El Paso, the westernmost tip of Texas, holds several categorizations. It is a city set against the mountains, the U.S.-Mexico border, and the desert. With no direct contacts in El Paso, before a recent trip, I reached out to my Dallas-Fort Worth network to find notable figures I should check in with. For one weekend in December, I navigated the city by bus to its northern and central neighborhoods, visiting artists and landmarks like the local libraries, the El Paso Museum of Art, and Scenic Drive, which overlooks downtown El Paso and Juárez. During this short trip, I was able to connect with four individuals who live in the region. I asked each of them, “What are you excited about in your creative practice for the upcoming year?”
Here are their responses.
Angel Cabrales, Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Texas at El Paso
“I am excited to be getting married this year to my fiancé, Bianca Camarillo, who is not only my partner in life but in my art as well. We are preparing for a very artsy wedding.
I will be creating new work for an upcoming exhibition in May at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, titled Becoming America. I’ll also be participating in the traveling exhibition Soy de Tejas in Fort Worth in April, and in the traveling exhibition Icons and Symbols by the Juntos Art Association in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have a solo show this summer in Las Cruces, New Mexico, opening in July, and another in Scottsdale, Arizona in the fall.
I am also excited about new projects I am developing for my students in the fall with new community partnerships.”
Claudia S. Preza, Assistant Curator of the El Paso Museum of Art
“Since I started [this position], I made sure at least 50% of all the exhibitions this year are focused on women artists. Highlighting women artists in the permanent collection, the traveling shows, or any group shows, [to ensure] it’s divided equally. So I’m excited because this coming year, I think we’re increasing that number as well.”
Aryk Gardea & Edward Nathaniel, Galeria Cinco Puntos co-facilitators
“We’ve ended 2023 with two fathers having exhibitions with their daughters. In 2024 we’ll have 10 months of femme voices. Either by showing or curating a showcase. Community outreach will continue since it’s a thread in Galeria Cinco Puntos’ fabric. Last but not least is our willingness to finally apply to be a nonprofit.”
William Sarradet is the Assistant Editor for Glasstire.