(From left) Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison; Stuart Hersh, Building Committee Chair; Charles Peveto; Council Member Pio Renteria; Paul Saldana, President of the Board; Council Member Kathie Tovo; Sylvia Orozco; Jennifer Hage Bond; Charlotte Hage Dalbey; Patricia Hage Hirsh; Larry Bond; Mayor Adler; Steve Dalbey; and Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter stand together for The Origins of Medicine Murals by Rafael Navarro Barajas Day Proclamation at City Hall on September 16, 2022.
Rafael Navarro Murals Find Home at Mexic-Arte Museum
Mexic-Arte Museum is honored to be the new home of the murals, TheOrigins of Medicine, by the artist Rafael Navarro Barajas. These murals have been part of the Austin community for over fifty-five years. We celebrated the murals with enthusiastic friends and community members at the opening reception on Sept. 16th. I want to share my comments.
We thank the Nettie and M.K. Hage family for their contribution to restoring the murals and their perseverance, as well as all the city officials, media, art, and community members who joined together to preserve these artworks for future generations.
We thank the advocates – the people who saw there was something that was not right and were not afraid to speak out. The people who went on to create a campaign where one voice became two – then twenty, then two hundred, then two thousand to form a campaign – Save the Murals. I thank the first voice who began this campaign– the lovely voice of Sara Hickman – who cried out, and we all heard. Then the city officials, media, art, and community members all joined in an outstanding civic effort. We thank all the advocates who named Mexic-Arte Museum the ideal home for the murals.
Mexic-Arte Museum wholeheartedly thanks Jennifer Hage Bond, Patricia Hage Hirsh, Charlotte Hage Dalbey, and Robin Suzanne Hage for their generous contribution to restoring the murals and their determination to bring the murals home to Austin. We thank the Board of Directors, who agreed to receive the murals to house and care for.
What does this donation mean to Mexic-Arte Museum? It means that this masterpiece – an excellent example of the Mexican School of art painted in 1967, will remain in Austin for future generations. This mural will be used as a teaching tool to help the Museum carry out our mission of education.
Each time we view a painting – we are visually reading a poem, a story, a book like the young boy we see in the mural. Just as he is reading and discovering the world of medicine, we also discover new information and ideas as we read the mural. That is what makes art exciting.
The title of these murals is The Origins of Medicine. With this mural, students and viewers can learn about the elements of nature, Greek mythology, astronomy history, medicine, and much more. Teachers, parents, curators and citizen educators will be inspired by the murals and will research and learn about the infinite subjects, symbols, and themes.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank the family of Nettie and M.K. Hage and all the community members who joined the fight to preserve this important artwork that is also a learning resource for our community. We will use this mural to teach the multiple stories of this subject.
We also thank the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, H-E-B, The Brown Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Mellon Foundation for making this exhibition possible. Thank you to the Mexic-Arte Museum Staff for their work and dedication. To look at photos from the opening reception, click here.
We also want to share the City of Austin Proclamation, The Origins of Medicine murals by Rafael Navarro Barajas Day, Sept. 16, 2022.
We also opened the important exhibit, 26th ELA – Emerging Latinx Artists Histories of Transformation / Historias de Transformación curated by Isabel Servantez and Luisa Fernanda Perez. We congratulate all the artists participating in the exhibition.
Mexic-Arte Museum opens ELA 26: Histories of Transformation / Historias de Transformación
On Friday, September 16, 2022, Mexic-Arte Museum hosted the opening for ELA 26: Histories of Transformation / Historias de Transformación. This is the 26th installment of the Emerging Latinx Artists exhibition at Mexic-Arte Museum. Each year ELA provides a platform for emerging Latinx artists, based in Texas, to present their artwork. ELA also gives an opportunity to emerging Latinx curators, based in Texas, to develop an original concept, design, and roster of artists for an exhibition.
This concept for this year’s ELA is transformation. The artists in this exhibit reclaim and reshape themes of shame, resistance, growth, exploration, and rebirth. Instead of assimilating to the “dominant” cultures of the United States, these artists have adapted to represent a diversity of their cultural backgrounds reframing historical narratives, redefining perspectives, and presenting us with the inevitability and profoundness of change.
Opening remarks for the exhibition were given by Mexic-Arte Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs, Isabel Servantez. Isabel spoke about the exhibitions theme, thanked all the participating artists, the Mexic-Arte staff for all their work in preparing the exhibition and introduced the poet Ariana Brown, who performed at the opening, and the band Eterno Scroll who also performed at the opening.
Sixteen artists representing eight cities across Texas are part of this year’s ELA exhibition. Featured artists include Sarah Ayala, Fort Worth; Daniel Calderon, Houston; Isabel Ann Castro, San Antonio; Christian Cruz, Dallas; Kat Cadena, San Antonio; Marcelina Gonzales, Brownsville; Galileo Gonzalez, San Antonio; Fabian Guerrero, Irving; Natasha Hernandez, San Antonio; Angel Lartigue, Houston; Chantal Lesley, Austin; Gabi Magaly, San Antonio; Abinadi Meza, Austin; Angeles Salinas, San Antonio; Marco Sanchez, El Paso; Saúl Hernandez Vargas, Houston; and Beatriz Guzman Velasquez, Edinburg.
This year’s curatorial team includes Mexic-Arte Museum Education Associate Luisa Fernanda Perez and Mexic-Arte Museum Curator and Director of Programs Isabel Servantez.
ELA is sponsored by; The National Endowment for the Arts, The Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, The Texas Commission on the Arts, The Brown Foundation, H-E-B, and 3M.
ELA 26: Histories of Transformation / Historias de Transformación will be on display until February 5, 2023.
September’s Changarrito Artist, Juan Carlos Escobedo
On Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 5pm CST on Instagram live Mexic-Arte Museum Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs Isabel Servantez will have a live interview with the September Changarrito artist Juan Carlos Escobedo.
Escobedo’s artwork addresses residual class and race shame that arises from living in a predominantly white structured United States which favors light-skinned individuals and middle-class and above socioeconomic classes.
Please follow our Instagram page, join us for the interview, and prepare any questions you have for Escobedo, which will be asked at the end of the interview.
About The Artist
Juan Carlos Escobedo (B.1985 El Paso,TX) explores his identity as a as a brown, Mexican-American queer male, raised in a low-socioeconomic community along the US/Mexico border. His work addresses residual class and race shame that arises from living in a predominantly white structured United States which favors light-skinned individuals and middle-class and above socioeconomic classes.
Escobedo received his BFA from New Mexico State University and MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. His work has recently been exhibited in San Antonio at Blue Star Contemporary, Centro de Artes, and The Southwest School of Art; in Boston at MassArt X SOWA; and in Darmstadt Germany at Darmstädter Sezession for The World Heritage Festival.
His work has been recognized through awards and grants, including a Collective Futures Fund Grant from Tufts University Art Galleries: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as a consultant; an Actos de Confianza Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures; a Luminaria Artist Foundation Professional Development Grant; and a residency with Casa Lü in Mexico City, Mexico.
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 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.
New ELA Mural — dreamin’ of Xochitlalpan by Kat Cadena
As part of the ELA 26: Histories of Transformation / Historias de Transformación a new mural has been commissioned by the San Antonio based muralist Kat Cadena for Mexic-Arte Museum’s 5th street mural wall. This mural focuses on the Náhuatl flowering land Xochitlalpan. In this mural Cadena focuses on flowers as an abundant source of inspiration and joy for humanity from throughout the ages, from Náhuatl to contemporary poets. It also focuses on smoke as a way of cleansing flowers for spiritual or medical uses.
Celebrating Día de los Muertos with Nuestra Comunidad/Our Community – Memory and Remembrance Ofrenda
On exhibit: October 1, 2022 – November 20, 2022
This month, Mexic-Arte Museum invited the public to participate in the Day of the Dead/Día de Los Muertos ofrenda. By contributing a photo of someone who has passed away, the public helped transform our gallery into a communal space where we can commemorate the lives of our family and friends.
This exhibition marks the 39th Annual Día de los Muertos exhibition and celebration at the Mexic-Arte Museum, since 1984. The exhibition, as always, pays tribute to the tradition that celebrates the return of souls of family and friends on November 1st and November 2nd. Ofrendas, recuerdos, memorias, photos and offerings are assembled and shared in a room by community members to remember loved ones who passed away.
This year, the installation includes a section to honor and memorialize the souls of the children and teachers of Robb Elementary. As a way to pay tribute to the Uvalde students, Mexic-Arte added a “children section” to commemorate children who have passed away.
Rafael Navarro Barajas in the Permanent Collection
Mexic-Arte Museum is pleased to present a recent donation from the Nettie and M.K. Hage Family, The Origins of Medicine, by Mexican artist Rafael Navarro Barajas. This artwork is composed of two 9’ x 29’ oil painted murals created in 1967. These murals were originally commissioned by M.K. Hage for the Medical Park Tower in Austin, Texas.
Recently these murals reemerged in the public eye as preparations were made to cover them as part of a restoration project in their original location. Upon this news becoming public, a community of Austinites and people connected to the murals came forward as advocates for preserving The Origins of Medicine, the first Mexican mural in Austin. Nettie Hage and the M.K. Hage family worked side by side with conservationists and Sylvia Orozco, the Executive Director of Mexic-Arte Museum to ensure that The Origins of Medicine has been able to find a new home at Mexic-Arte Museum.
Rafael Navarro Barajas was born in 1921 in San Marcos, Jalisco, Mexico. Navarro showed signs of being creatively gifted early in life, drawing lessons at the Academy of San Carlos when he was fourteen. From 1936 to 1939 he was schooled in Latin and the humanities at the Conciliar de México seminary at Tlalpan and later continued his art training at La Esmerelda from 1944 to 1949. His predilection for art making brought him back to San Carlos before focusing on philosophy at the Mexican National Seminary at Montezuma, New Mexico. Barajas’s both technically sophisticated and conceptually dense artwork shows his varied artistic and academic training.
As seen in Lois Hale Green’s “By Rafael Navarro: Medical Park Tower Murals Depict Physician’s Role,” while describing Mural I, Navarro said, “In this mural, I wish to express the universal principles and laws that govern the universe and the world, by means of the graph of the infinite that embraces, in the form of the horizontal eight, the total expanse of the composition.
In the center upon the terrestrial globe, I have represented the four original elements, in the four Titans locked in a ceaseless but perennial and creative struggle. Behind the four are a pair of heads of heroic proportions, of a youth and old man, symbolizing the future, the latter serene and tranquil with the tranquility of maturity, wisdom and the experience of having lived.”
According to Hale Green, in explaining Mural II, Navarro said, “The purpose of this mural is to express some purely human facets of life which, being human, are subject to man’s ups and downs – his crises, his triumphs, his defeats. These are suggested by the graph extending from one side to the other of the mural.
The central group of our warriors comes from an episode in Homer’s Iliad, in which the Greek Menelaus has abandoned the combat raging about him in order to succor Patroclus, who lies fatally wounded. The scene symbolizes the pity man feels for man; Menelaus, heedless of the danger that surrounds him, has undertaken to help his fellow comrade in arms.
Behind this group stand the heroic profiles of a young man and woman, the basic components of the human family whose care and well-being are the principal concern of medicine. The tower at the left of the canvas is intended to suggest the medical center for which the murals are designed. The girl with her doll represents the concern and compassion with which a center receives its patients…”
Hale Green, Lois. “By Rafael Navarro: Medical Park Tower Murals Depict Physician’s Role.” The Austin Statesmen, August 27, 1968.
Nuestra Lucha Summer Camp Exhibition at Central Library
Mexic-Arte Museum’s education outreach program Screen It! held it’s third annual summer camp “Nuestra Lucha.” By screen printing protest posters, the camp mentors the youth on how to reflect on contemporary issues and causes they would personally like to raise awareness on. The Austin Central Public Library partnered with Mexic-Arte by hosting and exhibiting the posters. An opening reception was organized to allow the participating youth to attend and wear artist badges. Live music, food, and drinks were provided for the students and their guests to enjoy, while they spoke about their art and experience at the camp. The team at Mexic-Arte Museum curated reproductions from the permanent collection to be paired with each poster. Chulita Vinyl Club provided live vinyl music sets throughout the event. A hands-on activity for stamp and sticker designing was also available for guests to partake in.
amArte #7 – Creating Community Driven Murals 101 with Ruben Esquivel
Mexic-Arte’s education outreach program amArte is holding its 7th workshop at Akins High School with Mr. Cannon’s advanced art students. The workshop is led by local muralist Ruben Esquivel, who operates under “East End Eclectic.” The students have reflected on and identified what culture means to the experience of being a part of the Akins High School community. Upon completion, there will be an unveiling event and ceremony in October. Complete summaries of each amArte workshop can be found on Mexic-Arte’s website.
amArte #8 – Every Frame Tells a Story with Mar Gonzalez
Akins High School was also the lucky recipient of a second amArte workshop this year, but this time for Ms. Alaniz’s advanced photography students. Led by local photographer Mar Gonzalez, the workshop was aimed at designing and directing scenes that would get shot on 35mm film. Students got to pick one or more pillars of violence prevention: peace, prosperity, hope, and health (created by the Office of Violence Prevention from Austin Public Health). They were able to coordinate and direct methods that would get portrayed and captured on film photographs. Complete summaries of each amArte workshop can be found on Mexic-Arte’s website.
amArte #9 – Favorite Food Ceramics Modeling with Sequoyah Johnson
Another workshop that is also being held this month is a master class in ceramics at Lyndon B. Johnson High School with Mr. Bart’s advanced art students. Students get to illustrate any of their favorite foods as long as it is scaled to the actual dish/food. The workshop is being led by local ceramicist Sequoyah Johnson, who operates under “The Coy Collection.” Complete summaries of each amArte workshop can be found on Mexic-Arte’s website.
Mexic-Arte Hosts Successful Workshop During Austin Museum Day!
Visitors participating in Austin Museum Day and making paper marigolds at Mexic-Arte Museum on September 18, 2022. Photos by Jasmine Chock.
During Austin Museum Day, Education Associates, Luisa Fernanda Perez and Jasmine Chock, facilitated a paper marigold making workshop to prepare for Día de los Muertos. Over 500 visitors had the opportunity to make paper marigolds and learn about the traditions of Día de los Muertos. Visitors proudly displayed their brightly colored marigolds as they visited other museums throughout Austin on Museum Day. Thank you so much to the many volunteers for coming out and helping us teach the workshop. What a tremendous effort!
The rest of the marigolds made at the workshop will be used to adorn the community ofrenda at the Mexic-Arte Museum. Marigolds are thought to attract the spirits of loved ones who have died so they will come to the ofrendas their living relatives prepare for them for Día de los Muertos.
Mexic-Arte Named Recipient of Yearlong Catchfire Membership
The Mexic Arte team is excited to partner with Catchfire: a full-service, on-demand solution designed to address social good agencies’ wide-ranging and complex needs. This platform is the largest online tool to connect social good organizations with talented professionals looking to donate their skills. We are looking forward to working with Austinite professionals. Thank you so much to Austin Public Health for your invitation to be part of this fantastic resource!
Austin Public Health is providing 100 Austin nonprofits with a fully funded, yearlong membership to Catchafire. Catchafire connects nonprofits to professional skills-based volunteers for projects such as website design, communications, event planning, strategic planning, and more. Catchafire also offers networking opportunities and educational webinars on topics such as virtual events, program evaluation, email marketing, and more.
Welcome Jasmine Chock, Education Associate!
Jasmine Chock is an artist who works in a unique variety of 3D materials, photography and video, taking inspiration from everyday objects and routines. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. Her professional experience has included art education, customer service, museums and non-profits. In her last role she served artists and seniors of all abilities at Imagine Art through AmeriCorps, teaching workshops and supporting the artists’ professional practices as an artist in residence. Jasmine’s goal is to have her artwork in a museum. She welcomes this opportunity to experience a museum every day and to make art and art making accessible to underserved communities in Austin. Currently in her practice, Jasmine experiments with ceramics, cooking and transforming single use plastics into textiles. To see her practice in action, visit @jasmineechock on Instagram and www.jasminechock.com.
39th Viva la Vida Fest and Parade Returns —Presented by the Austin Convention Center
Mexic-Arte is excited to announce the return of our annual Viva la Vida Festival and Parade in Downtown Austin. The city’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead event will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 12-6 p.m. We invite the community to join us as we celebrate the holiday, traditions, and culture. Viva la Vida is co-sponsored by the City of Austin and presented by Austin Convention Center.
The parade will take place from 12-1 p.m. and will gather on Sixth Street, between I-35 Southbound Frontage Road and Red River St. The grand procession, including a mix of costumes, props, live music, dancers, and floats, marches down Sixth Street towards Fourth Street and Congress Ave. The festival will feature a grand procession, art activities at the Mariposa Plaza, food vendors with traditional foods, artists and artisans at the Muertos Mercado, an Austin Lowriding exhibition, and live music and performances. Additional art activities will be located next to Frost Bank Tower Plaza for children and families to enjoy.
Call for Volunteers, Parade Participants, and Vendors!
Mexic-Arte Museum is thrilled to invite event volunteers, participants, and vendors to take part in the annual Vida la Vida parade and festival on Saturday, October 29th.
Community members can volunteer to help in various ways: help teach both children and adults an array of art activities during the festival; help with setting up and carrying forth the parade; and help with the general festival duties including setting up and loading down equipment and props, hanging up decorations, and any other help needed throughout the day. Volunteers will receive a free t-shirt to wear the day of the event.
Individuals or groups can participate and walk the parade route as part of any section. The parade includes costumes, props, live music, dancers, and floats – marching down historic 6th Street and culminating at E. 4th Street and Congress Avenue. Parade categories include: Intro – Special Section – The Monarch Butterfly; Pre-Columbian –A tribute to pre-columbian ancestors; Mexico Lindo y Las Americas –Homage to Mexican & Las Americas traditions and icons; Chicanx – Si Se Puede! –Homage to deceased Mexican American, Hispanic, Latinx/a/o, Chicanx/a/o and culture; and Austin Weird –Everything and anything that’s part of our Austin community.
Artists, artisans, vendors, and makers can apply to be a vendor for this year’s Muertos Mercado. All art and products will be Día de los Muertos themed. People at the event can visit the Muertos Mercado for additions to their Día de Los Muertos altar or the perfect gift for a friend.
Exhibition and Art Education Programs Support: 3M, AeroMexico, Ampersand Art Supply, Applied Materials, Austin Convention Center, Austin Independent School District Creative Classrooms, 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, GTOPS, Hendler Flores Law, Humanities Texas, Junior League of Austin, JP Peace Love & Happiness Foundation, 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.