Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Sculptor, Alumnus Hinojosa To Be Honored During Tejano History Week At A&M-Kingsville

KINGSVILLE - September 07, 2007

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Activity-filled week kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month

Sculptor and alumnus Armando Hinojosa will be honored by Texas A&M University-Kingsville next week as he receives the first Tejano Heritage Award. The award presentation will come at the conclusion of a week of activities on campus celebrating Tejano History Week and at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. The new award honors a university graduate or South Texan who has worked to promote the contributions of Tejano culture to the region, state and nation.

A graduate of Texas A&I University, Hinojosa’s legacy at his alma mater is creating the Leaders of the Pack sculpture on University Boulevard. Better known on campus as the “Javelina Statue,” the art piece features two javelinas wandering through brush and cactus. Another Hinojosa sculpture of a javelina also is featured in the lobby of the Javelina Engineering Complex.

He was recently commissioned to craft a monument for the State Capitol grounds in Austin commemorating the contributions of Tejanos to the state of Texas. He has created 18 monumental sculptures including Among Friends There Are No Borders, a rendition of a charro and cowboy at the Laredo International Airport.

“What better way to inaugurate our celebration of Tejano heritage at A&M-Kingsville than to honor the person who will design the premier statute to depict this heritage and its impact on our state,” said Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, university president.

Hinojosa said the Tejano monument on the Capitol grounds would ensure that “the contributions of Tejanos to the state of Texas are realized, documented and never forgotten.” In my drawings for the Tejano sculpture, my goal is to surround the viewer with history,” he said. “This total immersion approach will allow the viewer to experience a total physical response to the sculpture.”

Hinojosa is the son of the late Geronimo Hinojosa, a Mexican immigrant, and Amalia Garcia Hinojosa, a direct descendent of Laredo founder Don Tomas Sanchez. Born during World War II, he worked hard to pay for his own education, starting at a private boys’ Catholic school and graduating from A&I. He began painting when he was 13 and his father allowed him to paint signs for highway advertisements.

In addition to several presentations each day of Tejano History Week, an exhibit will be on display on the first floor of the Memorial Student Union Building all week. Each day of activities has a theme. Except where noted, all events are in room 219AB of the Memorial Student Union Building.

Monday, September 10 WHO ARE THE TEJANOS?

10 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies with remarks from Homero Vera, director of the Kenedy Museum. There will be the presentations and posting of colors.
10:15 a.m. – Dr. Manuel Flores, associate professor of communications and journalism will present Who are the Tejanos?
11 a.m. – Alice pharmacist and Tejano historian Lupe Martinez will present The Legacy of Jose Escandon, the Spanish explorer who helped settle most of South Texas in the 18th century. Martinez helped coordinate efforts to erect a statue honoring Escandon as The Founder of South Texas. The statue is located on the Northside of State Highway 44 near downtown Alice.


10 a.m. – Students from Falfurrias High School will make their award-winning presentation on the landmark Mexican-American civil rights case, Hernandez v. Texas.
11 a.m. – Dr. Manuel Flores will present Tejano Civil Rights Heroes.

Wednesday, September 12 GENEALOGY

10 a.m. – Homero Vera will present How to do Basic Genealogy Research: A Primer for Student Wishing to Find Out about their Ancestors.
11 a.m. – State Representative Juan Escobar of Kingsville will review the roots of the Tejano culture in his presentation The Roots of Tejanismo.
7:30 p.m. – Marcos Manuel Flores, assistant principal at Calallen Middle School, will present In Search of Cecilio Vela: How I Found Out What my Great-Great Grandfather did during the Civil War and other Interesting Times. This presentation of how one genealogy search turned up interesting facts for a South Texas family will be held in room 221B of the Memorial Student Union Building.


10 a.m. –Dr. Manuel Flores will present The Legacy of the South Texas Vaquero.
11 a.m. – Homero Vera will present The Story of the Kenedy Ranch. This presentation includes a film.
Noon – Herb Canales, director of libraries for the city of Corpus Christi will present Early Spanish Explorers in South Texas and the True Story of the Naming of Corpus Christi.
6 p.m. – The month-long Hispanic Heritage celebration will kick off in the courtyard of the Memorial Student Union Building.
7:30 p.m. – Marcos Manuel Flores will present the PBS documentary Los Vaqueros in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Union Building.


10 a.m. – Dr. Manuel Flores will present From General Galvez to General Sanchez: A Tradition of Service, Honor and Pride. Sanchez will be present at this presentation.
11 a.m. – The first Tejano Heritage Award will be presented to Armando Hinojosa. He will make a presentation about his works before Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez presents the award.
Noon – The closing ceremonies will be held with the presentation of colors by the Color Guard from the Javelina Battalion of the ROTC.

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