Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Milagro Art Institute program shows at the Alameda Gallery in San Antonio Nov. 2-30

KINGSVILLE - October 20, 2006

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Milagro Art

Artwork designed by high school students in Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s 2005 Milagro Art Institute will be shown at The Alameda Gallery in San Antonio from Nov. 2-30.

The Milagro Art Institute was a summer residency program sponsored by the university’s art department, in which a select group of Texas high school students interested in a career in art resided on the A&M-Kingsville campus for a week. During that time, they designed pieces alongside the university’s art faculty members Santa Barraza, professor of art; Darin Forehand, assistant professor of art; their assistants; and a guest artist.

In 2005, the guest artist was David Avalos, professor of visual arts at California State University-San Marcos, whose works have been featured internationally. He devised the theme of “Acuerdate” (Remembrance) for the students to express themselves digitally. Each student took a story of survival from an elder family member and created their own personal interpretation of it using text, original designs and comparative photos, past and present, of the relative and the artist. 

The art of all the students was designed using some of the latest graphics technology, such as G4 and G5 Apple computers and an Epson plotter to print the images with help from art department co-chair and associate professor Todd Lucas, and graduate students Ian Ray Scott and Miguel Villegas.             

The Alameda in San Antonio classifies itself as the National Center for Latino Arts & Culture, and includes gallery space and a performing arts center. Organized under the formal heading of Centro Alameda Inc., it is the only organization in the United States that holds formal affiliation agreements with both the Smithsonian Institution and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.   

Avalos will be present at the Nov. 2 premiere reception, running from 6-8 p.m.

Twelve students made up the 2005 Milagro Art Institute. One of them was Adriana Perez, a junior art major at A&M-Kingsville. For Perez, the Milagro Art Institute was a deeply inspirational experience that went beyond the art that was designed. “From that first time we all sat together with David Avalos and shared our stories, I knew this was something special. I ended up getting along with everyone. They were all people like me, in love with art,” said Perez.

The subject of Perez’s piece was her aunt, Sandra Vasquez, who she said was like a mother to her. “When my family saw the work I and everyone produced at the Institute, they started supporting me more than they ever had,” said Perez.

The Milagro Art Institute works will be showing as part of a Day of the Dead exhibit at The Alameda. Also on display Nov. 2 will be a sand painting honoring the holiday, made by A&M-Kingsville freshman art student Eloy Sosa and Barraza. Barraza also will speak that evening from 8-9:30 p.m. at the Koehler Auditorium, within The Alameda complex, on her art career and her experience as founder, developer and director of the Milagro Art Institute.

She said that she had the privilege of contacting the Milagro students and hearing their enthusiasm about the San Antonio show and seeing Avalos again. Forehand, one of the institute’s organizers, shared Barraza’s high praise of the students. “These kids generated so much work—and they were high school students. To see the impact of the program is what makes it all worthwhile. They feel like celebrities right now—and they are.”

More information on the show is available at (210) 299 – 4300

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