A dusty old warehouse in central El Paso comes to life as a two-story visual arts center that features art exhibits and offers studio space for interested artists.
Brian Holt and Mike Fierro are the two artists who run Amano Artist Co-op, which has been operating at 210 Poplar St.
Fierro rented the warehouse and together the two create a space that accommodates various types of performers and performers, including wrestlers. There is an area at the back of the building with a wrestling ring and three music studios.
“The idea is to bring all of these creative minds together in one frame.… They can exchange ideas and help each other grow,” said Holt, who works in sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, painting and the drawing.
“And we want El Paso to come and see. There is so much art in El Paso,” he said.
With schools back in session, Holt said they wanted to honor educators with a show that will feature their work Friday and Saturday.
The opening of the gallery will feature works from 17 art educators in El Paso. They are Ruby Franco, Raul Monarrez, Natalie Gamez, Claudia Castaneda, Gabriel Saucedo, Eddie Marquez, Jacqueline Martinez, Chris Hurtado, Kathryn Gelinas, Ramiro Ordonez, Victor Zavala, Francisco Delgado, Javier Aguinaga, Samuel Garcia, Amanda Narvaez, Diane Vera and César Aguayo.
“So many of these teachers do such a good job, but because they are so busy with school, a lot of them don’t have time to go out and exhibit their work,” he said. declared.
Fierro, who is a wood artist who also makes furniture, said: “It was time for an artists’ cooperative. It is a place where musicians and artists can come anytime. Some work late at night in restaurants and can come here after work and do their art in a safe environment. “
They plan to have a gallery exhibit at the end of each month and are open to renting gallery space for family events.
Alexa Herrera, 19, an arts graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso, said she liked the concept of the studios upstairs and the gallery space downstairs. There are around 21 artists and 12 musicians who regularly use the art space.
Upstairs, it is up to the artists to create the walls and mount the doors as they wish. Most spaces don’t have finished walls, but artists like the freedom to paint their walls or throw a rug and pillows on the floor and make it their own.
Herrera, who paints acrylics on canvas, said she spent a lot of time in her art studio, which she decorated with her work. She currently enjoys playing with colors and studying facial expressions.
“I like having a space to grow and perfect my craft,” she said. “I feel like from a mental point of view it really separates rest and work for me. I go home to rest. But as soon as I have the space I start to spend a lot. time here. This is where I’m going to work, “she said.
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María Cortés González can be reached at 915-546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.
What: Exhibition of art teachers
When: Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Or: Amano artists’ cooperative, 210, rue Poplar
Details: Live music by Valiant Blues and Cruz Lujan
Information: @amanoartistcoop on Instagram