the Catrina Dinner will support Museum programs and operations. 

To purchase tickets, secure a sponsorship, or read more information about the Catrina Dinner, please visit our website.

Artists are Selected for Major Public Artwork at Museum

Mexic-Arte Museum is proud to announce that Fidencio Duran and Angel Quesada have been selected as the artists for the renovated facility’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) art project. The City of Austin Art in Public Places program is part of the Cultural Arts Division and the Economic Development Department. The artists will work together to produce a work of art that will be a placekeeping icon for the 5th St side of the building and for downtown Austin as a whole. The artworks will celebrate and  honor the cultural contributions of Mexican American and Latinx individuals.

Fidencio Duran is very knowledgeable about Mexican American history, particularly Mexican and Mexican American contributions to downtown Austin. Angel also has knowledge about the Austin community as a whole, and he has created several murals using various techniques to that effect. Both also have experience working with public art and have produced high quality works of art that are embraced by the community. Fidencio’s narrative artwork captures the sensibility and voice of la comunidad in a universal way that speaks to all. These works of art communicate to the public the richness of the Mexican American people, contributions, traditions, and struggles. He grew up in a rural community close to Austin and has developed as a Master Artist in Austin. Fidencio Duran has dedicated his life and art to capturing and visually narrating the Mexican, Mexican American, and Latinx communities in Austin. This is Austin’s opportunity to work with two talented and prominent artists in an artwork for a cultural institution that is safeguarding the voice, history, and spirit of the community for all to experience. Their visual narrative will speak in a manner that is easily understood by all people and represent the mission of the Mexic-Arte Museum.

El Grito de Independencia Day en Austin!

Proclamation by Mayor Kirk Watson. Photo credit Kaitlyn Zaldana

On September 14, 2023, members from the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, the City of Austin, Austin Saltillo Sister Cities Association, Univision Austin, Downtown Austin Alliance, and Mexic-Arte Museum gathered at City Hall for a Proclamation by Mayor Kirk Watson. The El Grito de Independencia Day in Austin Proclamation declared,The City of Austin joins the Mexican and Mexican American community in celebrating the 213th Anniversary of Mexico’s independence; and, whereas, Mexican Independence has been celebrated in Austin at Mexican Park, now known as Republic Square, since at least 1873, marking this year the 150th commemorative anniversary of this tradition.” Later that day, House of Representative Lulu Flores, presented the state proclamation also recognizing Mexican Independence Day in Austin.

This was an important moment for Mexic-Arte Museum, the Downtown Austin Alliance, and the broader community in our quest to designate the 5th Street Mexican American Heritage District and recognize the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in downtown Austin. We congratulate all parties for making this historical day possible.

Ollin S. Chavez Martinez – In Memoriam

Ollin Chavez performs at opening for Los Tesoros de la Catedral de Saltillo at Museum, 2002.

We mourn the loss of a wonderful musician, a treasured member of the Mexic-Arte familia, and a dear friend. We send our deepest condolences to his family and to the Lucia and Francisco Chavez family. I knew Ollin Chavez for over twenty-five years, ever since he was a child. He literally grew up in the Museum. Ollin and all the members of the Chavez family have been an integral part of Mexic-Arte, as well as some of our closest friends. The Chavez family, of whom Ollin was a talented violinist, performed for many opening receptions, ranging from pastorelas in December to classical music for Los Tesoros de la Catedral de Saltillo. In every project, Ollin always gave his best. He was a multi-talented and dedicated artist. Many events at the Museum would not have been possible without Ollin and the Chavez family. Mexic-Arte Museum is as appreciative as we are grateful for Mr. Chavez’s service to the Museum.

Ollin was an honorable young man who was passionate about his family, his culture, and his community.
He was proud to teach others about his culture. I admired Ollin’s enthusiasm and passion for life, family
and community. We will miss him dearly.

Executive Director

Sylvia Orozco

Special Events

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 28th 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.

This Year’s Special Section is La Catrina!

Detail of Calavera Catrina, José Guadalupe Posada. Zinc etching, 1910.

La Catrina appeared as a zinc etching originally created by José Guadalupe Posada for a satirical leaflet produced in 1910. While most of his work was unknown during his life, Posada’s images were reintroduced to the public by Jean Charlot and Diego Rivera. Rivera popularized La Calavera Catrina in his mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park (1947), and she has since become a time honored symbol for Día de los Muertos that is embraced and celebrated by millions every year.


  • Music by Austin Lowriding Featuring Liz Garcia and DJ Elo
  • Information Booth
  • Aztec Dancers
  • Ballet Folklorico
  • Costume Contest

Volunteer & Get a Free Shirt!

  • Creating Marigold Flower Crowns
  • Coloring Ofrendas
  • Making your own Catrina hat
  • Decorating a paper Catrina figure 


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. Come shop Never Ending Stickers, Dope Culture, Laura Clay Art, and more!


Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation Exhibition Opens!

For two generations, Mexic-Arte Museum has created a uniquely Austin-style Día de los Muertos celebration filled with exhibitions, performances, street festivals, videos, murals, installations, processions, publications, and other cultural manifestations. 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation celebrates Mexic-Arte Museum’s past and present Día de los Muertos celebrations and the Museum’s place in Central Texas. This exhibition showcases Mexic-Arte Museum’s singular Día de los Muertos history with artwork and archives going back to the museum’s beginnings in 1984 along with four commissioned ofrendas by the Emmily Arenas family, Connie Arismendi, Mauro de la Tierra, and Angel Ortega. Check out photos from our opening reception on Facebook and Instagram.

Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation is on view until January 7, 2024.

Fidencio Duran, Goddess of Liberty, 1996. Mexic-Arte Museum Collection 2015.21.1 Gift of Bickerstaff Health Delgado Acosta LLP Photo credit: Isabel Servantez

A couple enjoy the ephemera of Mexic-Arte Museum’s first 40 years. Photo credit: Maia Castillo

Connie Arismendi Creates Tribute Installation

Connie Arismendi, I am the Poem of Earth / Soy el Poema de la Tierra, 2023. Mixed media installation with video. Dimensions variable
Photo credit: Isabel Servantez

I am the Poem of Earth / Soy el Poema de la Tierra is a new installation by Connie Arismendi, commemorating the lives of 12 artists who helped shape Mexic-Arte. 

From Arismendi: “Memory and spirituality are central to my work as a conceptual artist. I was invited to create this Día de los Muertos ofrenda to honor the lives and work of twelve artists intimately connected with Mexic-Arte Museum. Several were friends and I approached this project with respect and reverence.  

Each artist’s work is unique but all twelve dedicated their lives to the creation of art. Their work is displayed on the gallery walls. As I thought about these artists, my friends, the Latin phrase came to mind ‘Ars longa, vita brevis.’ Art is long, life is short. It is a reminder that an artist’s skill takes time to develop, and we take solace knowing that our work will exist long after we are gone. 

I chose the Resurrection Plant as the focal point of the installation. This plant is unique to the Chihuahuan desert in Mexico. During drought it goes dormant and looks like a dried ball of leaves. It can survive in this state of dormancy for up to 10 years. True to its name, the Resurrection Plant returns to life when it rains — The leaves open, the plant unfurls, and it lives again. An accompanying timelapse video illustrates these changes.  

Soy el Poema de la Tierra is an installation that draws from tradition. It consists of four elements – earth, air, fire, and water. The light of the video represents fire. Cut mylar in the tradition of papel picado cascades from the ceiling and flutters in the air. Twelve bowls, one for each artist, hold water and a Resurrection Plant in varying states of growth and dormancy. Art is long because it requires skill, dedication, and work. Those are noble attributes, and the artist tools are laid upon the white marble in homage to their labor. 

We are bound by time because we are temporal beings, but we are more than dust, we are spirit, we are the poem of earth.”

Soy el Poema de la Tierra is a tribute to the following twelve artists: Bruno Andrade, Arturo Bustos, Sam Coronado, Tita Griesbach, Luis Jiménez, Rina Lazo, Pio Pulido, Alonso Rey, Angel Rodriguez, Ernesto de Soto, Ishmael H. Soto, and José Treviño.

Connie Arismendi is a nationally recognized sculptor and installation artist living in Austin, Texas. She received a BFA from The University of Texas and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artwork is shaped by concepts of family, memory, and spirituality. She is known for innovative projects, from large-scale architectural installations to freestanding sculptures that combine a wide range of materials. Her work is in major public and private collections in the United States and Mexico, including the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas and State Department of the United States, at the Embassy in Belmopan, Belize.

September Changarrito Artist, Esteban Miguel Guerra

The Agave Harvest (Detail) by Esteban Miguel Guerra

Esteban Miguel Guerra next to Changarrito Cart Photo credit: Sylvia Orozco

The Changarrito artist for September 2023, Esteban Miguel Guerra, presented his work on the Changarrito cart at Mexic-Arte Museum on September 23rd and 24th. His interview with Mexic-Arte’s Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs took place on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 5PM CST. The interview is available to view in its entirety on Mexic-Arte Museum’s Instagram page

You can see and learn more about Estaban’s work on his website.

About the Artist

From Esteban: “I’m excited to be Mexic-Arte Museum’s Changarrito Artist for September! I am a painter
living in Austin, TX, working in oils, producing giclees from my original paintings. I am especially interested in the Post-Impressionist including Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and others. Currently I am exploring Expressionism and the Cloisonnism of Emile Bernard and Louis Anquetin.”

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.

Applications for the 2024 Changarrito year are open from now until Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 11:59PM CST.

October Changarrito Artist, Emily Lawson

Faces & Places – Canvas Tote, Photo credit: Emily Lawson

Join us for the Changarrito cart with artist Emily Lawson, who will be at the Museum presenting her artwork on October 21st and 22nd and October 29th from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM CST. Come by Mexic-Arte to support Emily 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, October 26th. The interview will involve questions about her work and a Q&A session during the final 20 minutes.

New Mero Muro Mural – Remembrance by Mauro de la Tierra

Photo credit: Isabel Servantez

Unveiled with the opening of Día de los Muertos is the new Mero Muro wall mural Remembrance, by Mauro de la Tierra. This mural serves as an homage to the richness of cultural diversity. It draws inspiration from the widely celebrated tradition of Día de Los Muertos, which honors both life and death. This commemoration is a celebration of the beauty of family, generosity, and unity, while also emphasizing the importance of embracing and fostering a deep love for our roots. Come enjoy the mural over the course of the exhibition’s run and remember to tag Mexic-Arte in your photographs!

About the Artist

Mauro de la Tierra is a first generation Mexican American from San Antonio who is a self-taught painter, sculptor, and illustrator. What began with street art has transitioned onto canvas and beyond. With support from his community, and his mentor, Albert Gonzales, De la Tierra became self-employed as a full-time artist in October 2017. De la Tierra considers himself community-made and community-driven. His work focuses on socio-economic challenges and generational struggles such as the prison industrial complex, poverty, addiction, and the deterioration of the earth. His work captures a side of life that is often vilified and ignored while also making a statement of love for humanity. With the use of spray paint, acrylic paint, and oil paint, De la Tierra creates heavy textures on canvas in a modern and raw style of whimsical and surreal abstract expressionism. 

In the same year that De la Tierra launched himself into art full-time, he began leading and collaborating with The Black Sheep Collective; a group of D.I.Y. misfit artist extraordinaires. Together, they have organized six pop-up gallery exhibitions and performances. De la Tierra’s artwork has been shown on various news outlets, including La Prensa, Spectrum News, Texas Public Radio and in art galleries including K Space Contemporary, Instituto Cultural de México, and Presa House Gallery. De la Tierra has had five solo exhibitions, his fifth one being at Territory Gallery. He was recently awarded an Individual Grant by the city of San Antonio for a large multi-media portrait exhibition coming fall 2024.


Diving into 40 Years of Día de los Muertos

Ephemera of 40 Years of Dia de los Muertos. Photo by Maia Castillo

Carlos Velasquez interviews Mexic-Arte Calacas, 1985

In its 40-year quest to educate the public about Día de los Muertos , Mexic-Arte Museum has presented exhibitions, performances, street festivals, videos, murals, installations, processions, and publications.

40 Years of Día de Los Muertos highlights Mexic-Arte Museum archival materials of these manifestations from the past 40 years of the Viva la Vida festival, parade, and celebrations of Día de los Muertos. These materials are on display at the entrance of the museum in the exhibition 40 Years of Día de los Muertos: Tradition, Celebration & Continuation.

As you look among the collected ephemera in this section you will see frames filled with news clippings, parade photos, pamphlets, and sketches. Here viewers can see how Mexic-Arte has helped transform the Mexican religious holiday into a uniquely central Texas celebration of Mexican and Mexican American life and cultural identity. Looking through these frames you will see that although dates, names, and styles have changed, the joy and spirit of Día de los Muertos remains at Mexic-Arte Museum.


Domingo en Familia – Celebrating Teen Artists in the Nuestro Mundo (Our World) Teen Exhibit

Photo credit Jose Martinez

On Sunday, September 17, 2023, Austin Museum Day, the Mexic-Arte Museum education team collaborated with the Teen Section of the Austin Public Library to hold an opening reception of the Nuestro Mundo (Our World) Teen Exhibit. During the reception, visitors were able to participate in a screen printing activity, enjoy snacks and beverages, and dance to the rhythm of DJ Hierba Malita. The teen section at the Austin Public Library was filled with joy and laughter as our talented teen artists proudly showcased their prints. 

Nuestro Mundo (Our World) is part of the Mexic-Arte Museum summer programming. This year we partnered with George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center. In Nuestro Mundo (Our World), students focused on building and strengthening their community through art and education. Led by museum art educators, participants identified a change they wished to see in the world. Each student created an infographic poster using silkscreen printing technology, an accessible process artists and activists use to quickly reproduce images and information. 

The purpose of these posters is to communicate to the public the necessity of social change in an area of importance to the students. These young artists delved into the rich history of political art and protest posters, gaining an understanding of how art has long been a catalyst for raising awareness and inspiring change. 

In the Nuestro Mundo (Our World) Teen Exhibit, visitors will see the posters created by our talented young artists. Accompanying their posters is a reproduction of an artwork in Mexic-Arte’s permanent collection.

You can still go to the Central Library’s 3rd floor and check out the exhibit! No te lo pierdas

We thank Austin Public Health CYD program, The Texas Commission on the Arts, and our partners at the Central Library and Dove Springs Recreation Center for their continued support.

UNITY- Community Mural with Blackshear Elementary and Stacy Silva

Teaching artist Stacy Silva at Blackshear Elementary working on her UNIDOS mural with students. Photo credit Jasmine Chock

For the ninth and final workshop for this fiscal year, Mexic-Arte Museum partnered with Blackshear Elementary School and Muralist Stacy Silva to create a mural that represents the identity of the school, reflecting and representing the youth of the area with diversity between BIPOC communities of all shapes and sizes. Students were gathered in groups of four; some worked on the concept while others picked the palette of colors and created mini murals on paper to accompany the mural on the side of the stairs. The whole group then participated in the painting of the mural. Participants were able to learn more about the historical significance of painting murals, from cave paintings to Diego Rivera to the art they see in their neighborhood today, all while gaining hands-on experience. 

Gracias to our sponsors from the Office of Violence Prevention City of Austin for helping us provide this program! Thank you to Blackshear Principal, Tiona Bell, and Blackshear Art Teacher Raina Michalovic, for their support on this project!

Apply to be an Intern at the Mexic-Arte Museum!

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Mexic-Arte Museum seeks university students to participate in internships for academic credit and educational enrichment. Spring, summer, and fall internships run for 12 weeks with a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week during office hours (Monday-Thursday 9am-6pm and Friday 9am-5pm). All internships will be paid thanks to a major grant from the IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Current students can learn about museum practices and gain professional skills in various fields through internships. In addition to developing their skills through projects in various departments, our interns join a community of fellow interns and staff during their time at Mexic-Arte.

Join a community of interns to gain professional skills and learn about museum practices!

If you are interested in applying please visit our website, or email .

Public Relations

Welcome Kaitlyn Zaldana, Our Special Events & Marketing Coordinator!

Kaitlyn Zaldana graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Her passion for creativity and communication led her to spend the last three years marketing, coordinating, and reporting on community events in Austin. Kaitlyn has loved and supported the arts and non-profits from an early age and is excited to continue her career in this space. Joining the Mexic-Arte team and getting to bring the community together through celebrations of Hispanic culture is an honor for her. When Kaitlyn is not working she loves baking, going to concerts, and taking her dog to the park.


Experience Coco Like Never Before With the Long Center

At 7:30 on Wednesday, November 8th, the Long Center will be screening the Disney Pixar modern classic Coco. Accompanying the film will be a twenty piece orchestra playing along live to Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Germaine Franco, and Adrian Molina’s award winning songs.
Get your tickets here!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month With Our Friends at LALO Tequila

La Condesa’s Rick Lopez and Carriqui’s Jaime Gonzales joined forces with LALO Tequila on September 17th to craft a delicious meal for Latinx creatives in Austin. Mexic-Arte staff were honored and thrilled to be included in this group! LALO Tequila was also generous enough to donate several bottles of their tequila to Mexic-Arte Museum for the 40 Years of Día de los Muertos exhibition opening; if you enjoyed your drink at the event, you know who to thank!

We’re grateful to LALO for their partnership with Mexic-Arte Museum, their commitment to fine craftsmanship, and their work to connect with the Latinx community in Texas. Salud!


Welcome Our New Store Associate, Richard Greene!

“Hi, I’m Richard, an artist and recent BFA graduate from UT Austin. My work incorporates experimental printmaking into installation sculpture, pushing the boundaries of traditional methods to achieve contemporary exploration. I also enjoy community-building, visiting the East Austin art scene, and supporting DIY artist spaces. I’m looking forward to working at Mexic-Arte to learn from such a celebrated museum and its community.”

Shop the Mexic-Arte Museum Store!

Purchase the newest items on display at the store – inspired by Mexic-Arte’s 40 Years of Día de los Muertos exhibition.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors!

Mexic-Arte Museum is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

Learn more about the Mexic-Arte Museum

Operations, 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, Capital Printing, 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, Endeavor Real Estate Group, 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, 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, Thompson Austin, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tribeza, Univision 62, Univision Radio, Warfield Center, Waterloo Greenway, Lola Wright Foundation, Jane & Manuel Zuniga, and Mark Zuniga.