May 2019

Gallery Talk

by Myrna Zanetell

Menu of this month's listings, stories and columns

Studio tours and more fill art calendar April 27-May 5

The weekends of April 27-28 and May 4-5 may prove to be the most art-filled days of 2019 in the Borderland region. Events during the last weekend of April include the annual Titovets Student Art Show, the El Paso Artists Studio Tours on the West Side, KCOS Art Auction and La Vina Winery’s annual Spring Festival. The KCOS Auction concludes May 4-5, as do tours of art studios in the rest of the county. In Silver City, N.M. the 2019 RED Dot Tour will showcase studios May 4-5 in the historic New Mexico downtown.
If you’re reading this in time for the last weekend of April, the Titovets show is at the former Charlotte’s Furniture store, 5411 N. Mesa. (Peppertree Square) from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Works by more than two dozen students will be on display and available for purchase.
The El Paso Studio Tour is 10 a.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Featured artists April 27-28 on the West Side are Juan Stockmeyer, Melinda Etzold, Francisco Romero, Raafat Maximos, Carmen Nevar, Cheryl Kilian-Hoffer, Candy and Charlie Mayer, and Teresa Fernandez. Upper Valley studios include Pam Schuster, Krystyna Robbins and Nina Eaton.
The following May 4-5 weekend features the Hal Marcus Gallery (Sunset Heights) and nearly two dozen artists who rent studio space at Art Junction in Downtown El Paso. Central studios showcase Ho Baron and Mago Gandara, and in the Northeast you can see works by Yvonne Gonzales Hinojosa. On the East Side: you can visit Martha Arzabala and Angie-Michelle, and in San Elizario Gaspar Enriquez will host an open house at his new studio. For addresses and directions to the studios go to www.pleinairpaintersofelpaso.com
The studios of Ann James Massey (at the Art Junction), Mago Gandara and Gaspar Enriquez are particularly noteworthy — they belong to nationally recognized artists whose gallery spaces have not previously been featured as part of the local tours.
Friends and followers of Ann James Massey will have the opportunity to meet and greet Ann once again now at her leased space, Studio #29, at the Art Junction. Based in Paris, Ann plans to be in El Paso during the month of May. She relates that by happy circumstances her return visit happens to coincide with the Artists’ Studio Tour. A large selection of her prints will be available in addition to other examples of her work. From May 1 to May 27 she will be keeping studio hours from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. She advises it’s best to call ahead.
On display at her studio will be Ann’s painting of “The Blessing of the Animals,” winner of three awards in New York last year. Among the drawings will be “The Woodworker,” which in January won the Nora Roth Memorial Award at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 122nd Annual Open Exhibition in New York. Ann may be reached at ajmassey@annjamesmassey.com or at 757-7880.
Gaspar Enriquez’s new studio at 1456 Main, just off the plaza in San Elizario, is worth a trip in itself. The historic building, which Enriquez himself has beautifully refurbished, dates back to the 1800s. A set of 12-foot-high hand-carved doors enhance the entry. The date of 1838 is carved into one of the supporting vegas. The adobe building is comprised of a series of rooms filled with captivating samples of the artist’s nationally acclaimed work. The studio is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The late Mago Gandara was born in El Paso in 1929 to Mexican immigrant parents, and grew up in Juárez. During the late 1940s, she studied at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles and the Art Institute of Chicago prior to earning her BFA from UTEP in 1949 and later an MFA from the University of Antioch in California in 1978. She lived and worked in Juárez during most of her 40-year career, but fled the city in 2011 when members of the drug cartel threatened her life while trying to extort money. She died in 2015.
Gandara was perhaps best known for mosaic murals using fragments of brightly colored glass, tile and other materials depicting scenes representing life on the border. One of her best works to be “La Nina Cosmica” at Douglas Elementary School in South El Paso. In addition to her mural work, the artist also rendered beautiful works in oils and mosaic statues.
Thanks to the loving dedication of her son, John Ruben, Gandara’s home and studio at 2819 Altura will be open as part of the El Paso Artists Studio Tour. Christening it “El Mundo de la Mago,” Ruben has completely redesigned the location as a tribute to his mother. “All her life, she wanted to have this kind of recognition as an artist, but she was never able to. She gave so much to this world so I want those who loved her to enjoy her work.”
All the rooms in the house contain different pieces of her art. The middle bedroom is dedicated to the history of her life.
“Believe it or not, I even have her baby shoes and a picture of her and her twin brother, Luis,” Ruben said. “Also, all her awards from Mexico, and we will also have videos detailing her life story as to how she became an artist. She scrimped and scraped to raise enough money to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, and I even have a couple of the paintings she did while there. I’m framing all her work myself because I know the colors she liked and what kind of frame she would have chosen to enhance her work.”
“May 4th will be the main day of the event. We will have live music including mariachis, Matachine dancers and refreshments. Mayor Dee Margo has signed a proclamation officially naming May 4 as Mago Gandara Day.”
May 4 also marks the official opening of her studio to the public. The studio will be open from 11 a.m. till dark on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (or by appointment). Information: 694-4289.

KCOS Art Auction

For almost 40 years, the annual KCOS Art Auction has been favorite tradition of the El Paso area. It not only serves as a major fundraiser for the public TV station, but it also allows local art lovers to purchase favorite works at reasonable prices while providing support and recognition to the artists themselves.
KCOS has scheduled the popular event from 5 to 9 p.m. April 27-28 and May 4-5. More than 120 pieces of artwork will be available for purchase.
As an added incentive to the artists, said the station’s General Manager, Emily Loya, a cash prize was awarded in each category. This year’s winners are: Best in Show, “Poppies” by Terrance Flores; Still life and Landscapes, “Persimmons” by Kay Susin; Photography, “Beary Excited” by Justin Aguilar; Figurative, “The Royal Runner” by Manuel Thompson; Contemporary and Mixed Media, “Wolf (Walking Stick)” by Dorothy Proffitt; Local Flavor, “The Plaza Theater at Night” by Joshua Greenwood. There will also be non-juried original works and fine art prints by many Early El Paso artists including Tom Lea, Jose Cisneros, Manuel Acosta, Rudy Montoya, Frederick Carter and Robert Massey.
Viewers can see the full schedule and preview all the art at kcosartauction.org

Star City Studio

“Magic, Myth and Mystery” is the title of an exhibition of new works that opens at the Star City Studio and OM Gallery, 120 W. Castellano from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Studio/gallery owner Pat Olchefski Winston presents the work of two aspiring artists who have not previously shown their work in El Paso. Beginning to paint about a year ago after watching documentaries on Picasso and Monet, Lisa Liegh said she often feels the presence of God when she paints her abstract forms. The second painter, Joe Ines Garcia, enjoys drawing faces, caricatures, some with and some without added symbolism.

Myrna Zanetell is a freelance writer
specializing in the visual arts.

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