656 Comics up for one more week

Want to remind everyone that the 656 comics exhibition is up just until Sept 7 at the CCPN. The exhibition was put up as a part of the 10th Chihuahua festival, but it also celebrates 10 years of their existence. The name, of course, comes from the city code for Juarez and much of the work was created as a response to the local environment., and to enable the artists to explore feelings and thoughts in relation to the often problematical events of the city.

The exhibit is packed with an enormous display of work encompassing all facets of their work. Many of the background walls are covered with enormous cartoon characters and there are large freestanding walls each of which  features a larger than life representation of some of the characters in vivid acrylics.
In smaller and larger forms, we are introduced to a wide variety of characters including the Zombie Kid and Border Punk, and although the standard violent scenes are shown, there are also works which show the violence which can happen to the heart in relationship issues. The comics really explore a wide range of issues and themes, some of which are universal and some of which are more locally related.
This is really an impressive show, and as anyone who has tried their hand at this, there is an enormous amount of work involved in these densely packed drawings. For those who can’t get to the show, the group has a website, (natch) at 656 comics.com where there is a large archive and downloads available in some cases for free. -david sokolec


Calling all Cartoonists

The US Consulate is hosting an amazing opportunity this month for aspiring cartoonists. they are holding a virtual conference with Larry Hama of Marvel comics, who will discuss, among other things, how to draw symapthetic characters, and how to engage the reader, among other things. The event is in English and will be on August 14th from 2:30-3:30. you must register before then sending them your name and birthdate. Here is the announcement, (in Spanish) with a link to register:

14 de agosto              Conferencia Virtual: Creando Comics Educativos Interesantes (en Inglés)

Te invitamos a conversar con Larry Hama, guionista para Marvel Comics, quien hablará sobre técnicas para la creación de cómics didácticos atractivos, la creación de personajes simpáticos, la claridad de la narración gráfica, y la capacidad del lector para identificarse con los personajes y las situaciones.

Lugar: Consulado General de Estados Unidos en Ciudad Juárez

                                                                Dirección: Paseo de la Victoria #3650, Fracc. Partido Senecú

Fecha y hora: 14 de agosto – 2:30 a 3:30 pm 

Entrada gratuita. Requiere registrarse con nombre y fecha de nacimiento encdjwfnoticias@state.gov antes del 14 de agosto

I do not know whether or not this event was intentionally designed to coordinate with the FICH (festival Internacional de Chihuahua), but  on Friday night, there is the opening of a show by the Collectivo 656 comics in the gallery of the CCPN (Centro Cultural Paso del Norte. The opening is at 7 pm. and will feature around 100 pieces and 6 murals. 

I just want to add that we in Juarez have been treated to a number of really amazing cultural events over the past month. Of course there is the FICH which brought an astounding free concert by Lila Downs, and continues with a number of great international artists all month, but there was also STEP AfriKa, sponsored by the US consulate, which showed a packed 1700 seated auditorium why they are considered one of the 10 best African American dance troupes operating in the States today. We also had the 32nd Theater festival, during which a number of small experimental theater groups working here on a shoestring and a prayer showed off their best work. 

There was also the arrival of Femenin, which brought female urban and hip-hop artists from all over the country to the city for a week, and in a more classical vein the Museo de Arte opened a show featuring a collection of prints by Goya from the San Carlos Museum in Mexican City.

Juarez is not particularly known for its arts culture outside the city limits, and there is no question that you have to be paying attention sometimes to know what’s going on, but there is an awful lot here for those who have interest.-david sokolec 



Rubin Center Celebrates UTEP 100 years

Reminder that today (April 10)  the Rubin Center and the Department of Art are celebrating UTEP’s Centennial with an open house, music, art demonstrations, the opening of works by Adrian Esparza, their first artist in residence, and an awards ceremony for the juried student art show. In additon there will be works by100 artists who have had ties to UTEP over the years. This is all scheduled to start at 4 and go until 6.-david sokolec

No Lugares: magnifico

The Beatles once sang “There are places I remember ..” and here in Juarez there are places all over the city which once were full of life and which e hold memories of others times, of past fiestas, past loves, but are now abandoned  often only shells of their former selves.  In an effort to explore these “no lugares” and the issue of memory and, for that matter, what is important in a cityscape, as well as a desire to resuscitate at least in memory these places and the people who live there, a group of artists worked long and hard giving workshops in a variety of artistic disciplines to people in order to let them record, recollect and revive in a certain way these areas which still hold  memories of a time that was.
The fruit of these months of work were on display Friday night at the Centro Cultural Paso del Norte in a show called No Lugares, una frontera llamada Juarez, and obviously the long work paid off because it was a wonderful show which was greatly appreciated by a huge crowd at opening night.
The show included photographs from all over the city like those of Cine Victoria, and Tin Tan’s house, there were paintings, installations, videos and brilliant conceptualisations like a a map of the city in sections with each section composed of  written memories which the visitor was invited to take home or a group  of open lockers filled with notebooks full of drawings which could be perused by visitors.
An excellent show and a credit to Brenda Ceninceros,  who coordinated this huge effort, Alukandra Koronada, and all the others who worked so hard on it and especially to the volunteer artists  who helped make this show such a success. It is going to be up at CCPN until April22, openfrom 12-6 , and then at least portions will be shown around town including Loftlight studio in El Paso in June.  There is also, of course, a facebook page at No Lugares.-david sokolec

Update for No Lugares

The date for the upcoming No Lugares exhibition, which I mentioned in the previous post, has been changed to April 4.
Everything else is the same-6 pm at the CCPN.

A Place for the No Lugares

This Tuesday April 1, (no this is not a joke) is the opening of the exhibition No Lugares, Una Frontera llamada Juarez at the Centro Cultural Paso del Norte. This is the fruition of an ambitious  project in which artists from a  wide variety of disciplines went into the marginalized parts of the city to work with the young there giving workshops and helping them foster their creative spirit. This exhibition is the culmination of months of hard work by everyone involved and attests to the continuing desire of artists, among many others, to try to make a contribution to this city by helping many of the seemingly forgotten to create and develop their talents and to express their thoughts and feelings through art.
This desire to give back, to help others is something I find a lot here in Juarez, but it is something which is rarely mentioned in English language media reports on the city. In any case, the opening is at 6 pm and should be a wonderful, soul enriching event.-david sokolec

New El Paso Gallery opening Thursday

CUBE Gallery is a brand new gallery focusing on installation art and other contemporary forms. Run by artist Angel Cabrales it will feature art from El Paso as well as from outside the area and aims to educate on new ways of  viewing art and making the viewer a part of the work.
Thursday’s opening will feature two installations by Cabrales. The gallery plans to have shows in three week blocks with openings on the last Thursday of each month to coordinate with the Arts District downtown artwalk. The gallery is at  114 E. Mills and this Thursday’s opening will be from 6-9 pm. Their facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/TheCube Gallery.
Best of luck. We need all of the galleries we can get in the region and particularly those dedicated to waking people up to new ways of exploring art. -david sokolec


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