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Sunday , December 9 2018
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Home | Tag Archives: tom lea institute

Tag Archives: tom lea institute

Tom Lea Trail Extension Passes Key Vote in New Mexico Statehouse

Last week,  a proposed extension of the Tom Lea Trail passed a key legislative hurdle in Santa Fe.  The New Mexico Senate unanimously voted in favor of SM 18, legislation instructing New Mexico’s cultural affairs and tourism departments to work with the Tom Lea Institute and Texas officials to officially continue the cultural trail from Texas into The Land of Enchantment.

“Tom Lea is part of Texas and New Mexico’s shared cultural heritage and history,” said state Senator Mary Kay Papen, who introduced this legislation in the statehouse.  “It is an honor to help future generations learn about his work, the history of our region, and the contributions his work had on American art and history.”

The Tom Lea Trail connects 11 cities and nearly two dozen locations in Texas; as well as the cities of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and Santa Fe, Las Cruces, and Mesilla in New Mexico.  The trail honors Lea’s work as a muralist, World War II correspondent, illustrator, historian, and writer.

“We are delighted that the New Mexico legislature is moving quickly in response to Austin’s decision last year to establish the Tom Lea Trail as one of the first and only artistic cultural trails in the country,” said Tom Lea Institute Executive Director Lisa Pugh.  “The fact that they are prioritizing this bill during their short legislative session speaks to the public’s overwhelmingly positive response to efforts to preserve Tom’s unique legacy.”

Last month, the founder and president of the Tom Lea Institute, Adair Margo, presented on the Tom Lea Trail at the Texas Historical Commission’s Real Places Conference in Austin, Texas, followed by a roundtable discussion with key influencers in Texas.

“It is great to see a new generation discover the art of Tom Lea,” Margo said.  “The Tom Lea Trail takes visitors along the US/Mexico borderlands, offering them a window into each region’s unique history.”

“The Texas Historical Commission is excited to work alongside preservationists in both Texas and now New Mexico, to educate heritage travelers on Tom Lea’s contributions to our state’s rich history and culture,”  said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the Texas Historical Commission.

Lea, who died in El Paso in 2001 and lived in New Mexico from 1933-1936, was described by Pulitzer-winning biographer Robert Caro as “an unsung genius of our time who made it purely on the quality of his work.” President George W. Bush displayed Tom Lea’s paintings in the Texas Governor’s Office and in the Oval Office of the White House. Most of his work is in the southwest region where he lived, remaining predominantly in private collections.

3rd Annual “The Hands of Cantú: Horsemanship at the Pass of the North” set for Saturday

Compadres Therapy Inc. is hosting the 3rd annual presentation of “The Hands of Cantú: Horsemanship at the Pass of the North” in cooperation with the Tom Lea Institute.

The presentation is set for Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Upper Valley Ranch on 6666 Morrill Road in El Paso. Admission to the event is free, and will feature interactive horse and fall-themed activities for all ages.

The event is inspired by Tom Lea’s 1964 novel, “The Hands of Cantú”, which tells the tale of an orphaned Spanish youth learning the art of horsemanship in the New World.

Illustration from the Hands of Cantu by Tom Lea 1964-1

Lea’s illustrations for this and other works of art, and the precision of his language in describing horse-training techniques emphasize his respect for the intelligence, majesty and physical strength of the horse.

Two talks are scheduled during the event.  At 10:00 AM,   Dr. Melissa Warak, Assistant Professor of Art History at UTEP and a faculty liaison to the Tom Lea Institute and the El Paso Museum of Art, will focus on “Tom Lea, Horses and Horsemanship”.

At 11:00 AM, Mr. John Hamilton, Director at the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum will present “The History of the Cavalry and its Role in El Paso and at Fort Bliss.”

Compadres Therapy, Inc. is a non-profit organization providing Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy programs to individuals and families with special needs and to those who will benefit from the experience of the human-animal bond.”

For information on this and other Tom Lea Month events: email or call (915) 533-0048


Event:  The Hands of Cantu:  Horsemanship at the Pass of the North

Date:  Saturday, October 28, 2017

Time:  10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Place:  Upper Valley Ranch, 6666 Morrill Road, El Paso, TX

Video+Story: Tom Lea Institute Hosts 2016 National Student Poet Gopal Raman

The Tom Lea Institute welcomes Gopal Raman, the 2016 National Student Poet for the Southwest Region, to El Paso on April 20-21, 2017.

Working with the El Paso and Ysleta Independent School Districts; and the Ciudad Nueva Catalyst Program, Gopal will visit area middle and high schools to present his poetry and discuss writing and creative expression with local students ages 12-19.

During his presentations, he will reflect on the artwork and writing of Tom Lea, as taught through the Tom Lea Institute’s blended curriculum “Awakening the Giants of Our History.”

Gopal Raman NSP 2016Gopal Raman represents the Southwest Region for the National Student Poet Program, Class of 2016. He is a rising senior at St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas. After being inspired by both his English and photography teachers in seventh grade, he fell in love with poetry, the perfect mixture of the two genres.

El Paso programs include workshops at the Ysleta Fine Arts Center; Desert View and Ysleta Middle Schools; and the Ciudad Nueva Catalyst Program on Thursday, April 20.  Workshops at El Paso High School take place on Friday, April 21.

A key component of the National Student Poet Program is a year-long ambassadorship carried out by five poets, who each represent different regions of the country. Each class will follow in the footsteps of the previous classes and engage audiences of all ages in the art of poetry, through readings, workshops and other events at schools, museums, libraries, and festivals.

All activities focus on the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.

The National Student Poets program is a partnership between the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

The Tom Lea Institute is located at 201 E. Main Street in El Paso; for more information about the Institute’s programs please visit the website or call 915-533-0048.

RHINOS 2018-2019 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728