art school

Aryk Gardea

Teaching Artist

Aryk attended UTEP and earned his BFA with a double major in Ceramics and Painting. He continued his education at the San Francisco Art Institute where he obtained his MFA in Sculpture. He has an extensive exhibition history beginning in 2005 to present day. Since returning to El Paso, he has gathered experience teaching at both museum and university levels. Since 2013, he has been focusing on a social aspect of his art practice by creating exhibition spaces and opportunities for cultural dialogue in otherwise dormant spaces. Aryk is currently part of a team that founded and maintains Galeria Cinco Puntos, established in 2018.

Paola Martinez

Teaching Artist

Paola Martinez is an interdisciplinary visual artist located in the border region of El Paso, Texas and CD. Juárez, Mexico. She completed her BFA in Painting and Art History at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her eclectic and indigenous portraits pay homage to her Mexican heritage, bringing awareness and life to the ancient tribes that adapt and diminish in today’s modern world. By using her unique finger painting style, the artist believes that she truly becomes in contact with her subjects and work. Martinez is known to utilize a black and white palette in order to remove classism and create equality, however she constantly explores color through her bright mural work. The multidisciplinary artist is constantly inspired by her travels around the world as she shares her knowledge and brings cultural diversity to art, creating unison in humanity through her work.

Valeria Tejada

Teaching Artist

Valeria Tejada was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a double concentration in Painting and Ceramics. She has exhibited her work in various public art exhibitions at local and national galleries and museums. Valeria’s work focuses on defying the traditional representation of the nude by depicting the human figure in non-erotic painting and sculptural presentations.

Efren Villalobos

Efren Villalobos is a native El Pasoan. His ceramic practice began in 2015, while living in Austin, TX. During his seven years in Austin Efren worked closely under established Austin ceramic artists, while also completing his BBA in Marketing with a minor in Art from St. Edward’s University. Efren returned to El Paso in 2021, where he established Fired Up Clay Co. Presently, Efren manages Fired Up Clay Co. from his private studio, in addition to working as a ceramic instructor for the El Paso Museum of Art.

Alexis Ruiz

Teaching Artist

Alexis Ruiz is a Mexican-American artist, who spent her childhood raised in Ciudad Juarez, before moving to her city of birth, El Paso, Texas, to finish her high school education and begin her college years at the University of Texas at El Paso to being her college education.

While enrolled there, she pursued a BFA major as a Graphic Designer, with the hopes of pursuing a minor in Printmaking. It was during her first Printmaking class with Professor Manuel Guerra, where she discovered the different techniques like etchings, screen printing and relief that automatically transformed her life forever. Falling in love with these techniques, Alexis decided to stay an extra year of her college education and graduated with a double major in Printmaking and Graphic Design in December 2012.

After graduating, she worked and saved enough money to buy a small etching press, and began her journey as a small business owner, by the name of Printmeikiando in 2014. Ever since then, she has constantly been part of the El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmers Market, and participated at big events such as Las Artistas, Chalk The Block, Virtual Renegade Craft Fair, and was one of the organizers of the Pop-Up Mercado. She also sells her journals in different local shops like The El Paso Museo of Art Gift Shop, Chuco Relic, but has also sold her products in Marfa, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through e-commerce, her products have travelled to France, Germany, United Kingdom, Singapore, and other parts of the world. Currently, Alexis is the printmaking professor at the El Paso Museum Art, as part of their Art School programs, teaching the community about these techniques that are passionate for her.

She continues to grow as an artist, working in her small studio from home and lives with her wife and a tiny Yorkie named Lupita.

Corina Bualle

Teaching Artist

BA, University of Texas at El Paso. Art instructor at St. Joseph’s School and Instructor for EPMA’s Neighborhood Kids program.
Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Tour + Studio.

Paulina Rosas

Teaching Artist

Paulina Rosas is an independent, professionally trained, handmade jewelry artist currently based out of El Paso, Texas. She was born and raised in the gorgeous landscape, culture, and community between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Rosas studied Metals and Graphic Design at UTEP. She has been a business owner and professional handmade jewelry artist for over five years and has exhibited in private galleries, museums, and international solo and group exhibitions. Her work is all about helping others express the unique parts of their personality and style through distinctive, one-of-a-kind, contemporary jewelry pieces.

E.C Dukes AKA Dr. Elvira Carrizal-Dukes

Teaching Artist

E.C.-Dukes (a.k.a. Dr. Elvira Carrizal-Dukes) is a Xicana author from Chaparral, New Mexico. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Texas at El Paso, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film from Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Journalism and Chicano Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts. Dr. Dukes is the author of the graphic novels “A.W.O.L.: Cruz Ochoa” and “Daizee & the Dukes of Chuco: Chuco- Juárez World Rally” available in multiple languages.

Ronnie Dukes

Teaching Artist

Ronnie Dukes is a Black artist from the south side of Chicago. His first professional artist experience began at Gallery 37 while in high school. Ronnie earned a degree in computer animation in Minneapolis before relocating to Harlem in New York City where he began to paint and exhibit work. Ronnie created his publishing company DUKES comics with his wife, partner Elvira Carrizal-Dukes, featuring their first major print project “A.W.O.L.: CRUZ OCHOA”, a full -color graphic novel available in English, Japanese and Spanish. Ronnie’s second graphic novel as the artist is “Daizee & the DUKES of Chuco: Chuco- Juárez World Rally” available in English, German, and soon Spanish and Japanese. Ronnie past work includes collaborations with the Department of Tribal Empowerment Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, the Alzheimer’s Association West Texas Chapter, and the El Paso Museum of Art. #Constanter

Angie-Michelle Barraza

Teaching Artist

Angie-Michelle Barraza (she/her) is a local Artist born and raised in El Paso Texas with over 20 years experience in her field of study. Which includes painting, drawing, mixed media, and art jewelry both hot and cold connections. She received her bachelors degree in studio art painting with a Minor in metals from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a former board member of the El Paso Art Association in 2021. That year she also released her very first coloring book titled: I Love Us and in January 2023 she released her second Coloring book titled I Love Us So Much! Angie-Michelle’s art work often depicts story telling from her experience as a Afro-Chicana. She has also worked on a number of paintings commissioned throughout El Paso and has taught painting at many public events. A quote she lives by now in her life is “I deserve to take up space” and she believes everyone of us should lean into that belief.

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