Celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month at UTEP are in full swing. The Special Collections Department of the UTEP Library is hosting an exhibit honoring some of the outstanding Mexican American writers and artists that are an integral part of UTEP’s history. The exhibit presents the distinguished artists through their work, featuring books, paintings, and pictures.One of the items showcased, the 1951 Texas Western College Yearbook, Flowsheet, is focused on the Spanish cultural achievements and additions to the Southwest. It outlines the influence “found on every side of our Southwest”; in architecture, food, people, and “countless other things affecting everyday life.” The yearbook is illustrated with original pencil sketches by Jose Cisneros, an iconic local artist.
These drawings were also the basis of a separate publication, The Spanish Heritage of the Southwest”. Text for this book was provided by the English Department’s Professor Francis Fugate. The book was the first publication for Texas Western Press and the type was set by students under the direction of Carl Hertzog.
Featured artists include Marta Arat, famous for her series of Sor Juana paintings, one of which graces the lobby wall of the Special Collections Department. Arat was active in “Juntos” organization, and a collection of her papers can be found in Special Collections.
Writers like Jose Antonio Burciaga whose exploration of Chicano identity garnered him an American Book Award. Burciaga was a successful muralist, poet, and performer. He wrote in Spanish and in English, relying on satire to comment on racism and discrimination. His themes were mainly political, challenging social norms.
Maria Almeida Natividad is an artist and educator. She has taught students of all ages to love and appreciate art and it’s reflection of the world around them. Her work is recognized nationally and she is considered to be one of the top Chicana artists for her award winning work. Until recently, Natividad held the position of Artist in Residence here at UTEP.
Ernesto Martinez, also at one time, Resident Artist in Chicano Studies at UTEP. This artist’s origins are humble and he taught himself his craft. Now, he is considered one of the nation’s leading Mexican-American artists.Benjamin Alire Saenz is a prolific, nationally acclaimed poet and novelist. His novels are also internationally published. He’s been the recipient of the American Book Award, the Lannan Literary Poetry Fellowship, and the Southwest Book Award for his poetry.
The opening reception for the exhibit was held on Friday, 09/26/2014, and included many distinguished guests and featured artwork from Jose Cisneros. Among the guests were Carmen Taverez, the current manager for Texas Western Press. Another distinguished guest was well known photographer Jose Andow.
News.utep.edu “El Grito” has been Part of UTEP History
Chicano Studies Artists in Residence, http://academics.utep.edu