El Paso artist Patrick Gabaldón, who has used vibrant colors and a signature style to become a leading voice on the beauty of the Borderlands, sent a simple, subtle and sure message to the country on Tuesday night: “Love Migrant Children.”
Special edition lapel pins bearing that important message were given by U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, to members of the House Hispanic Caucus for the State of the Union Address.
Escobar wore one as she delivered the Democratic Response to the president’s address in Spanish to a national television audience.
“The prickly pear represents the strength and perseverance of our ancestors and those who are creating new histories for their families,” Gabaldón said. “The heart and the flower also represent the suffering and loss families had to endure because of separation and tragedy from the places they fled.”
While much of Gabaldon’s art incorporates the plants, people and landscapes of West Texas and Southern New Mexico, they are often infused with messages unique to the Borderlands. The image used in the lapel pins is no different.
“The flower demonstrates the new generation’s reliance on those who came before them because, when separated from the cactus, the bloom will wither and die — referring to how detrimental family separation is to a family unit and to the future,” Gabaldón said.
“Finally, the flower is also in honor of all those that pass away trying to make a better life for their families, and for those children that have passed away in US custody.”
Born and raised in El Paso, Patrick Gabaldon is a product of the beautiful culture and spirit found here in the borderland. He attributes his colorful and vibrant style to the splashes of color often found amongst the earthy tones that cover the Chihuahuan Desert.