Museum Exhibits

The El Paso Museum of Art: 60 Years of Collecting

September 27, 2019 - March 8, 2020

El Paso Museum of Art

It has been sixty years since the founding of the El Paso Museum of Art, and two decades since the museum moved into its downtown building. Now, for the first time, EPMA presents an exhibition about its history. Through artworks representing significant moments for the El Paso Museum of Art, 60 Years of Collecting shares stories of a museum that has grown through the generosity of families and individuals in the region. Highlights of the exhibition include paintings, sculptures, and prints from across EPMA’s significant holdings, and accounts by people key to the museum’s success. 60 Years of Collecting reflects the history of the El Paso Museum of Art, and of El Paso.

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Gifts and Prayers: The Romanovs and thir Subjects

September 28, 2019 - March 8, 2020

El Paso Museum of History

Appearing for the first time in the American Southwest, Gifts and Prayers displays a collection of objects from the Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, Georgia) including rare historical artifacts and sacred art from across centuries of the imperial family’s rule (CE 1613-1917). Diamond-encrusted swords, intricate military medals, gilded statuettes, ornate icons, and Fabergé-produced objects will adorn the museum, engaging the public in the lavish splendor of the Romanov era. Assembled by a single private collector, the collection has been virtually unknown for decades and has rarely been seen.

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Powerhouse of the Southwest: 120 Years of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce

October 11, 2019 - March 15, 2020

El Paso Museum of Hitory

Powerhouse of the Southwest: 120 Years of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce is part of EPMH’s exhibition series Wall of Giants, a multi-year project that has highlighted influential organizations within the El Paso region. The latest EPMH exhibit will focus on major milestones in the El Paso Chamber of Commerce’s history like its founding in 1900 and the Chamber’s role in establishing the star on the mountain. The exhibit will also draw attention to the Chamber’s role in local and national history, like the meeting between American President William Howard Taft and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz in 1909 that took place inside the Chamber.

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Leo Villareal: Early Light

September 27, 2019 - April 12, 2020

El Paso Museum of Art

Raised on both sides of the El Paso/Juárez border in the 1970s, artist Leo Villareal (b. 1967) is now known internationally for activating spaces with LED light. Recently, he gained acclaim for large-scale, site-specific, public endeavors: In 2013 Villareal inaugurated The Bay Lights, a now-permanent artwork of 25,000 LEDs illuminating a light pattern along a nearly two-mile expanse of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and in 2008 he “lit” an underground walkway at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Villareal’s first museum exhibition in his hometown examines his early work. Complementing his light “mural” Sky, 2010, installed in El Paso’s federal courthouse, the exhibition features two large-scale sculptures on loan from the Chaney Collection of Houston, TX. Lightscape, 2002, is a ten-foot “screen” programmed to bathe surrounding space and people in a sequence of changing hues. Here Comes the Sun, 2004, is from Villareal’s most-recognized series of wall-bound sculptures, taking the form of a spiral made of LEDs. Leo Villareal: Early Light elucidates the early practice of one of today’s best-known contemporary artists.

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The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art

April 10, 2020 - July 5, 2020

El Paso Museum of Art

This exhibition features over fifty works of contemporary art that intersect with the world’s most popular sport: fútbol, or soccer. The exhibition introduces fans of the Mesoamerican-rooted sport to contemporary art while bringing art-lovers to “the beautiful game,” as it is known by many. Originally presented at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, this exhibition features a range of contemporary art—from video to photography, from painting to sculpture—by more than thirty of the best-known artists of recent decades, including Taryn Simon, Melanie Smith, Hank Willis Thomas, Andy Warhol, and Kehinde Wiley, who was commissioned by Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for Former President Barack Obama’s portrait. Together the contemporary artworks in The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art suggest that soccer is timeless and universal, and able to build bridges across borders.

The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art is organized by Pérez Art Museum Miami and is curated by Director Franklin Sirmans with Assistant Curator Jennifer Inacio.

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Clandestino: A Project by Animales de Poder

April 24, 2020 - August 2, 2020

El Paso Museum of Art

This exhibition features a new project by Juárez-based collective Animales de Poder. Comprised of related artworks made in 2018 and 2019, the exhibition includes altered photographs and paintings of vehicles modified for urban narco warfare, sculptures fabricated with neon lights and bulletproof glass, a sonic installation produced from covert broadcast signals, and objects that speak to the history of contraband along the Juárez/El Paso border. Informed as much by research as surveillance, the artworks on view gesture toward Animales de Poder’s idea of “narcofuturism,” suggesting a current of the clandestine in Juárez extending from subterranean smuggling and fraternal organizations to, more recently, illicit nightlife and underground violence. With Clandestino, Animales de Poder evokes a past, present, and future of Juárez, and, more broadly, the effects on people of the physical, legal, and psychological barriers that emerge around national boundaries.

Part of the El Paso Museum of Art’s ongoing series examining the border through art, Clandestino: A Project by Animales de Poder is a follow-up to the 5th Transborder Biennial exhibition, from which Juárez-based Animales de Poder was selected for a solo presentation at the El Paso Museum of Art. The Transborder Biennial is a decade-long bi-national collaboration between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez. In 2018, the fifth edition featured artworks by thirty-two border-based artists and collectives living along the two-thousand mile border between the United States and Mexico. As a companion project, in 2018 EPMA organized a bi-national convening that brought together over one-hundred artists, academics, journalists, and art-lovers from across the country and the community to consider the next Transborder Biennial in 2020, and the future of arts programming on the border.

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Pasos Urbanos: A Photographc Narrative of Borderlands Downtown Culture

November 15, 2019 - April 12, 2020

El Paso Musuem of History

Pasos Urbanos is composed of selected images from local photographers over the age of 18 currently residing within 150 miles of Downtown El Paso, including Ciudad Juarez. Earlier in August, EPMH put out a call for photography asking applicants to capture the vibrant culture and new developments that make Downtown an exciting, dynamic space. The binational component is meant to strengthen the relationship between the two sister cities, celebrating a shared past, present, and future.

Close to 500 images were submitted epitomizing downtown culture. Of the 98 photographers who submitted their work, 38 will have their images featured in Pasos Urbanos with 53 photographs chosen. The photographs were selected by a panel of community art administrators and two notable photographers from El Paso and Juarez.

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Luces y Sombras: Images of Mexico

July 31, 2020 - November 1, 2020

El Paso Museum of Art

Capturing modern Mexico’s culture, architecture, and people through photographs, Luces y Sombras presents over one-hundred works dating from the 1930s to the present day. Portraits of artists such as Frida Kahlo—by acclaimed photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo—and photographs of indigenous cultures by Manuel Carrillo and Graciela Iturbide are presented alongside contemporary photographs exploring the body, identity, and place.

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