The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) invites you to read along each month and partake in a momentous new journey — Refresh. Follow us to discover EPMA’s history, understand the importance of this extraordinary project, and get to know EPMA’s permanent collection.
Since its inception in 1959, EPMA has amassed 7,049 works of art in its collection. At any given time, only three to five percent of the collection is on view. Now for the first time in 20 years, and since moving to its current location in El Paso’s Downtown Arts District, EPMA refreshes its second floor permanent collection galleries.
Refresh will showcase more art than ever before and allow for the rotation of works of art that will enhance the visitor experience. Treasures from the museum’s collection of Mexican Art, Early West Texas Art, American Art, and Contemporary Art, Prints, and Photography will be reinstalled alongside recent acquisitions and a few special loans. Together, the work will tell the history of art and collecting at EPMA.
August 9, 2019 — The El Paso Museum of Art is recognized as the only American Alliance of Museums-accredited art museum within a 200-mile radius, one of the only accredited museums in all of West Texas. The museum serves as a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico and is a cultural flagship for the community. EPMA’s Refresh project will showcase the very best art from EPMA’s significant permanent collection including dedicated galleries featuring Contemporary Art and Mexican Retablos.
Nearly 30 works of art by female artists will be on view during Refresh. Similar to the Early West Texas art gallery, the Contemporary art gallery will represent almost half of these works by women. Visitors will discover Los Angeles-based artist, Judithe Hernández’s, A Dream is the Shadow of Something Real. Additionally, the gallery will feature works on loan including Perro aullanda a la luna (Dog Howling at the Moon) by Mexican painter, Rufino Tamayo.
The El Paso Museum of Art’s Mexican Retablos collection is the second largest museum collection of its kind in the United States. This vast collection contains retablos santos and retablos ex-votos from nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico, and will be on view during Refresh. Retablos santos are devotional works that depict saints or holy figures and were often featured on altars in family homes. In moments of distress, family members would pray at these altars, directing their pleas to the saints. To commemorate miraculous events in an individual life such as remaining uninjured after an accident or being healed from a grave illness, retablos ex-votos were created. Ex-votos are small paintings that contain hand-written texts commemorating miraculous events in an individual’s life.
Visit us next month, to read and learn about the latest updates on Refresh.
Refresh opens on September 27, 2019 at the El Paso Museum of Art.
July 9, 2019 — This month, EPMA highlights its collection of Early West Texas Art. The museum’s unrivaled permanent collection of Early West Texas Art is the largest and most comprehensive held by a museum. The collection features works of iconic landscape paintings and portraits spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. Notably, EPMA holds the largest collection of works by Manuel Acosta (1921–1989). Acosta was a native El Paso painter, sculptor, illustrator, and muralist, recognized for his portrait of Cesar Chavez. Acosta’s prominent works such as Yolanda will be on view during Refresh among works by El Paso artist, Tom Lea (1907–2001). Lea was a muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist, and historian; expressing the history and character of regions and people around the world and in El Paso.
In addition to housing the second largest collection of works by Lea, EPMA will offer visitors the rare opportunity to view examples of West Texas art by female and international artists. Leon Trousset’s View of El Paso, which shows a 19th century view of El Paso from Ciudad, Juarez will be seen anew during Refresh. The Early West Texas Art gallery enables visitors to view the rich legacy of El Paso art with a focus on landscape, culture, and daily life in West Texas.
Refresh opens on September 27, 2019 at the El Paso Museum of Art.
Read along here to learn more about EPMA’s exhibition on view, Gloria Osuna Pérez: Beyond Portraits.
The El Paso Museum of Art invites the public to view and create art at La Sala de Arte Community Studio that opens June 8 at the museum.
The unique studio offers visitors of any age the opportunity to make or see art and visit with the museum’s artist-in-residence, Luminarias de Arte. Visitors will be able to discover something new each week.
An array of free events including live art demonstrations, workshops with guest artists, live musical performances, and more will launch the programming. The following events are scheduled during the length of the studio that runs through September:
June 8, 2 p.m.
La Sala de Arte Celebration
Visitors can participate in art-making activities and enjoy a music performance by Los Soneros del Valle Bajo.
June 12 to July 3, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Printmaker and storyteller, Marco Sanchez, will be at the museum every Wednesday through Saturday. Visitors can discover printmaking through the magic of reversed images and can create multiple prints of their own.
July 6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday Art Days: Red, White, & Azul
Be inspired by artist-in-residence, Laura Turón. See how she uses red, white, and blue to create optical illusions and participate in self-guided art making.
July 10 to July 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Multi-media artist Laura Turón will be at the museum every Wednesday through Saturday. Visitors can learn how Turón explores objects through science and technology to make art, and will discover optical illusions though drawing.
August 3, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday Art Days: Mi Musica, My Music
Bring your rhythm and make your own instruments using non-traditional materials. Visitors can also take part in self-guided art making.
For more information on the La Sala de Arte Community Studio, visit the El Paso Museum of Art at www.epma.art.
Support provided by WestStar team member contributions and matching funds from WestStar Bank. Additional funding received by the Wells Fargo Foundation, Texas Gas Service, and the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation’s El Paso Giving Day fund.
La Sala de Arte - EPMA Press Release
The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) has started the second major phase of its renovation with the closure of its second floor galleries.
Renovations include new wood flooring, freshly painted galleries, revised graphics and interpretation, and reconfigured spaces to showcase the completely reinstalled permanent collections of the museum.
“The reimagined galleries will continue to preserve the past, embrace the present, and shape the museum’s future,” said Director of the El Paso Museum of Art Dr. Victoria Ramirez. “The EPMA seeks to remain a thriving center for the study and appreciation of art.”
During the renovation, the museum systems will be upgraded, funded by the City of El Paso. The City has dedicated approximately $450,000 for the upgrades, which will ensure the museum, continue to be a safe and secure environment for art and the public. The reinstallation of the museum’s collection is supported by funds raised by the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, a private support organization working for the benefit of EPMA to provide long-term funding for exhibitions, education programming, and community outreach.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery, the Richard and Francis Mithoff Gallery, Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery, Tom Lea Gallery, and the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery will close to the public on May 13 and will reopen on September 27, 2019. A special preview will be held on September 26, 2019 for EPMA Members.
Throughout the renovation, the museum’s first floor will remain open and free to the public. Robust programming will take place with the La Sala/The Living Room: A Community Art Studio opening on June 8, 2019. The Studio will welcome children and adults to enjoy art throughout the summer with an artist-in-residence, workshops and pop-up performances. Visitors can also enjoy the exhibition Antonio Castro: Visions of a Borderland, on view April 19 August 7 in the Dede Rogers Gallery.
The renovation is the largest the museum has undertaken since moving into the building in 1998; second to the 2018 reinstallation of the museum’s Kress Galleries of European Art. Located in the El Paso Arts District, the museum has amassed a collection of more than 7,000 works and hosts upwards of 12 special exhibitions annually.
Read more about art on the border in The Magazine’s featured article here.
Learn more about the exhibition, Antonio Castro: Visions of a Borderland, as KFOX reporter, Robert Holguin, celebrates the diverse work of the local painter and illustrator. Read and watch the story here.
Uncover the history of how the painting View of El Paso at Sunset by Audley Dean Nicols found its home at the El Paso Museum of Art. Read here.
The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) presents Ideas Unwrapped: An Exhibition about Art, on view beginning February 16 in the Mac Rogers Gallery and Ginger Francis Seminar Room.
“Ideas Unwrapped” is an exhibition that explores EPMA’s permanent collection in a new way, featuring works of art given to the museum by the Peter Norton Christmas Project. Since 1988, Mr. Norton commissioned renowned artists to create art with the intent to make art more accessible. Works of art include a unique ceramic plate with Medusa painted using marinara sauce by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz and a pop-up book by Kara Walker.
Ideas Unwrapped was designed and installed by UTEP visual arts graduates and EPMA Teaching Artists, Staphany Garnica and Ivan Isaac Calderon. Audiences of all ages can learn about the creative process and artists’ use of place, history, culture and personal experience to unwrap an idea and create art.
Additionally, viewers can have a multisensory experience throughout the exhibition via augmented reality through the Augment El Paso App. Visitors can interact with the art through the app where images are animated and accompanied by regional music and special sound effects.
EPMA’s Education Curator, David Hernandez says, “The exhibition presents art in a new way – focusing on sources of inspiration and asking the question, where do artists get their ideas? The show also examines how art is made, serving as a bridge between EPMA’s galleries and Art School.”
Featured in the exhibition is Krag, an assemblage of found objects turned into a work of art by El Paso artist Guillermo Gutierrez. Gutierrez collected objects, such as discarded gadgets, toys, and outdated computer parts, and wove them together to show how cultural leftovers become a work of art in an unexpected manner.
Other works include pottery by Mexican artist Juan Quezada and multigenerational artists who renewed traditional designs and processes by indigenous people of Northern Mexico.
Join EPMA members for the exhibition celebration during the Member’s Family Day Preview. View art while enjoying live music and lite bites. Meet artist Guillermo Gutierrez and make art using found objects. Then, illustrate a short story learning with EPMA Teaching Artists in the Art School. Preview on February 16 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
Ideas Unwrapped: An Exhibition about Art is supplemented by the following educational programming:
• Family Day: Ideas Unwrapped, An Exhibition about Art, February 16, 2:00-4:00 pm
Support for this exhibition is provided by Kirk and Judy Robison. Krag is purchased with funds donated by Peggy and Andy Feinberg, Susan Foote and Stephen Feinberg.
Gifts from the Collection of Dian and Jim Bruemmer Peter Norton Family Christmas Project Gifts Support for educational programming is provided by Texas Women for the Arts.