Tejano Project Art Exhibit Opens Thursday at TAMIU

The Tejano Project Art Exhibit
at TAMIU Thursday, Jan. 25

Catch a glimpse of fellow South Texans at “The Tejano Project” art exhibit by award-winning photographer Penny De Los Santos at Texas A&M International University’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Gallery.

The exhibit kicks off with a reception Thursday, Jan. 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and includes a talk by the artist about her work.

Laredo native De Los Santos’ work is a series of photographs on the Texas border, in particular the Laredo area that includes images of the Martha Washington Celebration Ball debutantes and other images of the area.

De Los Santos is an award-winning documentary photographer who has spent the past seven years photographing the Latino movement in the United States. This body of work developed into a feature story for National Geographic Magazine published in November 2006.

“Four years ago I set out to define what a Tejano was. Camera in hand and a list of ideas that intrigued me about Latinos in Texas, I set out to define whatever that was. I talked to Latinos from all walks of life and photographed the land and culture that embodies South Texas,” writes De Los Santos in her artist’s statement.

“I found my reflection in many of the faces throughout South Texas. After four years I am still searching and photographing the region and its people. I now realize that there is no concrete definition and the idea of a Tejano is constantly evolving. Much like immigration law in this country, Latinos and Tejanos and the scope of their identity have yet to be delineated,” she continues.

“My hope is that these images will evoke a dialogue about what it means to be a Latino living in Texas and how that is defined in the United States,” concludes De Los Santos.

Her work has been featured in magazines and books including National Geographic, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, Latina Magazine, Texas Monthly Magazine, U.S. News & World Report Magazine, Paris Match Magazine and “America 24-7,” “Game Face” and “A Day in the Life of the American Woman.” After four years as a staff photographer for the San Jose Mercury News, De Los Santos returned to Texas in 2002.

De Los Santos has a master’s degree from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University.

Twenty percent of the proceeds from the sales of this exhibit will go to support the CFPA Gallery.

The exhibit will be on display through March 1.

Call 326.2654 to make an appointment or visit CFPA 217 for access to the Gallery.

For more information, please contact Alma Haertlein, assistant professor of art, at almah@tamiu.edu, 326.3041 or visit offices in CFPA, room 208A.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu