Posted: 1/27/11

‘Deep in the Heart,’ TAMIU Art Exhibit, Opens Feb. 3



Spend an evening delighting in artwork created by local artists at the upcoming reception for the exhibit, “Deep in the Heart,” at Texas A&M International University Thursday, Feb. 3 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Gallery.

Admission is free an open to the public.

The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, March 24, 2011.

Local artists sharing their talent are: Cristina Zorrilla Speer, Mary Quiros, Janet Eager Krueger, Marilú Flores Gruben and Miki Rodríguez.

A former associate professor of art at TAMIU, Krueger is the co-founder and president of the board of directors of Hecho en Encinal, a non-profit organization dedicated to bring arts and humanities programming to rural communities in a five county region of South Texas.

She has had solo exhibits in many galleries in San Antonio and Austin, including the Offices of Laura Bush in the Capitol Extension Building, U.S. Embassy, Managua, Nicaragua and the Laredo Center for the Arts. Her work is also part of public and corporate collections—Kronkosky Foundation, San Antonio; Laredo National Bank; Laredo Center for the Arts; TAMIU; University of Texas at San Antonio; USAA, San Antonio; AT&T Arena, San Antonio; Valero Energy Headquarters, San Antonio.

Laredo native Quiros painted in oils and acrylics until 1997 when she found fluidity of expression in watercolor. Even though she often mixes other media, she states, “There is such a harmony between watercolor and the creative process that it is a joy to work with it.”

Accepted into juried shows in Texas, Colorado, South Carolina, Missouri, and Kansas, Quiros has displayed one of her watercolor pieces at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Nigata, Japan, and has been featured in the Texas Watercolor Society publication, Fifty Years of Excellence and the summer edition of Watercolor Magazine.

The Laredo Center for the Arts exhibited her works in a one-woman show in 1998, 2002, 2004, and 2007.

“As I look down at the Río Grande from the platform where I do my work, I see a river so rough and hard that it looks as if you could walk across it, but maybe that’s just the politics,” writes Gruben in her artist’s statement.

“What I want is to capture the movement of the water when it’s low in a drought and high in a flood,” she continues.

Gruben’s paintings and collages have been discussed in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, El Norte, The Texas Observer and many other U.S. publications. Her work has been on exhibit in galleries and museums from Argentina to California. The native Laredoan has had her work reproduced in various books on art.

She received her training in art at Incarnate Word College and the University of Texas at Austin and earned her master’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

Rodríguez, also a Laredo native, stated in her artist’s statement: “This body of work has developed into marks that experiment with social relationships, my culture and personal symbols that reflect my life experiences and surroundings.”

“The mark making has been created as if there were a constant relationship from one mark to another. One informs the next and so on, as if having a conversation or interacting with one another, a weaving of humanity and relationships,” she continued.

Rodríguez’ work, she added, is directly related to her experiences and responses to events occurring in her life which she depicts as symbols that have developed a code.

“The responses I speak of, in reference to these materials, have now become part of my process. Like the marks that inform one another, so do the materials. And process becomes a stream of thought. By the time I am finished with something, I then find it’s meaning. The work becomes an autobiographical mirror and another journal entry of my life experiences,” she revealed.

Rodríguez started her education in drawing and painting at the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Art at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She also received a fellowship to attend Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Md.

She currently teaches at St. Augustine High School, but her career spans more than 25 years of teaching at both Laredo school districts.

According to Zorrilla, “Art is a never ending journey.”

She said she finds inspiration in the beauty of a sunset, the sunlight on a face and on everyday life in nature.”

Zorrilla uses different techniques and experimenting with color. She said acrylic has become her favorite media because of “its great flexibility to demonstrate the effect I’m trying to achieve.”

“I believe that painting is a career that matures with time. I’m excited to continue learning and exploring all the possibilities in art,” she stated.

Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, noon – 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Twenty percent of sales go towards TAMIU visual art scholarships.

For a recording of upcoming arts events, call 326-ARTS (2787) or go online at tamiu.edu/coas/fpa/coe

For more information, contact Alma Haertlein, Gallery director, at 326.3041 or e-mail almah@tamiu.edu

Additional information is also available @txamiu on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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