Experience The El Paso Art Scene
El Paso has a lively art scene, following a rich history of artists and exhibitors in the city. There are plenty of galleries; from the Airport Gallery to caricatures at the Rock House Café and Gallery, where you can visit local art and international exhibitions too. There are also Street Art Markets where local artwork is exhibited in the street, bring art to everyone. Here are some galleries that are worth visiting when you’re visiting El Paso.
El Paso Museum of Art
El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) was founded in 1959 to become one of the most acclaimed and influential cultural establishments in the areas of West Texas and New Mexico. Located a few steps away from San Jacinto Plaza, dominated by Los Lagartos, a fibreglass statue of two alligators, the museum houses a vast permanent collection comprising the renowned Kress collection, the Spanish Viceroyal, the American and the works on paper collections. The contemporary collection encompasses some of the best new art from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico, with works displayed as part of the permanent collection and showcased during the many temporary exhibitions. Among the gems presented at EPMA are works by local painter Carmen Lomas Garza, Color Field artist Sam Gilliam, sculptures by Texas-based James Surls, and assemblage works by Al Souza, demonstrating a wide spectrum of media and styles.
El Paso Museum of Art, 1 Arts Festival Plz, El Paso, TX, USA, +1 915 532 1707
Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts
Housed by the University of Texas at El Paso since its opening in 2004, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts is committed to bringing the most innovative trends in artistic practice to the region. Serving as a creative laboratory for art students and local emerging artists, the Rubin aims at creating a space where internationally recognised, cutting-edge art meets the inventiveness of home practitioners. Among the ongoing series of regular exhibitions, workshops, site-specific installations, and Biennial Faculty Exhibitions, a highlight is the current retrospective on jeweller and metal artist Rachelle Thiewes, Rachelle Thiewes: Something Gleams. Thiewes, in addition to being a professor at the university, is also an acclaimed sculptor with works displayed in Washington D.C., Scotland, New York and Chicago, among others.
The Glass Gallery
Also lodged at the University of Texas at El Paso, this time at the Fox Fine Arts Center, the Glass Gallery focuses exclusively on the artworks of the up-and-coming talents from the UTEP Department of Art. Run under the supervision of the Rubin Center’s staff, this student-led gallery has been showcasing artistic research on a range of different media for over 20 years. With an ambitious programme of around 15 exhibitions every year, both solo and collective, the gallery displays the newest explorations and reflections driving artistic practice in the area’s arts hub.
International Museum of Art
Together with the African and Western galleries, the Kolliker and the Mexican Revolution galleries, the Red Room Gallery makes up the permanent collection at the International Museum of Art of El Paso. The Red Room is devoted to contemporary local art and presents a selection of paintings and drawings by top artists from El Paso and the Southwest. Occupying the lower floor of the museum with a showcase of diverse artistic media and themes, the gallery is a great place to start your exploration of local art. Among the artists to see here are muralist Ernesto Martinez and beloved local mixed media artist Lawrence Benjamin Porter.
International Museum of Art, 1211 Montana Ave, El Paso, TX, USA, +1 915 543 6747