This has been a rare adventure over the last six years to publish The Art Avenue magazine, the only art and culture magazine in the border and establish The Art Avenue Gallery, a contemporary art gallery nestled in a burgeoning arts hamlet downtown showcasing artists from around the Borderplex.
As rare as the adventure was, the time has come to end this avenue and pursue another. The magazine (established in 2013) and gallery (2015) were created in an effort to promote artists and share in the art and cultural projects and issues throughout the region. It has been a privilege exhibiting works from hundreds of artists working in paintings, prints, sculptures, digital photography, poetry and jewelry, always with a focus on proving insight into the diverse cultural landscape that is the Borderland. Surrounded by local artists’ studios, The Art Avenue Gallery also served as a gathering place for neighborhood creatives and makers, hosting coordinated artist workshops and art camps for children to effectively break down the wall between the public and local artists.
The online publication, The Art Avenue will shut down later this year and the gallery will close at the end of the month with a sale of beautiful works from local artists, however I will continue to support the local art scene by cultivating private art collections and showcasing works though the windows in The Mills building in Downtown El Paso. I am continually amazed at the exceptional talents within our region and how oftentimes they go unnoticed. I hope I was able to etch away at the ideology that only great art works exist in metropolitan cities like Santa Fe and New York.
Impacting the art community was a vision supported by the tireless efforts of one of my closest friends and Creative Director, Jorge Calleja. His graphic design skills elevated the publication and gallery pushing an edgy contemporary style, showing color and design that was fresh and forward in the community. For this I am most grateful for the tireless hours he invested. I would also like to thank the many interns who supported The Art Avenue and have gone on to jobs in Germany, Dallas, New York and are prospering in the Borderplex making their own personal stamp in the art world.
An archive of our past posts and publications can be accessed via our archive page.
Artists and art admirers recently gathered at The Art Avenue Gallery for a night of fundraising for breast cancer awareness benefitting Susan G. Komen El Paso. More than 30 artists participated in the 2nd Annual Art for the Cure where various mediums of art were displayed from some of the areas most notable artist and a handful of new and upcoming artists.
Guests enjoyed works by Gaspar Enriquez, Suzi Davidoff, Jason Lucero, Ginny Fischer, Hope Gerlay, Steve Hastings, Juan Ornelas, Rhonda Dore, Pat Olchefski Winston, Crisleda Lopez, Patrick Galbadon, Miren De Leon, Carlos Estrada Vega and Alejandro Lomeli. One guest who attended the event and purchased an original acrylic piece from Pancho Saenz said she was impressed by the variety. “I was amazed at the large variety of beautiful pieces. I had no idea there would be so many pieces to choose from. It was incredible,” said Raquel Finn.
Guests were treated to the jazz music duo of Daniel Rivera and Manny Lopez, food by The Green Ingredient, desserts by Bake Me Happy and drinks by Barfly and Moms Fresh Juice. Proceeds from the nights event benefit Susan G. Komen El Paso who has donated over $4.6 million dollars into the community for breast cancer awareness. “It’s such a blessing to see the artists unite and support a noteworthy cause,” said Susan G. Komen El Paso board President, Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek and gallery owner.
If you would like to donate or have questions please contact Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek at (915) 213.4318 or Brenda Maxon at (915)533-4433
Local high school seniors took over The Art Avenue Gallery in April, curating their own show and exhibiting over fifty pieces of artwork in several mediums from painting, drawing, design, sculpture and printmaking.
It was a elbow to elbow with family, friends and art lovers alike in support of the six Coronado students in the Baccalaureate Art Program making their debut into the art world.It’s All About the Journey was on display for three days at The Art Avenue Gallery, a contemporary gallery in downtown El Paso.
“This is the first time I’ve invited a group of students into my gallery and allowed them to take over. I was a bit apprehensive at first but they were open to ideas and experienced alternative options to exhibit their artwork and eventually curated their own show,” said Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek, gallery owner. “I was impressed with their ability not just as artists, but how well they worked together.” And the experience the exhibit provided the students was impressive.“I think it was an authentic experience for the students to see what it’s like to be a real artist and show in public rather than in a school setting,” said professor Terry Wright, for the International Baccalaureate Art Program.
Senior Anthony Adame, with the help of local sculptor Julio Sanchez De Alba, was able to work on some last minute adjustments in his life-sized piece created entirely of tape. “The form was falling down. It didn’t have enough support because I didn’t use durable tape,” said Adame.
“Sanchez De Alba’s studio is next to my gallery and I invited him to view the works. He was immediately drawn to the two sculpted pieces, and noticed one piece was struggling to remain in an upright position,” said Vanecek.
“I want to find out how we can make this sculpture remain verticle,” said Sanchez de Alba. Sanchez De Alba showed Adame how to support the piece with wire and additional tape.
Wright said the IB program has a set curriculum that is composed of three parts— a comparative study of three artists, a sketchbook/research book and lastly the exhibit of studio pieces. Each student was required to create 5-11 pieces of original artwork and was encouraged to explore a variety of topics in their work. “They pick most of their own assignments depending on what they are researching in their sketchbooks. Some pieces of their art are influenced by the artists that they wrote about in their comparative study of three artists,” said Wright.
Jacqueline Bradley has been in the art program for three years and says her exhibition of watercolors, printmaking and drawings took here through many emotional moments, especially after the loss of her father. “The images here on the left are my earlier pieces and depict a childlike quality of happiness. Losing my dad was hard.My favorite piece is an orange colored print of two hands together with a scripture from Psalm 18:2 ‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.’The image is of my hand in my dad’s,” said Bradley.
“Having their own show gives the students ownership and helps them to feel proud about their work. Having parents and peers come to the show helps them too,” said Wright.When asked how the name for the exhibition came to fruition Wright easily replied, ”The name of the show came from my line I always say to them ‘It’s all about the journey’ in contrast to the Advanced Placement class that I also teach which is ‘It’s all about the end product.’”
On Wednesday April 6th, The Art Avenue Gallery hosted the works Coronado High School senior art students. In celebration of their work The Art Avenue Gallery, located on 1618 Texas Avenue Suite E., featured All About the Journey, an exhibition curated by the students in collaboration with The Art Avenue Gallery. Attendees had the opportunity to experience the student’s work through their high school years.
Click on the image below to see the photos of this wonderful evening.
Make sure you also visit our Facebook page for the latest events.
El Paso Artist Rhonda Doré often props a blank canvas against a set of drawers near her easel.
As she works on one piece of art, applying layer after layer, she’ll dash streaks of paint onto the blank canvas below.
“I hate a white canvas,” Doré said. “The first thing I do is just cover it with something—anything. I mean, I’ll grab any random color, just to cover that white—it’s so accusatory.”
For Doré, the blank white page is like a mystery—daunting to behold, yet full of potential. It’s not until she begins covering the canvas that she begins uncovering the mystery of what the work could someday become.
“It’s like stepping into the void, every single time,” Doré said of creating abstract art. “Sometimes things come to you while you’re working, and you don’t even know where they came from. It’s amazing to watch the unfolding of it.”
Doré’s work is slated for an exhibit March 11 at Art Avenue Gallery, 1618 Texas St. Suite E. Titled Above & Below, the exhibit features artworks from two of Doré´s recent series: The Archaeology of Memory and Where Things Bloom.
Doré’s abstract paintings, built in layers, rich in color and texture, often contain hints to hidden mysteries—stories that tell of the passage of time and of “the small, meaningful occurrences in our lives,” according to her artist’s statement.
Doré is vice president and group creative director at Sanders/Wingo, an El Paso advertising agency.
About 15 years ago, one of Doré’s clients invited her to a continuing education art class at UTEP.
“The first day, they gave us the primary colors on a paper plate, and I mixed mud,” she said. “I mean, everything was just brown. I had no clue what to do.”
But Doré stuck with it. Eventually, she discovered she had a fondness—and a talent—for abstract painting. She began exploring art theory, listening to podcasts about artists and searching for methods she could adapt into her work. Despite her full-time position at the advertising agency, she carved out time to paint. And her desire to master the craft fed into her passion for it.
“The more that you do of anything, the better you become,” Doré said. “And there’s a reason for that. You learn things other people can’t teach you. If you want to draw a picture of a bird, you better draw 50 pictures of a bird. And pretty soon, you’re going to go, ‘Look, I can draw a picture of a bird.’”
Las Cruces resident Ron Fritsch, who retired in December from Sanders/Wingo, said he’s followed Doré’s work and process for about a decade.
“She’s had tremendous growth in her work,” said Fritsch, who’s also an artist. “It has a spontaneous look to it. It’s very carefree, but, at the same time, precise.”
Doré’s works contain scraps of paper surrounded by layers of textured paint. She collects these papers from places so wide and varied as to defy categorization: garage sales, alleyways, junk stores, foreign countries and more.
“Everybody has papers attached to their lives,” Doré said. “They help tell your story. Whether you like it or not, you’ve got a birth certificate, you have a driver’s license, a courthouse record. Everybody has something…And, to me, those kinds of papers are the fascinating ones.”
Part of that fascination stems from each paper’s mysterious history, Doré said. For example, she once bought a box of papers that belonged to a Kansas farmer named Harold Nelson. She included one of Nelson’s old checks in a painting that would later be exhibited at the El Paso Museum of Art.
“As I worked on the painting, I found myself thinking about Mr. Nelson every once in a while,” Doré said. “I wondered, ‘What was he like? Who was he?’”
She later did some detective work and found an online listing for Nelson’s headstone in a church graveyard.
Before presenting the piece, Doré made a press release, and, on a whim, sent it to newspapers near the Kansas town where Nelson had lived. She hoped to find someone who knew him—someone who might find it interesting that one of Nelson’s old checks “would be hanging on the wall of a museum.”
To Doré’s delight, an editor rang her on the phone.
“He said, ‘Harold Nelson was my very best friend,’” she recalled.
Doré and the editor had a long chat. She learned that after Nelson died, his adopted children organized an estate sale. The newspaper editor attended the sale. He tried to buy as many of Nelson’s personal items as possible, so as to keep them from scattering, but he evidently “missed this box,” as Doré put it.
Before hanging up, Doré agreed to send the box of papers to the editor. In return, the editor sent her a photograph of Nelson.
“For me, it was proof that every little thing has a story,” Doré said. “You may not know the story, but it’s got one. And that’s a wonderful mystery to explore.”
On Thursday March 10, 2016, The Art Avenue Gallery was proud to host the works of artist Rhonda Doré. Attendees had the opportunity to experience the exhibition entitled Above and Below, at The Art Avenue Gallery, located on 1618 Texas Avenue Suite E. The exhibit featured artworks from two of Dore´s recent series: The Archaeology of Memory and Where Things Bloom.
Click on the image below to see the photos of this magnificent evening.
Make sure you also visit our Facebook page for the latest events.
On Thursday,September 24, The Art Avenue Gallery hosted Art for the Cure. An art auctin in benefit of breast cancer awareness in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen El Paso Affiliate. The evening was filled with great work by artists such asTom Lea, Rachelle Thiewes, Margarita Cabrera, Hal Marcus, Rhonda Doré, Tino Ortega, Brian Wancho, Mata Oritz, Erin Galvez, Jason Lucero, Michael Garcia, Julio Sanchez De Alba, Diego Martinez, Sammy O, Juan Ornelas, Jorge Calleja, Daniella Pablos, Mike Ojinaga, Reggie Watterson, Pancho Saenz, Lula Squid, Jim Turrentine and Ginny Fisher.
The event was accompanied by live music by The Golden Groove, catering from Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café, Skinny Girl Wine and desserts from Bake Me Happy. Miss El Paso’s Outstanding Teen Haley Olivares and Miss El Paso Texas Latina Ana Avila attended as ambassadors to the arts, and Mattress Firm presented the charity with a $15,000 check. The Art Avenue Gallery also presented the Eastlake High School Art Club with a check from a fundraiser held at the gallery earlier this year.
Video courtesy of Valentin Sandoval.
Click on the image below to view the photo gallery of this event. Photos by Victoria Molinar
The borderland has proved a worthy muse for many artists seeking inspiration from its peaks and valleys. “The mountains have taught me about line and depth. The desert landscape and its connection with the sky have taught me about space and relationships with color,” says Jason Lucero, a borderland printmaker showcasing at the Art Avenue Gallery this month. Printmaking, more than just paint on a canvas, allows for the artist to make a piece of art through the use of different structured, shaped, and textured objects flowing through a printing press layer after layer. Due to this process, the finished product cannot be duplicated—A literal one-of-a-kind creation.
Lucero’s exhibit, Various Interpretations of Human Interaction, contains 13 monotype prints. Working intuitively, drawing from within and letting the creativity flow outward rather than using rendered objects or visual guides, is important in Lucero’s artistic process. Using his passion as a therapeutic outlet, printmaking has allowed him to bring light and understanding to some dark times in his life. “Even though I am now content, I tend to channel the sad and painful memories when I work, because, as cliché as it may sound, it is therapy,” shares Lucero. “I become a few grams lighter when I go to these dark places and transform them into color. From different work experiences, the loss of dear loved ones, and the birth of his son, Lucero says, “I have a large memory inventory, both shallow and deep, in order to keep my art interesting.”
For Lucero, a great satisfaction comes from knowing he started with just a couple of friends in a grassroots artistic movement in downtown El Paso. “You have to remember this was before there were any galleries downtown; we would just walk into small places and ask ‘hey can we show some art here?’ All we wanted was to share our artwork with the city.”
While he has always had a passion for the creative arts, Lucero shared that it did not come naturally for him, which, he says, is a common misconception about artists. “Most artists aren’t born with any artistic talent, you have to practice the same strokes and lines over and over and dedicate yourself.” Lucero’s passion is art by monotype printmaking, although he is also an experienced abstract painter and sketch artist specializing in the human form. To all who will view his pieces, Lucero stresses that in order to truly appreciate them, one must realize there is a reason why they put the word ‘work’ at the end of art, “I’ve always been a businessman by day and an artist by night.” Odd jobs all over the map from janitorial services and washing dishes to working as a broker and in the transportation industry have all given Lucero opportunities to create relationships that he finds valuable to his artwork. “If you don’t take pride in your work, whatever it might be, sweeping, dishwashing, cooking, painting, or driving a rig, you will never be happy at your job and the other parts of your life will suffer,” says Lucero. He also explains that unlike in other genres of art, “More than 70% of the time my print is a failure, but I always remember these mistakes create a foundation for my success,” says Lucero.
Lucero credits his family, his friends and fellow members ofMaintain (a creative coalition) the many mentors he encountered while earning his BFA in Studio Art from UTEP, and the city of El Paso for helping him realize his strengths to become a well rounded artist. “Everything about this city and its location has had an effect on me. The people of El Paso, are kind, courteous, and giving, which has taught me how to do the same.” Of his exhibition Lucero says, “My vision for this exhibition is to share a series of prints, which made me very excited about the process of printmaking, with an audience that may not be too familiar with the process. I hope that, even if people do not entirely understand what is going on in a piece, they examine it long enough to find something about it that relates to their own experience.”
Various Interpretations of Human Interaction Jason Lucero On Display August 20–September 20 The Art Avenue Gallery 1618 Texas Ave, Suite E
The season of giving kicks off with an evening of regional art to benefit local breast cancer charity
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 at 6 p.m.
El Paso, TX—Borderland artists are coming together this fall to donate their work for a night of fun and fundraising for the local Susan G. Komen El Paso affiliate. Art for the Cure, held on Sept. 24 at The Art Avenue Gallery, features a range of artwork from paintings and pottery to jewelry and bronze sculptures.
The event, which features innovative works from some of the region’s most buzzworthy artists, kicks off with a silent auction at 6 p.m., accompanied by live music, catering from Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café, Skinny Girl Wine and desserts from Bake Me Happy. Miss El Paso’s Outstanding Teen Haley Olivares and Miss El Paso Texas Latina Ana Avila will be in attendance as ambassadors to the arts, and Mattress Firm owner Dan Longoria will present the charity with a $15,000 check.
Organizers hope to spin the event into an annual affair, with proceeds benefiting the Susan G. Komen El Paso affiliate. According to SGKEP, the organization has allotted $4.4 million to the local community over the last decade.
Some of the artists featured include Rachelle Thiewes, Margarita Cabrera, Hal Marcus, Tino Ortega, Brian Wancho, Erin Galvez, Michael Garcia, Julio Sanchez de Alba, Diego Martinez, Sammy Lopez, Mark Paulda, Juan Ornelas, Laura Pablos, Jorge Calleja, Mike Ojinaga, Reggie Waterson, Lula Squid and Jim Turrentine. The event is sponsored by Skinny Girl Wine, Joe Vinny & Bronson’s Bohemian Café, Mom’s Fresh Juice, The Art Avenue Magazine and The Art Avenue Gallery.
“I decided to create the event to do something different in terms of fundraising and to help keep things local,” said Komen board member, Kimberly Rene’ Vanecek, who also owns The Art Avenue Gallery. “So often we see national organizations benefit instead of the local chapters, so this is an important organization that gives back locally.”
“Our local and surrounding communities are fortunate to have such talented artists in ourarea and to Ms. Vanecek for providing this forum. We could not be more proud to have such an array of artists come together to support an event of this caliber,” – Raquel Markland, Susan G. Komen El Paso board president.
Event Details: Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015 Time: 6 p.m. Where: The Art Avenue Gallery 1618 Texas Ave. Suite E Cost: $25
Tickets can be purchased at theartave.com, by calling 915.213.4318, or at the door.
The Art Avenue Magazine invites all jewelry designers to submit work for our upcoming September/October issue.
The Art Avenue Magazine is a local art and culture publication that challenges what has become the routine, the norm, and the traditional within arts, culture, and urbanism around the border region. The Art Avenue Magazine presents an innovative approach to architecture, design, performing and visual arts, and cultural issues.
We are accepting entries from June 11 to August 7 Entry Deadline: Friday, August 7, 2015 Exhibition date will be announced on Monday, August 10.
Artist’s work will be judged by a panel for the opportunity to be featured in the September/October issue of The Art Avenue Magazine. Winning artist will have a feature section in the September/October issue of The Art Avenue Magazine along with a feature exhibition at The Art Avenue Gallery to showcase their work.
Requirements: Submission of 5 piece images for consideration. Call restricted to jewelry design. $20, non-refundable entry fee per submission.
Artists must submit 5 images of their work and an artist statement. Only work created within the last year and this year will be considered. Images should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Name of artist Name of the images Description of the work A short artist statement (200 words) Contact information.
Images should be .jpg at 300dpi and max size of 1200px on the longest side.
Fee must be paid in full in order for applications to be accepted at The Art Avenue Gallery located at 1618 Texas Ave. Suite E. We accept cash, credit card and checks. You can pay the entry fee online below. For any questions please email us at email@example.com with subject “Call inquires.”