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Centro de Artes unveils exhibit with works that explore Mexica dance and modern migration

celestial3_orig.
courtesy Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo
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Celestial, oil on canvas

The Centro de Artes Gallery at Market Square has a new two-floor exhibit set to open.

Artist Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo's new artwork on the second floor explores an old ceremony.

“They will be exhibiting 32 of my oil paintings on canvas from the series ‘The Euphoric Dance of the Unconquered Mind,’Montelongo said.

“The Euphoric Dance of the Unconquered Mind” is all about the indigenous dances of the Mexica, which is the word for pre-conquest Aztecs.

“And so this dance is very symbolic. It's something that's very special, and it’s still practiced today,” she said. “It's a very colorful dance, very energetic with drums and incense and colorful regalia and feather headdresses.”

The San Jose, California, artist captures all that color and movement in the 32 paintings that will be displayed starting Tuesday.

The more Montelongo looked into her own roots, the more fuel to fire her curiosity.

“When I began learning more about my history and indigenous heritage, it became something even more important to me,” Montelongo said. “And so I paint these dances in a way that shows the movement and energy of the dance to celebrate that heritage and culture.”

The first floor exhibition is by Central American artist Leila Hernández and is called “La Visa Negra 2.5.” It deals with time, identity and place along the Texas/Mexico borderlands.

It includes textile tapestries and framed quilts, all made of recycled thrift store buys.

Also on display is material gathered at the border wall that immigrants use to cross over.

Both artists will be here for the opening on Tuesday evening at 6. Admission is free at Centro de Artes.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii