Strokes of Culture: Murals across the RGV showcasing Hispanic Heritage

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Artists across the Rio Grande Valley commemorate Hispanic Heritage with murals.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success, according to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website.

Although only celebrated in one month, artists across the Rio Grande Valley make murals representing the Hispanic culture year-round. ValleyCentral highlights some cultural murals and art here in the RGV.

McAllen

  • MXLAN Oaxacan-Inspired Mural

Renowned artist Irving Cano painted an Oaxacan-inspired mural. Oaxaca is a city in southern Mexico. The painting depicts images of Aztec culture, which was a dominant force in Mexico helping develop central Mexico by the 15th century. Not only showing origins of Mexicos culture it as well depicted paintings of an elderly Hispanic man and woman.

San Juan

  • Braceros: A Legacy of Triumph

Braceros and Farmworkers were honored through the Braceros: A Legacy Triumph mural, giving cultural reflection. Located on the city of San Juan Municipal Pool, the art was created and painted by artist Raul Valdez alongside University of Texas Pan-American students, alumni, and personnel. The mural allows generations of students to be able to discuss, learn, and give value to the community, according to the UTPAMas website. The art depicts the arrival of agricultural workers on a train, showing oppressive tools that have since been outlawed. The mural includes paintings of Aztec gods that created a foundation in the history of Mexico in the early centuries. Lastly, the mural depicts the educational triumph that many families from the agricultural fields grew to achieve.

Pharr

  • Pharr Memorial Library

Located at the Pharr Memorial Library a mural beautifully shows the culture that is deeply rooted in the city of Pharr alongside many others across the nation. The mural depicts Hispanic families and cultural representations. Showing a family reading a book with a woman standing over them with both the American and Mexican flags. Although the family and the flags grab the main focus, the background shows celebrations with traditional items such as piñatas and mariachis. The mural also shows those that came before current-day Hispanic culture, such as traditional Aztec attire. The art additionally depicts a family celebrating educational achievements with hard-working individuals in the background showing agricultural workers. Lastly, the painting shows men and women in professional attire such as white coats and suits, showing their educational achievements.

  • Pharr Development and Research Center

The mural that sits on the wall of the Pharr Development and Research Center gym celebrates the community and culture in the Rio Grande Valley. Painted by brother artists Jose Arturo and Imuris Aram Ramos Pinedo from Zacatecas, Mexico the mural depicts people, places, and events of historical significance, according to the City of Pharr. Showings families, parties, mariachi, and even Aztec pyramids signifying “the deep connection to Mexican culture.”

Harlingen

  • History of Mexico and Mankind

A series of murals created with tiles stands tall in the centennial park in Harlingen. Sections of the mural represent various parts of”Pre-Hispanic Cultures,” and the merging of both Mexico and the United States. The mural not only shows the culture of Mexico but as well as historical influences of “Pre-Columbian” groups. Each section of the mural deeply describes the history behind each piece of art.

  • Day of the Dead inspired mural

Located in downtown Harlingen near Commerce Street, a cartoon-styled art piece celebrating “Dia de Los Muertos” lays on the walls of a local business. The mural shows cartoon-styled skeletons dancing and playing music around a cemetery. Along with the accurate representation of flowers, gifts, and candles left for families’ loved ones.

Brownsville

Across the path of Linear Park located in downtown Brownsville are multiple wooden boxes with paintings on each side. The City of Brownsville hosts urban art exhibits showcasing local artists, many including cultural representation.

The most recent showcase “Lazos de mi Ciudad,” celebrates Charro days festivities. The Charro days fiesta is a two-nation fiesta, an annual four-day pre-Lenten celebration held in Brownsville in cooperation with Matamoros, Tamaulipas Mexico.

  • Linear Park Art Series

– Miriam Celedon’s Cube

Local artist Miriam Celedon represented the fusion of two cultures, between Mexican and American culture. Celedon wrote on her art social media account her goals for her cube in the art exhibit. ” With my cube I want to represent the fusion of the American and Mexican cultures. Even though we have Charro Days to commemorate the ties between Brownsville and Matamoros the truth is that that is something we celebrate daily with its music, food, holidays, and speaking two languages,” said Celedon.

– Sam Rawls Cube

Local Latina artist Rawls created her cube with the depiction of the celebration of Charros Days. Showcasing traditional Mexican folk dress and mariachi attire with individuals singing.

– Clarissa Martinez’s Cube

Courtesy Photo: Clarissa Martinez

Painted by local artist Clarissa Martinez, the cube in the Lazos de mi Ciudad series shows traditional cultural attire alongside a representation of a fun game commonly known in the Hispanic community. The art shows Loteria cards with a literal splash of sweets from a Mangonada, a Hispanic dessert, that blends seamlessly to the other art surrounding the cube.

– La Chicharra Studio Cube

Created by local artist Ruby E. Garza, her cube pays tribute to Gloria E. Anzaldua. Anzaldua was a queer Chicana writer, activist, poet, feminist, and theorist. Anzaldua is commonly known for her book Borderlands/Fronter: A new Mestiza, where she tackles important topics like racism, sexism, gender roles, language, and traditions. Garza added a quote by Anzaluda onto the art pieces along with a recommendation to explore the history of Gloria E. Anzulda on her studio’s social media account.

  • Bike Riding in Brownsville Mural

Located on 6th street across the police station in downtown Brownsville, a mural depicts traditional woven materials often used in Hispanic households and attire. The mural was painted by local artist Josie Leila.

Laguna Heights

  • Alebrije Inspired Mural

While driving toward the Island passing through Laguna Heights individuals can see an Alebrije inspired art piece created by artist Serkitkillz. The piece depicts the colorful inspired art with historical Aztec representation. Alebrije art style was created by renowned indigenous Mexican artist Pedro Linares in a fever dream in which he saw nature, animals, and people however they had unnatural colors and patterns swirling over their bodies.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories