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Photos from "Charreada" exhibit

'Charreada' photos open month of exhibits

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(Sept. 5, 2007)--UTSA will be represented in the San Antonio art community during FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA with two exhibits featuring the photography of UTSA President Ricardo Romo. Curated by UTSA art specialist Arturo Almeida, photo sales at both exhibits benefit the UTSA Fox Tech Scholarship Fund. A third exhibit with a UTSA connection is "MASA Project III," curated by Almeida and local artist and teacher Luis Valderas.

Opening Sept. 6, "Charreada" features photos taken by Romo over several weekends at San Antonio Charro Association events. The runs through Sept. 30 at the Joan Grona Gallery in Blue Star Arts Complex Suite 112, Alamo and Probandt streets. An opening reception, free and open to the public, is 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6. View a photo gallery of photos featured in "Charreada."

A second Romo photo exhibit, "Querétaro," runs Sept. 6-Oct. 12 at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) - San Antonio, 600 HemisFair Park. An opening reception, free and open to the public, is 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13.

"The two exhibits of Dr. Romo's photographs are a great opportunity to share his work and to benefit scholarships," said Almeida. "Also, the MASA exhibit allows us to work with community artists, some of whom are represented in the UTSA Art Collection."

The tradition of Charreada, Mexican-style rodeo, is centuries old. It is performed for the love of horsemanship with no competition for winnings. Romo's photographs capture events such as Cala de Caballo (horse roping), Escaramuza (formation riding) and Paso de Muerte (pass of death).

Romo's "Querétaro" photographs were taken on a trip to the historic Mexican city. The photographs capture the famous Spanish colonial architecture including La Plaza de Independencia, along with open-air markets, street vendors and performances of cultural dance.

"MASA Project III" is the third annual exhibit from the MeChicano Alliance of Space Artists (MASA). According to Valderas, the exhibition combines influences from Meso-American cultures dating to the Aztec and Mayan empires with themes from the modern space race. Using the outer-space theme, images are used to comment on contemporary issues such as immigration, discrimination and alienation. "MASA Project III" is on display Sept. 14-Oct. 5 at the Centro Cultural Aztlan, 1800 Fredericksburg Rd. Free and open to all, the opening reception is 6:30-8:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14.

For gallery hours, contact Joan Grona Gallery at (210) 225-6334 (joangronagallery.com), UNAM San Antonio at (210) 222-8626 (usa.unam.edu) and Centro Cultural Aztlan at (210) 432-1896 (sacalaveras.com/atzlan.html).

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The FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival is a unique and eclectic forum for photography and photography-based art forms. Established in 1996, the festival sparked an unprecedented surge of interest in the photographic arts in South Texas. Established and mid-career artists, respected civic leaders, energized activists and young shutterbugs have added their talents to a burgeoning pool of avid photographic artists and enthusiasts.

FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA-SAFOTO is San Antonio's contribution to the festival, which has grown from 12 exhibits to an international event with 75 exhibits and 230 artists in Mexico City, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, other Texas cities, Orlando, Boston and New York. Exhibiting photographers come from Peru, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Iran, Mexico, India and the United States.

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