Category Archives: Arts

Development Makes the RGV Prosperous

Eighty years ago, the Rio Grande Valley was a rural, agriculturally based economy with little growth happening. Fast forward to 10 years ago, and the RGV was quickly becoming a thriving metropolitan area as development intensified. Today, the region has completely transformed economically. It has become an area developed by improving and increasing commercial, retail, industrial, entertainment, medical and higher education institutions.  Education In 2013, the transformation of the RGV’s…

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Passion Meets Education

RGV Photography Workshops Owner Rafael Sepulveda and Co-Instructor Eric Sierra engage with their advanced photography class while Creative Assistant Nora Cuevas prepares the model of the day.

McAllen native Rafael Sepulveda received his bachelor’s in advertising from Boston University then attended photography school in Atlanta. Upon completing those courses and receiving Professional Photographers of America certification, he opened up two destination photography businesses. During his time as a destination wedding photographer in Atlanta, he discovered that he really enjoyed teaching other photographers that assisted him on his shoots. Establishing direction Sepulveda established RGV Photography Workshops in McAllen…

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Pharr Dancer Going Pro

Erick Perales, UTRGV dance performance graduate from Pharr, at the Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg. (Photo Paul Chouy, UTRGV)

UTRGV Dance Program alumnus Erick Perales is off to the Big Apple to begin his professional dance career. The Pharr native was hired recently by Ballet Nepantla, a dance company known for fusing contemporary dance with Mexican folklórico to showcase its culture and history. Perales already was familiar with the company after having seen them perform and was in awe of their performance. Now, he gets to join them on stage in New…

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When Passion Becomes Business

Very Artsy owner, Veronica Cerda-Ayala, stands at her checkout counter, which used to be an old restaurant cashier stand that she transformed by added the molding details on the front and painted in a trendy ombre pattern.

Whether writing, playing a sport, dancing or creating something new, our hobbies are a labor of love and enjoyment. Every once in a while, we are lucky enough to turn our hobbies into something more. This is exactly what Veronica Cerda-Ayala did.  After 18 years of being a teacher, Ayala decided she was ready to pursue her true passion … home decor. She began several years ago in her very…

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Giving Back: McAllen Artist Mitch D’Arte

Mitch D'Arte with villagers from one of the remote communities in San Luis Potosi. (courtesy Mitch D'Arte)

The works of Mcallen artist Mitch D’Arte are very much inspired by the multi-colors and textures of Mexican art. Her paintings are very representative of the heavy local Mexican influence.  But D’Arte’s connection to Mexico goes deeper than the vibrant colors and culture found in her artwork. At least twice a year, D’Arte travels to San Luis Potosi, Mexico and into the very remote parts of the city to give…

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Edinburg Cultural Arts Brings Communities Together

Sherry Cantu helps fix her 6-year-old daughter Natali Ann's costume before the Frida look-alike contest at the recent Edinburg Cultural Arts event FridaFest. (photo Selene D. Garza)

The sound of Mexican music reverberates throughout the courtyard at the Edinburg City Hall. Colorful papel picado dance above the crowd. Women and little girls walk proudly with their hair pulled back and crowns of colorful flowers adorning their head. They were among the thousands there to celebrate the iconic Mexican female artist Frida Kahlo.  FridaFest is one of 13 major annual events organized by Edinburg Cultural Arts, a division of…

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Alamo Holds T-Shirt Design Contest

Alamo t-shirt contest

The City of Alamo is currently accepting submissions from artists and designers for a new city t-shirt. The winning design receives  $150 and a shirt with the design on it. Second place receives $100 and third $50. The contest rules are: The design must be related to the City of Alamo. There is a limit of two design entries per person. The work must be original and not violate any copyright…

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Downtown Brownsville Comes Alive

A conjunto trio plays in one of the new music venue in the downtown area. (VBR)

For many years, downtown Brownsville looked like a ghost town, particularly during evening hours. The only exception was an H-E-B supermarket on East Elizabeth Street. Here, shoppers from south of the border stopped by to buy goods before going across the Rio Grande into Matamoros. After a group of concerned citizens began looking into how to revive the city’s oldest business district several years ago, the area started coming alive. New…

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UTRGV Documentary Earns Telly Award

"And Then the Soldiers Were Gone" Telly Award-winning crew

UTRGV’s Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools has won a Bronze Telly Award for its documentary “And Then the Soldiers Were Gone.” The winning documentary focuses on the history of Fort Ringgold, the former military base in Rio Grande City turned school, through stories from the residents. Nick Taylor made the submission to the Telly Awards. He was in shock upon receiving the email that the film had won a Telly, he said. “This documentary…

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