Ben Fyffe is a life-long EPMA fan, having first started visiting for art classes when he was 7-years old. He serves as Interim Director of EPMA, which is part of the portfolio of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, which he leads. Ben has previously worked at the Contemporary Austin before he moved back to El Paso as Assistant Head of Education at EPMA. He steered the process to secure State-designation for the El Paso Downtown Arts District and is currently working on the realization of a 40,000 square-foot, voter-approved Mexican American Cultural Center and 15 new integrated public art projects. He received his BA in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and his MPA from the University of Texas at El Paso where he is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha. The Texas Senate recognized him for his work piloting artist residencies in underserved ESL campuses and he has served a Wallace Foundation Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as well as a Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Center.
Claudia S. Preza joined EPMA as the Assistant Curator in November, 2021. Previously, she worked at EPMA as a Curatorial Assistant in 2019 and as a Curatorial Intern from 2014-2016. She has a Master of Arts degree in Museums Professions with a concentration in Exhibition Development from Seton Hall University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Texas at El Paso. Preza has over 7 years of experience working in the art field, and has collaborated with various artists and art institutions such as Modern Artifact, Flor de Barro Gallery, Pierro Gallery of South Orange, Walsh Gallery, and the Morris Museum.
Irene Aguilar is a native El Pasoan, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has successfully worked in the nonprofit community for the last five years. Irene also worked in municipal government for the City of Las Cruces in a role that directly served her community for a little over ten-years. Irene’s work focuses on creating long lasting relationships and connecting communities.
Nick Munoz joined EPMA in 2002, as a member of the Operations Department. He worked his way to Assistant Preparator and began his current position in 2005. He holds a bachelor’s in studio arts and studied with renowned metalsmith Rachelle Thiewes and sculptor Ray Parish. His prior experience included working in picture moulding production and as a retail frame store manager.
Bernadette Ramos joined EPMA in 2018, as the Art handler/gallery technician working closely with the Museum Registrar who she succeeded in 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s in Art with a certificate in museum studies from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Masters of Science in Library Science with a focus in Archival Studies and Imaging Technology from the University of North Texas.
Josie first joined the El Paso Museum of Art in 2016 as a Museum Store Associate, with over 15-years of experience in sales and customer service. She has since served as the El Paso Museum of Art Membership Assistant and as a Public Art Specialist, under the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department’s Public Art Program. This trajectory strengthened her passion of supporting and working with local artists in order to showcase the talent and culture of El Paso. In her new role as Membership Coordinator at EPMA, Josie hopes to grow and develop the program by showcasing the Museum benefits as well as the importance members play in the development of the Museum. Josie holds a Bachelors of Art in History from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a Masters of Art in History from the University of Texas at El Paso where she specialized in Native American Civil Rights issues and was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Ivan Calderon first joined EPMA as a contract worker in 2018, eventually becoming a Teaching Artist within the Museum’s Art School, teaching Painting and Drawing and now serves as its Coordinator. Ivan has previously worked in art education at OLO Gallery, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts and served as District Director for District 75 in the Texas House of Representatives. He is also a professional working artist with over 25 years of practice and exhibitions nationwide. He is also a founding member of Cult___ Studios, an artist collective and residency in El Paso. Ivan holds a Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing from the University of Texas at El Paso.