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Tailored tech art

BY Andrea Torres | THE RIDER

Visitor Cristina Houle reads “MEANWHILE,” one of the “narcomantas” featured in the exhibition./Mario Gonzalez/The Rider Photos
Visitor Cristina Houle reads “MEANWHILE,” one of the “narcomantas” featured in the exhibition./Mario Gonzalez/The Rider Photos

In of “Islands and Unicorns,” artist Eduardo Ibarra comments on the scarce attendance at an exhibit in McAllen.

“Parece que nomas sus hermanitos y hermanita fueron, una vecina y uno que otro acarreado.… Luego te quieren cobrar 7 dolares la entrada, mejor me compro 6 taquitos en el Stripes,” the piece states.
The artwork is part of Eduardo Ibarra’s exhibit “False Flag: Operation Amalgam Rant,” which opened Tuesday at Art Gallery at Rusteberg Hall in Brownsville.

Isamar Ibarra, an art education freshman was among 60 attendees.

“Something I really enjoyed are the little QR codes,” the freshman said about the works. “It makes it more personal, I know that he’s used it before in other exhibits but this one makes it more personal like the songs.”

Some of the pieces are embedded with QR codes, which provide a specific link to a video that is part of the story or statement the piece is making.

This is Eduardo Ibarra’s first exhibit since 2007; he received a bachelor’s degree in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute.

“The overall message is for people that know the people that I am talking about to have a good laugh while they are reading the messages,” he said. “Some people won’t get it because they don’t know the people I am talking about.”

For this show, Eduardo Ibarra said he considers himself to be a contemporary, regional and folk artist.

“What that means is just in this area that this work would work,” he said. “It wouldn’t work anywhere else, it’s tailor-made for this area.”

The pieces displayed have words written with red and black acrylic paint. Some have names of people, places or concepts written in red for the viewer to think of it as it stands out.

Asked what advice he has for aspiring artists, Eduardo Ibarra replied: “Be original. Do things that nobody else has done. I mean, it’s hard because there’s so much information out there. It’s hard to not, you know, utilize things that already exist.”

The free exhibit continues through Sept. 30. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 1 to 5 p.m. Friday.

Three exhibits opened Sept. 1 in Edinburg.

Art Lecturer Marilyn Carren’s mixed-media solo exhibit, “Babel,” continues through Sept. 22 in the Visual Arts Gallery, located in room 1.201 in the Visual Arts Building, 2412 S. Closner Blvd. Admission is free. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In the Charles and Dorothy Clark Gallery is “Vaqueros,” a print exhibit by the late Mexican artist Ernesto Icazas. The gallery is located in the Liberal Arts Building South. Access to the exhibit is by appointment. To reserve a time to visit, call 665-3480.

UTRGV School of Art Director Susan Fitzsimmons’ bronze sculptures and paintings will be on display until May 31 in the lobby gallery of the Performing Arts Complex. Gallery hours are by appointment or when the PAC is opened during performances of the Patron of the Arts.

For more information on the Edinburg galleries, email gallery Director and Associate Art Professor Maria Elena Macias at elena.macias@utrgv.edu and for the Rusteberg gallery, email Alejandro Macias at alejandro.macias@utrgv.edu.

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