Zeke Pena focuses on water at Juarez Contemporary

Aqua/// Frontera, works by El Paso based artist Zeke Pena, opens tomorrow night (Thursday, 23) at Juarez Contemporary gallery.
Interestingly, the previous exhibit by Elena Trajo, also concerned water, but while hers was more intent on water as a kind of meditation, asking us to slow down and look, Zeke Pena’s work  is apparently more about the politics of water on the border. Water which geographically unites us, also is used to politically divide us, and the works include a variety of mediums to illustrate the point.
The gallery is located at 4305  Nov 20, in Ciudad Juarez and the opening is set for 6 pm. Bring wellies.-david sokolec

Caldo Collective-Taking it to the Streets

A group of artists in El Paso who want to not only support local artists both in terms of venues and  financially , but to involve the community at large in the arts,  set up a collective to do just that.  The Caldo Collective began last year with  various activities such as the frijol feast to provide financial support as well as an exchange of ideas with other interdisciplinary artists.

This Saturday ( July 11) , starting at 7:30, they are presenting the inaugural project of the Transient Triangle Project, called “Stand by Me.” Taking place in the Manhattan Heights neighborhood at Gold and Elm, artists from various disciplines are going to put in the streets their interpretation of a specific poem. The intention as I understand it, is to immerse the visitor in a block long multimedia event designed not simply to allow the visitor a chance to look at but to become enveloped by the various interpretations
Much more about the Collective, their goals and activities and the Transient Triangle Project can be seen at their website where they give a much fuller explanation of their ambitious and extremely worthwhile activities.-david sokolec

La Gente Esta Presente

Architecture can often be the most obvious outward mark of a city, but it is  people who build a commumity and give a place flavor and distinctiveness. Two shows currently on exhibit at the Museo Arqueologia in Parque Chamizal  portray the people who make up two local communities-one rural, the other urban.

“Raramuri”,  features  black and white photos taken of the Raramuri people (also known as Tarahumara) in their home in the  mountains and valleys of Chihuahua. The photos seem to have been taken a long time ago, and there is no date given, but in a certain sense they might be timeless. Giving a dignified portrait of various members of the community, they do not suffer from the condescension often found in early photos of indigenous groups of the Let us now praise noble savages approach  too often found in photos made by those who thought they were trying to be helpful. These are straight forward individual portraits in a very rural setting.

The other, larger exhibit focuses on people of Juarez. These digital color photographs present portraits of members of the community, some well known by name,  others simply by sight, and all of whom contribute to making Juarez the vibrant city it is. Entitled “Entre el Rocio y el Leteo”, the show is attributed to Anotonio Ramos (la Rochaca) who indeed took the bulk of the photos, and wrote the artist statement outlining the purpose of the exhibit, but mention should also be given to photographer Rocio Andazola Rayas whose photos are also on display and form a part of the highly enjoyable exhibit.

I feel compelled to mention  that a picture of me (in which I look better than usual) was included in the show, but this in no way influences..blah, blah.

Go see them if you get the chance, both shows will be up until August 2.-david sokolec

Roundtable on Mexican design

Want to call attention to the roundtable discussion tomorrow night on contemporary Mexican design at the Museo de Arte aqui en Juarez. The discussion is at 7 and free to all.-david sokolec

La exposición “De ida y vuelta. Diseño contemporáneo en México” producida por el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, será clausurada en el Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez el próximo 5 de julio y como última actividad se realizará la mesa redonda “Diseño, innovación y desarrollo el próximo 18 de junio a las 7:00 pm. en el Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez con la participación de los diseñadores y empresarios Ariel Rojo, Mauricio Lara y Sebastián Lara, moderada por Sergio Villalobos, coordinador de la carrera de Diseño Industrial de la UACJ.


Le invitamos a que nos acompañe en esta destacada intervención y visite nuestras exposiciones, recuerde que esta y todas las actividades de este Museo son gratuitas.


Esperamos contar con su asistencia.

Stone Haikus- De Paso at Juarez Contemporary

Haikus, those 17 syllable Japanese gems, are traditionally verses addressed to some aspect of nature-On looking at Mt Fujiyama; On seeing the first cherry blossom-which the poet uses often as a vehicle  to probe some deeper meaning or sentiment occasioned by the natural world.
I was reminded of this at last Thursday night’s opening of Elena Trejo’s installation “De Paso” at Juarez Contemporary. The main portion of her work consists of 19 circular stones  openings into which she has placed one or more small stones covered with varying amounts of water.  Trejo is ostensibly concerned here  with rain ( not unsurprising in this desert) and how things look after the rain, although  her larger goal is to make us take the time to really look at nature , to take the time to examine  things we normally rush past.
The haiku is, of course, nature seen from the viewpoint of the individual poet, while these circular forms reflect no particular authorship. We can move through the piece however we wish-we can rush past each one, or we can stop and notice the individuality of the stone, or how the water beads on the surface; we can use each as a sort of meditation device and perhaps notice that which we normally wouldn’t.
There is also a video of rain, and another small piece, but the stones, taking good advantage of the large and uncluttered floor space of the gallery, call the most attention.
Like a good haiku, this is a deceptively simple and remarkably elegant show  on view until July 18.

De Paso at Juarez Contemporary Noviembre 20 4305-david sokolec

Warhol at CCPN

An exhibition of Andy Warhol original works is scheduled to open June 12 at the Centro Cultural Paso del Norte (CCPN) and will run through Sept 12.-David sokolec

Artists for the Border Biennial

The artists for this year’s  Cd Juarez-El Paso Biennial have been announced. There were 287 entries, more than in past years, and of these, 45 were selected. I’m happy to see the inclusion of a pretty fair representation of artists from Mexico including many fron Monterrey as well as artists from Tamaulipas and Baja California. This year Mexican sculptor Mely Barragan Chavez, winner of the 2013 Biennale award, will create a site specific piece at the El Paso  Museum of Art. There is no indication if  she will also create a piece at the Museo de Arte in Juarez.

The exhbition will open on October 11 and run through January 24. Congratulations to all those selected.


Karina Amaya – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Robert Armando Cárdenas – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua / Guadalajara, Jalisco
Colectivo Estético – Monterrey, Nuevo León
David Garza – Monterrey, Nuevo León
Héctor Herrera – Ensenada, Baja California Norte
Mayra Huerta – Tijuana, Baja California Norte
Héctor Jaramillo – Chihuahua, Chihuahua
Andrés Juárez Troncoso – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Humberto Jiménez – Matamoros, Tamaulipas
Paola Rascón Tello – Chihuahua, Chihuahua
Isaac Rincón – Monterrey, Nuevo León
Alejandro Sánchez Rodríguez – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Yasadori Sánchez Zavala – Sierras Santa Catarina, Nuevo León
Abimel Villaseñor García – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Ana del Águila Malvaez – Tijuana, Baja California Norte
Sabrina Loghin Tiu – Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
Rebeca Cordero Valdez – Coahuila, México
Abrajam Escalante – Nuevo León, México
Gerardo Méndez – Ensenada, Baja California Norte
Rocío Sáenz – Chihuahua, Chihuahua
Carlos Vielma – Saltillo, Coahuila
Roberto Zamarripa – Guadalajara, Jalisco

Ricky Armendáriz – San Antonio, Texas
Kristin Bauer – Tempe, Arizona
Sarah Castillo – San Antonio, Texas
Esteban Delgado – San Antonio, Texas
Claudio Dicochea – San Antonio, Texas
Daniel Domínguez – El Paso, Texas
Juan de Dios Mora – San Antonio, Texas
Jessika Edgar – Las Cruces, New Mexico
Arturo Enríquez – El Paso, Texas
Nabil González – El Paso, Texas
Rigoberto González – Harlingen, Texas
Robert Jackson Harrington – Austin, Texas
Suzanne Hesh – Tucson, Arizona
Mónica Lozano – El Paso, Texas
Tony de los Reyes – Los Angeles, California
Beliz Iristay – San Diego, California
Qing Liu – San Antonio, Texas
Chris Macías – El Paso, Texas
Rebecca Méndez – Los Angeles, California
Alejandra Platt-Torres – Tucson, Arizona
Harriette Tsosie – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Federico Villalba – El Paso, Texas
Karla Zanelli – El Paso, Texas


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