Alternate Realities art exhibit in downtown El Paso offers interaction


The latest art exhibit at the Orange Brick Eclectic in Central El Paso invites viewers to be a part of the exhibits.

The Alternative Realities exhibit was designed with interactivity as a unifying theme, said organizer Johnny “Slasher Wave” Galindo.

“Each artist was challenged to have an interactive theme throughout everyone’s area, and everyone hits interactive in a different sense, so you will be able to see different interactions and how each artist interpreted the interaction in their own way. “, did he declare.

Admission to the exhibit, which runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, October 2 and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. October 8 to 9, costs $ 3 per day. The event takes place on the second floor of a warehouse at 2430 Texas Ave. in Central El Paso which has been transformed into an art space.

There will also be a special event next week, though Galindo has said he won’t be able to announce details until later.

“It’s something super exciting,” he said. “We’re going to have slots available for the public to participate. And that will be part of our public interaction for this special event. “

Cassie Holguin Pettinato's exhibition welcomes visitors in a room that symbolizes the need to let go in order to renew oneself.  His work is part of the Alternate Realities art exhibit at Orange Brick Collective, 2430 Texas Ave.

Cassie Holguin Pettinato’s exhibition welcomes visitors in a room that symbolizes the need to let go in order to renew oneself.

Holguin Pettinato, who was born and raised in El Paso, said: “I do collage and mixed media.

The El Paso High graduate has put together an intricate exhibit that draws viewers in through its diversity.

“I recreated my old bedroom, so that’s exactly what it looked like,” she said. “A lot of this furniture is actually mine; that’s how I would rearrange it. It was very therapeutic doing that.

One difference is that even though the walls in the exhibit are black, “my walls were white, but I wanted to feel like you… step into my vulnerability, my emotions, my feelings and my things, really. “

Holguin Pettinato said: “So the idea is to say goodbye to my old self. There has been a lot of healing that I have had to endure over the past two years, and I feel like it ‘is a way of paying homage to that. And I just want people to get a sense of who I am as an artist and like the idea of ​​saying goodbye and moving on. And there is a lot of nostalgia and just memories.

Her poetry will be on a desk for visitors to sit and read.

“I’m also a poet, so I made a newspaper that people can read, and there will be music,” Holguin Pettinato. “I’m a theremin player, so I made music for that too.

“It’s a very interactive space, both physically, they can touch the newspaper, look at it, and also emotionally. I would like them to interact with their emotions too, ”she said.

Holguin Pettinato hopes people find inspiration in his work.

“It’s about saying goodbye to have a rebirth because I think we have a hard time mourning and mourning here in the United States and we’re not leaving room for that, and I really want to take the time to think about it so that I can move forward. So I give myself my own fence and I want everyone who comes here to be a part of it and experience it and maybe find their own fence with what they need.

She said: “I just hope when people come they really take their time, look at the art and just think about their own life and what to say goodbye to.”

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Melanie Montes' work urges people to have a greater respect for nature, including insects.  His work is part of the Alternate Realities art exhibit at Orange Brick Collective, 2430 Texas Ave.

An art that highlights nature

Melanie Montes grew up on both sides of the El Paso-Juárez border.

The Austin High School graduate graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing.

“For that, I wanted to have a theme on nature and animals,” she said. “It’s a lot about respect for nature and animals, so I wanted to make a giant bug, so maybe people would see it and see it more than a trivial thing and give it more respect. , I have the big paintings with the big insects. It’s like the interaction of humans and animals, in this case the insects.

She said she wanted people to respect nature, including insects.

“Because I have the impression that a lot of insects are being squashed, crushed and trampled. It’s more like it’s another animal that you should respect.

Montes created a mini-world for his exhibition.

Melanie Montes has created artwork of an ecosystem in which insects reconstruct a post-apocalyptic world.  This scene is in a compartment in a forklift.  His work is part of the Alternate Realities art exhibit at Orange Brick Collective, 2430 Texas Ave.

“I started doing a series about the future, the post-apocalypse, after the end of the world, and how nature is going to come back and get it back,” she said.

Montes has incorporated a forklift in his exhibition.

“So I made the leaves on it,” she said, gesturing to the forklift, which is adorned with vines and leaves.

“And then inside, there’s a little ecosystem that happens, that starts up again.”

Opening a door on the forklift reveals an intricate scene, complete with insects, plants and more.

“I made them like the ancient cave paintings, but as if the insects made them,” she said. “It’s just part of the theme.”

Eventually, Montes said, she could get a master’s degree and teach at a university. “But I want to keep painting, even if I get any job, keep painting, keep showing.”

Vanessa Zavala-Clark hopes her exhibit will get people thinking about being better stewards of the environment.

Vanessa Zavala-Clark also chose nature as the theme.

The graphic designer and artist was born and raised in El Paso.

“My exhibit here at Orange Brick is trying to help raise awareness of the desert spill and just bring some of the exterior beauty inside,” Zavala-Clark said.

The Franklin High School graduate said she painted mostly in acrylics. For her exhibition, she incorporated recycled art.

She hopes her exhibit will get people thinking about being better stewards of the environment.

“I just want them to become a little more aware of the waste and environmental issues that are happening in our area, to become more aware and maybe help,” Zavala-Clark said.

Printmaker Bernadette Ramos sticks to her artwork based on Catholicism's first Native American saint, Lily of the Mohawks.  His work is part of the Alternate Realities art exhibit at Orange Brick Collective, 2430 Texas Ave.

Printmaker Bernadette Ramos grew up in Wyoming, but moved to El Paso when she was 15.

“I feel like this is pretty much my home here in El Paso,” she said.

She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in printmaking and drawing.

“I mainly do relief engraving, which is like this one,” Ramos said, pointing to his art of a Native American Catholic saint.

Her job, she explained, is to “cut out the surfaces and then imprint the relief of what is left.”

Of the large print on her exhibit, she said, “It’s based on a saint, the first saint in Catholicism who was Native American. Her name is Saint Lily of the Mohawks, so I hope they just get a lot of knowledge from my coins, basically. “

Ramos found her artistic vocation when she was a child. “So I’ve been drawing since I was really young, probably thinking about when I was 5,” she said.

At UTEP, his attention shifted from painting to printmaking after a professor recommended that he explore it.

“I think a lot of my art touches on different subjects based on my culture,” said the Coronado high school graduate. “My father is Mexican. My mother is Native American. I like to delve deep into their two cultures to try and do research based on my family to bring to light works of art based on memories that I have seen with my family.


Veronica “Fox” Grijalva is Director and Events Commissioner.

“I actually don’t do a lot of art,” she said. “I wanted to paint a little more and find something to do for myself, so that’s what I’m doing here.”

The Burges graduate was born and raised in El Paso.

“I mainly do acrylics, but I like to explore other media, like spray paint,” Grijalva said.

Pointing to a painting on the wall in her exhibition space, she said, “For example, this is done with spray paint, with the exception of the background. This is my first exhibition; I have other murals in town.

Its interactive exhibit will have pins sticking out of cacti.

“I like to spread positivity…” she said. “I’m a big advocate for mental health so with the little spikes we have I’m going to ask people to write some positive notes and stick them on them.”

Orange art brand expansion plans

Galindo hopes to diversify the supply of art in the building next year.

He plans to add an orange gallery, with more permanent exhibits featuring works of art for sale, in an area on the first floor that is currently a ballroom.

“We’re still working on this, but hopefully by next year we’ll be able to open the ballroom for exhibitions,” he said.

But the larger second-floor space that makes up Orange Brick Eclectic will continue to offer special art events, with prints and original artwork for sale. The two will share the Orange brand “so that everyone knows somehow that they are part of the same family but that they are two different parts,” he said.

For now, however, he said, he hopes everyone enjoys this week’s show.

“We’re going to keep working and refining our shows and getting better and better,” said Galindo, “and we’re really excited for the community to see what we’ve been working on.”


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