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 was born in El Paso and lived her childhood and part of adolescence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico before moving back to her city of birth to finish high school. She then enrolled at UTEP to pursue her education as a Graphic Designer. However, after taking her first Printmaking class, she fell in love with traditional printing methods such as etching, lithography, screen-printing, relief printing, among others. As she continued her studies, she decided to stay an extra year and graduate with a double major in Printmaking and Graphic Design in December 2012. After graduation, she saved her money for an entire year and in 2014, she bought a small etching press that would give birth to Printmeikiando, the business she currently still runs herself. As a printmaker and journal creator, she has been participating in different farmers markets, giving workshops, and teaching the community about these centuries’ old printing techniques, so that future generations can appreciate and perpetuate the art form.

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.

Cassandra Adame

Teaching Artist

As a metalsmith and jeweler, Cassandra combines traditional and non-traditional processes, creating wearable work that references the autobiographical nature of the home, while speaking to larger ideas of culture, memory, and place. Jewelry, like a story or image, creates a conversation with its user/wearer, and this interaction is an important bridge between understanding and reflecting on shared experiences. Cassandra uses materials such as ceramic tile or adobe building fragments, setting them like stones to express overlooked values. Cassandra pulls inspiration from her home in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a place full of dichotomies. Contrast can be found in the architecture, the landscape, the materials, the people, and even the sounds. These elements serve as a source material for her work. Like a souvenir, her jewelry is a portrait of a city you can carry with you. Cassandra was a 2019 Windgate-Lamar Fellowship recipient. She earned her BFA in Jewelry + Metals from UTEP.

Loretta Lopez

Teaching Artist

Born and raised in El Paso, Loretta Lopez earned her BFA, in Fine Arts and Illustration from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY. She has published thirteen illustrated picture books, one of which she also authored. Her illustration clients include Scholastic, Harcourt Brace, McGraw-Hill. MacMillian, Lee & Low Books, Albert Whitman, and Penguin Books. Her toy/package design clients include Mattel, Remco, and Disney Stores. She taught art courses in the Associates Program at Pratt Manhattan, and more recently at The Las Cruces Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of Art. Her Book “The Birthday Swap,” about her childhood in El Paso, was a RIF Multicultural Honors book at the Library of Congress in 2012. She loves sharing her passion for art by teaching children and adults drawing/painting in various media including, pencil, pastel, oil, acrylic, and water media; but, watercolors are her favorite.

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.

Let's Talk

What have you always wanted to ask the museum?