"If I can bring out joy in others and give someone a reason to be proud of our region, I'll have achieved the highest of heights."
Gabaldon, an extremely talented artist who does a lot of El Paso themed artwork, first started to paint in 2012 but had been doodling for years in the margins of books and note pads. Gabaldon didn’t get into color and painting when he took a “drink and paint” class with his wife. He remembers his first experience painting as “freeing and eye opening” because he had complete control of the paint and the brush to do anything he wanted. With each piece that he painted his passion began to grow, and soon he saw himself teaching himself from his own vision. Having spent hours working and learning, Gabaldon feels like he is finally hitting a stride in his work and his artistic voice shines through.
Gabaldon has been doodling for years and this has greatly influenced his style, as he prefers “the odd and the silly.” When he was growing up he was very into The Far Side, FoxTrot, Marvel Trading Crds, anything Sega, and afternoon cartoons and all of these influences can be seen in his artwork today. The desert here is also a source of inspiration for Gabaldon because of all the bold colors in the landscapes and our skyline. Apart from these two things, Gabaldon told us that the people that he meets at events are a big inspiration to him. The act of meeting someone who wants to decorate their space with his art is a humbling feeling that helps him push forward with his work.
The desert serves as a great source of inspiration for Gabaldon because of the landscapes and vibrant colors we have all round us. He chooses to paint El Paso themed paintings because we are surrounded by all this color and Chuco flavor. He believes that the spirit and the culture of the border is everywhere and can be seen by everyone no matter their perspective. So while some people may choose to say that we have no green or vibrant colors, just brown, Gabaldon chooses to see the color that is simply amplified by the brown surroundings.
Gabaldon remembers the time he went to Santa Fe to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and how he was impacted by her paintings of Cerro Pedernal. There were so many views of her favorite mountain and this got him thinking, "I bet she could have painted that view over and over and over again and it would never be the same". This got him thinking of our beloved Franklin Mountains, and how he could try to capture their beauty for years, and yet he would still find more beauty that needs to be captured in a painting. He continues to paint El Paso because it is constantly changing and even though he continues to paint our surroundings over and over he doesn’t feel like he captures it correctly. This serves as motivation to keep painting in the hopes of capturing a piece of its spirit.
As for Gabaldon’s wishes for his artwork, the main one is that people experience joy from seeing his work. He hopes that the beauty and spirit of El Paso that he is trying to capture is seen by others, and that they can find joy in the “healing aroma of desert rain” he loves so much. He hopes that his artwork can help instill some much needed community pride of our amazing city.
You can go follow him on Instagram as @gabaldonart and see his amazing artwork!
Alejandro is a local artist whose work is greatly influenced by many things in our beloved Chuco. If we live in a city full of rich and amazing culture, why not use it to our advantage and incorporate it into our work? For Alejandro, our local history, architecture, and our Chicano and pop culture influence his very colorful work.
Alejandro began drawing when he was young, but did not get involved with painting until he was in his 20’s and living in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He explains that the art culture was a lot different and he was exposed to art museums and galleries a lot more regularly. When he finally moved back home, to El Chuco, he began to paint more El Paso themed art because it was something he enjoyed.
Alejandro’s work has evolved from when he first started to draw horror movie characters as a kid, to cholo and gang related art as a teenager, and now local surroundings and interests as an adult. He started out with drawing but has moved on the painting murals, signs, and even mixed media projects. He explains that his art will always keep evolving. Overall, his work in heavily influenced by the border and his childhood here. Not only does the city influence his work, but other artists here in the border have also had an impact on his work.
If you ask Alejandro what makes our community so special and unique, he is quick to bring up our Old West and Mexican Revolution history. We have a heavy Mexican culture influence which really has an impact on our community and makes it unique. So we should try to appreciate our history and the city’s unique stories by going downtown and looking at our old and historic buildings.
Even though Alejandro has been drawing since he was very young, it was only about four years ago when he started to sell and display his work. He never really imagined himself living off of his work, but due to economic issues he decided to give it a try. Since then, he has found it very satisfying to be able share his work with other people in the community and to make art an important part of his life.
If you’re interested in seeing his work, make sure you visit Alejandro at Chuco Relic on Sunday October 29th to get to know him and his work a little better. Remember, support local!
Hello El Paso! Looking for a coffee shop that will satisfy all of your vegan needs? Let me tell you about this little gem in downtown El Paso called Craft, a small, but lovely, completely vegan coffee shop. You can find them at 500 N Oregon Street on the second floor inside One : One.
Rosa Tenorio, one of the geniuses behind this amazing place, was tired of going around to the same places and supporting big chains around town that had options high in sugars and artificial flavors, so she decided to do something about it. She began discussing the idea about a local, healthy coffee place with her partner, and the concept for Craft began to form.
The idea is to have an eco-friendly shop, so Craft consists of two bikes with solar panels at the top. You can find one of then on Oregon Street Downtown, and the second one at Lululemon on Mondays. Having always been really interested in healthy organic and raw choices as well as super foods she began to experiment on her own and make her own creations. These creations are the ones that you can find at Craft today, and believe me you will not be disappointed.
Some one people's favorites include Pistachio Matcha, which she recommends iced, for which Rosa makes her own Pistachio milk. Another favorite is the pumpkin spice, not made out of any artificial flavorings, Rosa uses real pumpkins, spices, pecan milk, and maple as a sweetener. The drinks with Spirulina are also customer's favorites, and as you enjoy your drink you can enjoy the cool blue color it has! Craft also sells some baked goods, which are completely vegan, and they are just as delicious as their drinks.
We highly recommend taking a trip Downtown to the One : One office and getting your caffeine fix in this great local shop, you won't regret it!
“We need to go out there, and live our lives.”
Marcos Rey, possibly one of El Paso’s biggest supporters, is a painter and photographer from El Chuco who dedicates his time to promoting the city of El Paso. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you might have heard of Last Thursdays Art Walk, one of the many ways he shows his love for our city. If you're as excited to meet him in person as I was, you can go say hi this weekend at Chuco Relic where he is being featured as artist of the month!
Marcos Rey’s work, especially his photography, is highly impacted by the rich history found in El Paso. He finds that the architecture Downtown has really influenced his work, and the many buildings by Henry Trost found in our city really capture his attention. Marcos’ main goal is to educate, both El Paso natives and visitors, about the significance of the architecture that many take for granted. As for his paintings, you can find one of his pieces at the Hal Marcus Gallery, also influenced by the history of El Chuco.
When you talk to Marcos about El Paso, you can immediately feel his love for the city. He will be quick to tell you that his favorite thing to do is to explore Downtown and enjoy all the cool new things that are happing there. He mentions how there are so many different things to do, and most of the time we don’t even realize. It’s important for him that everyone finds something that they love, and Marcos can guarantee you that there is always something for everyone. Don’t believe me? Ask him yourself and you will be amazed!
Now, you still might be wondering what is Last Thursdays Art Walk? Last Thursdays Art Walk looks to feature different artist in all the different galleries found Downtown evert last Thursday of the month. The goal is to have more people visit Downtown and learn about the abundance of art we have in our city. Each month’s Last Thursdays will be a completely new experience with new artist and events that you do not want to miss!
Marcos offers free tours during the Last Thursdays where he will guide you to all the different galleries and events taking place. Of course, people are free to join the tour and later break off to enjoy Last Thursdays however they would like. Believe me, it is definitely worth it to try to make it to as many Last Thursdays as possible. You can look them up on Facebook, Last Thursdays El Paso, and ask about participating either as a vendor or as a participant of the walking tour.
What is Marcos’ main passion? To make us all see how amazing our city is and with his help we can all go out there, try something new, and fall in love with our city.
You can go follow Marcos Rey on Instagram (marcos__rey) or Facebook at the Last Thursdays El Paso page to learn more about events going on in El Paso! And don't forget to visit Marcos this Sunday, September 17 from 12pm to 2 pm at Chuco Relic at the TI:ME for ART.
Space in downtown El Paso is becoming more and more limited each year, not only that but rent near or in downtown are also going up. It’s one of El Paso’s most popular areas full of historic places, San Jacinto Plaza, the Plaza Theater, the art museum, Dream Chasers Club, Barrio Skate shop, general shops, bars, an art space and many other things. It is no wonder why people want to live near downtown. There are so many things to do. However, I want to introduce THE 501 S. Campbell Apartments, which are about a mile away from the downtown area and won’t break your wallet.
Here is what they have to say:
“Just built! Brand new upscale apartments in the heart of downtown El Paso! Conveniently located three blocks fro the mirrored county courthouse building, THE 501 has easy access to I-10, Paisano, the Border Highway and the soon-to-come streetcar trolley, Be the very first to live in your unit! All apartments come equipped with brand new washers and dryers, water and trash bill paid, refrigerated air, granite countertops, upscale appliances, garbage disposals, microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, faux wood floors, modern 9-foot ceilings, brushed nickel fixtures, energy efficient lighting, convenient trash chutes on every floor, balconies in select units, a shared community space, and more! Within a mile from all downtown attractions and vents, it’s the place to be! Join our community of people with a passion for downtown and its vibrant future. All are welcome to THE 501 GRAND OPENING PARTY on Thursday, August 17, from 5:30-7:30pm, to enjoy great music, good food, a free ice cream bar, free refreshments, door prizes, and more, while seeing what we have to offer!”
More info at: https://www.apartments.com/the-501-501-s-campbell-apartments-el-paso-tx/yq5j08s/
“This book is a love letter to El Paso.”
Raul the Third is an El Paso native who shows the love for his hometown through his artwork, as you can see in his Pura Belpré Award winning book, “Lowriders in Space.”
Raul grew up in the border and even now, while living in Boston, he still has a love for these two sister cities. If you ask Raul what he does at El Chuco when he visits his first answer is “to visit my parents.” Something that he loves to do while in town is to walk around Downtown El Paso all the way to the bridge and walking on over to Juarez, maybe even pay a visit to the Mercado Cuauhtémoc. Raul’s art speaks for his love of his hometown, a place he calls unique, safe, and full of culture. Raul believes that El Paso is the city of the future.
Raul is going to be visiting soon to talk about his book “Lowriders in Space,” where the world of the characters is heavily influenced by his upbringing in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. You might ask yourself, how does he do that? If you pay close attention, you can find a restaurant called “Tortas Nico”, familiar to you Juarez natives, as well as many eloteros. You can also see a mountain with a Thunderbird that will leave you thinking of our beloved Franklin Mountains and a lot of nopales. Raul even included one of his characters whistling to “Noa Noa” by Juan Gabriel, and if that wasn’t enough to show his appreciation, he dedicated his book to Juanga!
As for the process of illustrating a children’s book, Raul is very grateful and appreciative of his team at Chronicle Books. Raul works closely with different editors and an art director to make the book happen. Of course, his collaborator, Cathy Campers, helps Raul create a cool script that goes along with what he feels inspired to illustrate. The illustrations for “Lowriders in Space” are unique because Raul decided to complete the entire book only using Bic ballpoint pens, something that anyone would be able to draw with.
For all you aspiring illustrators, Raul’s advice is to be truthful to representing yourselves and the community you grew up with above all else. He believes that people sharing their own stories is the perfect way for people to be passionate about their work. The art should be about people that you know, care, and love so that you can become invested in your work. Above all, representation is important, and it is up to us border natives to demonstrate our love for our city through our work so that others can learn about it.
Make sure to stop by for Raul’s book signing happening at Chuco Relic August 6 from 11 am to 2 pm!
If you've walked around Downtown recently, and ventured up to the Artspace Lofts you've probably realized that there is a new coffee shop open. This coffee shop is called Nomu and it is located next to the Fab Lab at the Art Space.
Now before anything else you might be wondering: What does Nomu mean? Don't worry we asked ourselves the same thing! The cafe was created by a group of partners who wanted to provide service to people in Downtown El Paso, especially the residents at Artspace. Two of the partners lived in Tokyo for a while and this is where the idea came from. The word Nomu means to drink in Japanese, and they thought the name seemed fitting.
The owners realized that Downtown lacks cool places to just hang out and have a good time. They want to make sure they provide a super relaxed space that is not pretentious. and trying to just give options. Having a coffee shop next to the Fab Lab really influenced the place. Some of the owners of Nomu are from the Fab Lab and this inspired them to have a DIY space made from scratch. Overall Nomy is very minimal looking with all the benches, tables, and even the Downtown map all hand made by the Fab Lab.
Nomu is implementing an environmentally conscious brand that focuses on leaving the least amount of waste possible. They use paper straws and try to package everything in paper or cardboard to use the least amount of plastic possible. Not only do they reduce the use of plastic, but they try to use local resources to serve their community.
The coffee that they use is local, and therefore short distance, and still great quality. They use local bakers, like Sweet Addiction, and have vegan options from Savage Foods. All their food is prepackaged, but it is made either the day it is used or the night before, so everything is always fresh.
Not only does Nomu serve the El Paso community great coffee and tea selections, you can now also consume alcohol! Nomu now serves nine different craft beers as well as a selection of wines from Chile and France.
If you still haven't visited, we urge you to go take a look and have a drink, or two, while enjoying the cool atmosphere Downtown!
As part of The Outpost Manifesto says: