Category Archives: Arts

Curtain Call for Old Theater

Weslaco’s iconic concrete water tower rises above the original ground water storage building that now serves as a community theater. (VBR)

There was a time that the round, domed building with 12-inch-thick concrete walls stored much of Weslaco’s water supply. But for almost half a century, the historic structure has served as a community theater. Now, following a renovation with the help of the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation, the Tower Theater has a new lease on life. Constructed in 1928, the ground-level water storage facility was replaced in 1941 by the…

Read More

Selling the Love of Music

Matt Perez and his wife, Debra, operate Valley Keyboards in McAllen with a passion for music. (VBR)

A lifelong devotion to the love of music drives the success of a Rio Grande Valley business that has shared that passion for more than four decades. “Everything we do and continue to do flows from our love and passion for music and music education,” said Matt Perez, president and chief executive officer of Valley Keyboards of McAllen. His wife, Debra, manages the education department of the company, which is…

Read More

Artist Creates Business Niche

A photo of a heron and reflections in the water after being processed by artist Elisa Baker using special software. (VBR)

Inspired by a lifelong love of photography, and using creative computer software designed by her husband, Elisa Baker has embarked on a path to turn her personal passion into a business venture. Baker concentrates her photography on capturing images of Rio Grande Valley flora and fauna. Her husband developed the software that processes photos to create a sfumato effect. A style of painting associated with Italian Renaissance artists like Leonardo…

Read More

Venue Gives Valley Boost

Welcomed with great fanfare and full houses, the $88-million, 219,000-square-foot Bert Ogden Arena opens a new chapter in the Rio Grande Valley as the largest entertainment venue in South Texas and a boon for regional economic development. An estimated 5,000 people turned out for grand-opening ceremonies and arena tours in August, entertainer Luis Miguel performed a sold-out concert in September, followed by a near sell-out for a WWE wrestling card.…

Read More

Arts and Cultural Center Coming to Edinburg

(photo City of Edinburg)

On March 2, the City of Edinburg Library and Cultural Arts Division and the Edinburg Arts Foundation unveiled a new sign marking the spot of the future South Texas Arts and Cultural Center. Plans are in the works to renovate the old Sam Houston Elementary School. The vision is to feature local artists, host family-friendly cultural events, and attract more visitors to the city. The city acquired the property at the corner…

Read More

Lighting a Fire in Edinburg

Edna Pena

On a recent Friday, Edna Pena walked into the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg and seemed to know everyone and everything before making her way to the office of the director. “I’m a social butterfly and a free spirit,” said Pena, the president of the Edinburg Arts Foundation and a former president of the local chamber. “I never start at zero. I start at 100 percent and go…

Read More

Talk Looks at RGV History Through Architecture

“Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History”

There are several ways one can imagine life 100 years ago and one of those ways is looking at historic buildings. The Museum of South Texas History, a museum chronicling the heritage of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, welcomes Deval “Pino” Shah and Eileen Mattei Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. as they present “Lower Rio Grande Valley History Through Architecture.” Pino Shah is a world heritage photographer based out of…

Read More

Multimedia Art Event Explores the FOLD

A close-up of an interactive installation created by Laleh Mehran, whose work has been exhibited around the world. (lalehmehran.com)

Exhibit opens Feb. 2 Art that challenges space and time will be the focal point for FOLD: Art, Metaphor and Practice, a series of art exhibits, lectures and live performances over the next two months in McAllen and Edinburg. Artwork by 13 women artists will converge in what is described as a presentation of works that explore the concept of the fold in terms of form and conceptual metaphor in…

Read More

Clark Shapes Clay into a Business

Sculptor Doug Clark shapes clay on a work in progress at his studio. (VBR)

“I’m not a be-still or sit-still kind of guy,” said sculptor Doug Clark in his Edinburg studio. The number and variety of bronze sculptures he has created in his 35-year career are a testament to that. In McAllen alone, 65 of Clark’s pieces are on display, including Quinta Mazatlan’s extraordinary statues of native animals and his Veterans War Memorial of Texas’s statues and remarkable Korean War plaques. His Janis Joplin…

Read More