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musician Mingo Saldivar
musician Flaco Jimenez
Top photo: Photo of musician Mingo Saldivar by Ricardo Romo
Bottom photo: Photo of musician Flaco Jimenez by Guillermina Zabala

UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures presents 'Conjunto'

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(May 1, 2007)--UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 S. Bowie St., will host the exhibit "Conjunto," from May 3 to Oct. 3 in the ITC first floor gallery.

An opening reception, free and open to the public, will be hosted by UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 3. The reception will feature live music. View a video invitation to the reception (Windows Media format).

Curated by UTSA art specialist Arturo Almeida, the exhibit showcases the rich Mexican-American culture and Texas Conjunto music style with paintings, photographs and sculptures depicting musicians, instruments and dancers. Almeida selected works from San Antonio artists including Ricky Armendariz (UTSA assistant professor of art and art history), Cris Escobar, Jacinto Guevara, Luis Guerrero, Luis Jimenez, Al Rendon, Ricardo Romo (UTSA president), Ed Saavedra, Armando Sanchez and Guillermina Zabala.

"Conjunto has been evolving for almost a century to emerge as a unique cultural art form," says Arturo Almeida, UTSA art specialist and event curator. "Looking at these paintings, photographs and sculptures, you can almost hear the music. These artists have captured a depth of emotion and wellspring of cultural pride. Conjunto music embodies the spirit of South Texas."

Musician and historian Juan Tejeda, who will perform at the exhibit's opening, is featured in an exhibit photo by Al Rendon. Tejada describes Conjunto as "Chicano roots music." The style is believed to have originated in the Rio Grande Valley in the 1920s. Tejeda was director of the Xicano Music Program at San Antonio's Guadalupe Cultural Arts Theater from 1980 to 1998, where he founded the Conjunto Festival en San Antonio and directed the event for 17 years.

The UTSA exhibit is one of several Conjunto exhibits in San Antonio. The Smithsonian in San Antonio at the Museo Alameda hosts a Conjunto exhibit through Sept. 2 featuring the photographs of John Dyer and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center hosts the 26th annual Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, May 10-12.

"Conjunto" is free and open to the public, but does not include admission to the ITC main exhibit floor.

For more information, contact Arturo Almeida at (210) 458-4983.

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