The El Paso Chihuahuas, in conjunction with City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD), introduce The Art of the Game: Pick Up Your Brush and Paint, a community-based art project that will cover the Durango Street bridge walkway leading to Southwest University Park, home of the Chihuahuas.
The public art installation, will culminate in a city-wide festival event on April 1st, from 11a.m.-3 p.m. at Southwest University Park. The public is invited to pick up a paint brush and paint, contributing to the mural.
“MountainStar and our ownership have always seen the Chihuahuas and Southwest University Park as a regional asset, and envisioned public art an integral part of our Ballpark experience,” said MountainStar Sport Group President, Alan Ledford. “Thanks to Tracey Jerome and the City of El Paso’s MCAD, we are excited to extend this element to outside the Ballpark. And this project is truly a public art endeavor as it depicts the people and landscape of our region, with a subtle reference to the Chihuahuas, and it’s also a truly regional effort featuring artists from both El Paso and Juarez.”
The festival will include live music provided by Mariachi Paso Del Norte, food truck vendors Kona Ice, Off the Grill BBQ and Orange Cow, a Kids Zone, a Chihuahuas Team Shop sidewalk sale and a special appearance by Chico, the Chihuahuas mascot.
“Murals are a significant part of the El Paso landscape. This is a tremendous opportunity to not only showcase the work of our talented local artists, but to involve the community in creating a new artwork within the Downtown Arts District,” said Tracey Jerome, Director of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.
The local husband and wife duo of Ramon and Christian Cardenas – known as Los Dos – have been commissioned to design the mural. Los Dos are well-known and respected El Paso artists who are nationally recognized, including a on a recent cover of the Washington Post.
Los Dos are joining forces with Jellyfish Collective from Juarez, Mexico and other regional artists to create a floor mural on the walkway that will express the rich Hispanic culture and united border community.
“We wanted to showcase the community and a symbol of the region, but in a new way rather than the same icons that you constantly see– the star, the boot,” said Roman Cardenas of Los Dos. “Those symbols represent El Paso but it’s something you see all of the time. We wanted to do something unique but stay true to El Paso while also staying true to our painting style.”
Los Dos and the Jellyfish Collective were recognized in 2016 with an Art Matters grant. Art Matters is a non-profit that provides grant funding for artists in the United States, who are pushing boundaries both aesthetically and socially throughout the U.S. and globally.
The mural, with its hues of blue, red and yellow, reflects the rich El Paso landscape and its people. The mural depicts a colorful and graphic borderland desert scene with native animals, plants, and people. The artwork is meant to transform the worn surface of the walkway while empowering the people of El Paso to take ownership of the mural by taking part in the festival on April 1st.
“We’re excited to be giving something back to the community,” Cardenas said. “It’s a gift of labor for the community and we are doing it for them.”
Like the El Paso Chihuahuas, the mural seeks to bring together family and community and ties the ballpark, Downtown, the art district, and the El Paso region, including Juarez, to showcase pride in a united community.
The Durango walkway was stripped and prepared in February. Los Dos and their collaborators began to lay the grid work for the mural on March 4th.
For more information on The Art of the Game: Pick Up Your Brush and Paint contact Tracey Jerome at (915) 212-1783 or Angela Olivas with the El Paso Chihuahuas at (915) 242-2019.