Museum Exhibits

Becky Hendrick: Invoking Light

July 21, 2022 - December 4, 2022

Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery This exhibition pairs two paintings by artist Becky Hendrick. Though not created intentionally as a duo, the works answer each other and evoke contemplation. In both works, Hendrick employs black panels to symbolize Heaven and Earth, alluding to the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text. Aside from focusing on themes of the spiritual and tangible, both paintings play on perspectives and a call to action.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the Mellon Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

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Sam Reveles: Solastalgia

August 25, 2022 - December 9, 2022

Rubin Gallery Thursday, August 25 - Friday, December 9, 2022 Opening Reception Thursday, August 25 | 5 - 7:30pm Artist Talk Tuesday, August 30 | Noon

In more than 20 new paintings and works on paper, El Paso-born artist Sam Reveles uses densely layered strips of color and delicately networked lines to explore human perception—and profound melancholy—about the natural world and its changing conditions.

A series of four large canvases produced for the exhibition chart the artist’s affective experience of visiting the Gullfoss Falls in southwest Iceland. These “Golden Falls,” formed by water from the melting Langjökull glacier, create a dramatic spectacle in the Hvitá river canyon. There, water falls more than 100 feet in two stages, carving a deep canyon into the landscape. The site was at the epicenter of an international debate in the early 20th century: in 1907, an Englishman attempted to develop a hydroelectric plant fueled by the water’s power. A local sheep farmer, Tómas Tómasson, refused to sell his land to the businessman; his daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir led a 20-year legal battle to protect the land from development. The first three paintings in Reveles’s Gullfoss series take yellow, blue, and red, respectively, as their central color palette, following dynamic lines that suggest the majestic power of their namesake. The fourth painting in the series is marked by thick strokes of overlapping and slightly translucent colors: peach, yellow, salmon, azure, crimson, a verdant green. Guiding the composition from the corners and edges of the canvas, densely gridded pencil lines undulate and flow into one another, suggestively evoking the many moods of water.

Reveles’s drawings also look to human and animal referents. Using bodily contours, he traces out gently rounded patterns and creates measuring devices that then offer the structure for each composition. His color choices are also important: he often selects colors which reference elements of the natural world. Other colors look to the natural dyes and pigments from Indigenous traditions of the Americas, before the European invasion. The subtlety of the human presence in these works is also about perception: he describes a “primal relationship between ourselves and what is ‘out there’ in our universe.” Negative spaces between his lines hint at the “nothingness” that is also at the heart of the universe, nodding to the ways in which what we cannot see is also deeply significant in how we perceive the cosmos.

“Solastalgia,” a term coined by environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht, is an “earth emotion,” a melancholic feeling evoked by changes to the land of one’s home. As climate change continues to intensify extreme events such as drought, rising sea levels, and devastating storms, the landscapes we come from continue to be irrevocably changed, even lost. This feeling of environmental distress and disorientation is a particularly poignant feeling to associate with Reveles’s return to El Paso. Solastalgia is the first solo museum show of Reveles’s work in his hometown since 2002.

Sam Reveles was born in El Paso and graduated from the Art Department at UTEP before completing his MFA in Painting at Yale University. He currently lives and works in Ireland and in El Paso. Solastalgia was made with support from Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TX.

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(RE)CONTEXT: Artists Reconstructing Words

August 25, 2022 - December 9, 2022

(RE)CONTEXT brings together ten contemporary artists who integrate words and text into their artistic practice. Through diverse media, words are recontextualized and reappropriated, creating a visual narrative that challenges the relationships between art, objects, advertising, media, and history. Seen together, these works form a dialogue that address themes such as identity, immigration, and popular culture, creating a message that is socially and politically relevant.

Works by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas feature lenticular optical-illusion text where depending on where the viewer stands – or their point of view – the message and the meaning changes, blurring lines and creating multiple interpretations. In this series, Thomas states he uses “Text as pendulums where, what they mean, what they’re saying can switch right before our eyes.”

In two commissions for this exhibition, Mexico City-based rotulista Alina Kiliwa paints large-scale signage on canvas for the Rubin Center Atrium. Here, Kiliwa brings the colorful, and bold signs, messages, and wordplay found in the streets - indoors. Currently, in Mexico City these iconic hand-painted signs are being whitewashed and erased, with government officials stating “No es Arte.” Yet these artistic expressions and announcements have played a part of the social identity, street landscapes, and popular culture of Mexico for generations. Kiliwa’s hand painted signs are an act of resistance and protest.

(RE)CONTEXT features: Diagonal Press, Jeffrey Gibson, Alina Kiliwa, Kennedy Prints, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Patrick Martinez, Gabriella Sanchez, Felandus Thames, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jose Villalobos. The exhibition was curated by Rubin Center Community Curator, Ramon Cardenas.

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Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories

November 10, 2022 - January 7, 2023

Beginning in the 1870s, the US government attempted to educate and assimilate American Indians into “civilized” society by placing children—of all ages, from thousands of homes and hundreds of diverse tribes—in distant, residential boarding schools. Many were forcibly taken from their families and communities and stripped of all signs of “Indianness,” even forbidden to speak their own language amongst themselves. Up until the 1930s, students were trained for domestic work and trade in a highly regimented environment. Many children went years without familial contact, and these events had a lasting, generational impact. “Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories” explores off-reservation boarding schools in a kaleidoscope of voices.

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Homage to Dante: Salvador Dalí’s Illustrations for the Divine Comedy

September 22, 2022 - January 15, 2023

Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery Throughout his prolific career, Salvador Dalí was the illustrator of more than 100 books. Among the most celebrated of his book illustrations is his portfolio for Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy. Dalí’s illustrations capture Dante’s narrative of his journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory, and Paradise. Dalí’s illustrations are faithful to the poetic description taking audiences on a visual journey alongside Dante and other characters such as Virgil and Beatrice.

Homage to Dante: Salvador Dalí’s Illustrations for The Divine Comedy was organized by Carole Sorell, Inc. and curated by David S. Rubin.

The exhibition is presented with generous support from The Park West Foundation, founders Albert and Mitsie Scaglione, and director Diane Pandolfi.

Additional support is provided by the Mellon Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, El Paso Museum of Art Foundation and the El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

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Gods for Future Religions

September 22, 2022 - January 15, 2023

Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery Gods for Future Religions highlights the prolific career of local El Paso artist, Ho Baron. For more than fifty years, Baron has created surreal narratives in bronze and cast stone sculptures, pen and ink drawings, photographs, and assemblages. Working intuitively, he creates motifs that reflect his unique and personal style of anthropomorphic figures.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the Mellon Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

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Hubble: The Space Telescope

October 1, 2022 - January 28, 2023

The Hubble Traveling Exhibit is a 2,200-square-foot exhibit that immerses visitors in the magnificence and mystery of the Hubble mission and introduces the James Webb Space Telescope. The exhibit features a scale model of the Hubble Space Telescope as well as several “satellite” units that not only provide viewers with a hands-on experience with the same technology that allows Hubble to gaze at distant galaxies, but also feature Hubble’s contributions to the exploration of planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. Exhibit viewers will learn of the various instruments aboard the telescope and the role that each of them plays in providing exciting new images and discoveries. Observers will also get a glimpse into the various hurdles that Hubble has faced in its career and the role that astronauts have played in repairing and servicing the satellite. The exhibit contains images and data taken by Hubble of planets, galaxies, regions around black holes and many other fascinating cosmic entities that have captivated the minds of scientists for centuries. Experience the life and history of the Hubble Space Telescope through this interactive and stunning exhibit!

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Chicano Power! A Force For Change & Progress In El Paso

August 6, 2022 - January 28, 2023

1st Floor, Gallery B

This exhibition focuses on the rise of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in El Paso, Texas. From anti-discrimination activism encompassing farmworkers and labor rights, to anti-war movements wrapped in cultura, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in El Paso, Texas is the story of how youth along with neighborhood mentors and families fought to transform social and systemic inequities into improved conditions. “Chicano Power!” retraces collective and individual memories rooted in El Paso but also reinforced in acts of solidarity with other Chicano and global communities who fought for the equity all.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Pasos Ajenos

August 13, 2022 - March 4, 2023

Pasos Ajenos:  Social Justic and Inequalities in the Borderlands is an exhibition conceived to educate museum visitors about controversial social topics as a healing process toward understanding. This interactive exhibition invites visitors to play, learn, and explore ideas that are often abstract, in a tangible and creative way. By engaging multiple sense, visitors can bring social issues to life and leave with new understandings about history, race, gender, power, labor, segregation, immigration, and environmental justice. Pasos Ajenos is a contemporaneous display that tells the story of disempowered and dispossessed populations along the Boderlands during critical historic times. As a whole narrative, the exhibition aims to transform traditional museum spaces into locations of communal learning toward healing, empowerment, and inspiration.

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October 20, 2022 - March 12, 2023

Dede Rogers Gallery illuminated brings together paintings, silkscreens, floating Mylar, Plexiglas silhouettes, colored light, and a projected video all with incorporated quadrasonic sound. Multi-media artist Isadora Stowe’s immersive art invites audiences to engage with how realities are constructed and how meanings designated. Focusing on the construction of self and the illumination of narratives, Stowe explores the relationships between borders, real or imagined, and the reconstruction of memory. Through light, shadow, color, and sound, Stowe’s unique installation embraces the senses to create a visual journey. The interactive experience invites viewers to finds themselves by creating their own connections, questions, and shared meaning.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the Mellon Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, and the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

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Neighborhoods And Shared Memories: Manhattan Heights

March 17, 2022 - March 18, 2023

2nd Floor, Neighborhoods Gallery

This exhibit looks at the historic neighborhood of Manhattan Heights, located in Central El Paso between Alabama Street and Memorial Park. Our installation highlights the development of the Manhattan Heights community through Crockett Elementary School, St. Albans Episcopal Church, Memorial Park, and more.

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Changing Pass: People, Land & Memory

December 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024

1st Floor, Permanent Exhibition Gallery

The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Changing Pass: People, Land & Memory” immediately greets visitors who walk through the door, inviting them to explore and reconsider what the borderlands are all about. Now covering more than 1,000 years of El Paso del Norte region history, Changing Pass begins with early Indigenous settlers and concludes with World War II and the Bracero Program in the 20th century.

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