Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Hindsight -- Looking back on the last 5 Years

 2020 is the moment to look back on five years, to see what we have accomplished.  The Desert Triangle Print Carpeta aimed to make a loud noise from the pit of the Southwest --  El Paso, Tucson and Albuquerque --  to let the world know that there is more talent simmering beneath the shadow of Luis Jimenez.   It always seems that our Mountain Time artists get left out of print and similarly themed exhibitions.

Admittedly the Desert Triangle grew into that goal. Originally this project was conceived as a modest sequel to the Horned Toad/YayBig pop-up print exhibitions in 2014. The idea was to keep the momentum going by showing 10 large prints at the next Chalk the Block arts festival in downtown El Paso. However when that number blossomed to 30 prints, the El Paso Museum of Art invited us to show the portfolio in 2016. At that point the Desert Triangle became something bigger, something that we wanted to show to the rest of the world.

We exhibited in Mexico first, in Patzcuaro and Mexico City in 2015.  Then after El Paso we exhibited in Portland; Chicago; Puebla, Mexico; Riverside, California; Delray Beach, Florida; and Las Cruces, New Mexico, as well as in Tucson and Albuquerque.  By exhibiting north and south, coast to coast, and in two countries, we reached far beyond the Southwest.  Furthermore many of the individual Desert Triangle prints were included in other shows, such as Zeke Peña's print in the current exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C.  Ultimately the Desert Triangle made a bigger noise than we could have expected.

Moreover we continued to put on other print exhibitions, such as "Postre Prints" in El Paso in 2017; "Prints by Southwest" in Albuquerque in 2017; "From Behind the Wall: Prints by Contemporary Mexican Maestros" in Albuquerque in 2017; and "Desert Triangle Presents: Contemporary Mexican Prints" at the El Paso Museum of Art for Chalk the Block in 2017.

In 2018 the print momentum continued with the Ambos Lados International Print Exchange.  This project was sponsored by "Horned Toad Prints" in El Paso, and by "Taller Grafica Libre" in Oaxaca, culminating in a collection 158 prints pretty much split between the US and Mexico (plus 2 from Cuba, 2 from Australia, one from Canada and one from Ireland).  Now we are trying to make some noise back and forth across the border.

Mountain Time artists are going to have to make more racket if our region is to get the recognition we deserve from the other time zones. Hopefully the Desert Triangle has stirred more than just 30 printmakers, leading to other portfolios and initiatives in the future perhaps. I believe that we have something to say, and that there is a lot of talent in our desert.

--Karl Whitaker (Krrrl)

Monday, November 23, 2020

Smithsonian, Museums and Updates


Zeke Peña's Desert Triangle print is now showing in the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the exhibition --  ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now --  in Washington D.C., November 20, 2020 - August 8, 2021.

David Figueroa of Augment El Paso enhanced Zeke's print with augmented reality.  He posted Zeke's opening talk on Zoom on his Instagram


Looking backwards we find that Desert Triangle prints by individual artists have surfaced in other museums.


The prints by Francisco Delgado and Manuel Guerra were part of the exhibition -- El Paso Museum of Art: 60 Years of Collecting -- September 27, 2019 - March 8, 2020.

Mykl Wells' print was selling as a postcard in the El Paso Museum of Art bookstore.


Rubin Moreno's print was hanging at the Tucson Museum of Art in October 2018.


The Desert Triangle prints of Rudy Flores, Jesus "Cimi" Alvarado, and Krrrl were hanging in the University of Arizona Museum of Artseen in August, 2017.


Pavel Acevedo's print is part of the permanent collection of the Riverside Art Museum in California.


Many of the Desert Triangle artists were part of the Print Show at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville in November, 2015.  However the Desert Triangle prints of Francisco Delagado and Jesus "Cimi" Alvarado were shown.

We think that Jesus "Cimi" Alvardo's print was hanging in Washington D.C. while Beto O'Rourke was Congressman (he left 2018).

Cimi was also recently interviewed by Marina Monsisvais for the State of the Arts program on KTEP, for receiving the Catalyst for Change Award by NALAC.


Desert Triangle artists showed other work recently at Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin.

Jesus "Cimi" Alvarado's large steam roller print was featured in the poster promoting the 37th Day of the Dead exhibition from September 18 - November 22, 2020.

Concurrently Mexic-Arte had their 25th Emerging Latino Artists exhibition (September 18 - November 22, 2020), and the Jellyfish Colectivo participated with a different work, getting the main attention of the Austin 360 website, which spotlighted their piece.


Los Dos created a poster for the Rage Against the Machine concerts which were ultimately cancelled due to Covid 19.  However they made beautiful paste-ups in both El Paso and Juarez.  Plus they did sell out of the t-shirts they made for Rage Against the Machine.

The Los Dos posters in El Paso
for Rage Against the Machine

Tino Ortega painted a mural that made the front page of the El Paso Times, October 1, 2020.

Manuel Guerra, as well as Raul Monarrez and Francisco Delgado of Horned Toad Prints, sponsored the Ambos Lados International Print Exchange, along with Taller Grafica Libre of Oaxaca, back in 2018.

Ambos Lados is very evenly divided half and half between printmakers from Mexico and the US, with 6 from other countries.  The prints were shown in Taos earlier this year 2020, but further exhibitions were stopped by Covid 19 shutdowns.

Nani Chacon was featured on the New Mexico PBS program "COLORES," aired on TV on October 17, 2020.

Nani Chacon and Pavel Acevedo were part of an Artist Lab program by Self Help Graphics in Los Angeles back in May 2020.

Pavel Acevedo also took over the Speedball Instagram for a week, such as with this live stream on October 20, 2020.  At that time he published this wonderful video below by Adrian Dizon.

At the end of last year Chris Bardey pulled free prints on the streets of Las Cruces, New Mexico, during the opening for the Desert Triangle at the Las Cruces Museum of Art.  Also pulling prints were Manuel Guerra and Raul Monarrez (see video).

Henry Morales was one of two artists who participated in a steamroller printing event in Albuquerque on September 4, 2020.

Yorch (Jorge Perez) opened up Rezizte Panaderia in Juarez, Mexico, a short walk from El Paso.  He is a member of the Rezizte Colectivo, an art collective, and supports the murals and other art events on his section of the street, right on the main thoroughfare 16 de Septiembre.

Yorch also finish his monument in Juarez last year called "Ser Fronterizo."

Martin Quintanilla moved from Tucson and opened a beautiful print shop/gallery -- Microgallery Mandibula -- in Patzcuaro, Michoacán, one of the "Pueblo Magicos" of Mexico.   We visited Patzcuaro last year.

Gonzalo Espinosa moved to Puerto Vallarta and is painting murals and exhibiting in Jalisco.

Krrrl (Karl Whitaker) submerged deep into AI (artificial intelligence) during the Covid summer, and is exhibiting in an online AI project by Holly Grimm -- Aikphrasis Project.

Other Desert Triangle artists are doing great stuff as seen from their websites and Instagram accounts:

Federico Villalba's print is hanging in the El Paso Museum of History:

Juan Sandoval bought a Desert Triangle set of prints at our exhibition in the El Paso Museum of Art.  He is a major Latino art collector, and recently donated his collection to Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin. Mexic-Arte gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award in October.

In the spring we also heard from Dr Ricardo Romo, the former president of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and major Latino art collector.  His and his wife's print collection toured the United States as Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection.  Naturally we were thrilled to hear from him in email, as the Desert Triangle was inspired by his exhibitions.  We had left him a Desert Triangle catalog back in 2016.


Other notable postings:

There are also three previous update post about what the Desert Triangle artists were doing:

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Horned Toad II at the New Mexico Cancer Center

As some parts begin to cautiously open up after the Covid 19 lockdown, we hung most of the Horned Toad II Print Exchange in Albuquerque, at the "Gallery with a Cause" in the New Mexico Cancer Center on May 30, 2020.  The exhibition will officially be up from June 2 - August 22, 2020.

The prints were hung in a large hallway, and a small hallway.

View of the large hallway
with the Horned Toad II Print Exchange

View of the small hallway
with the Horned Toad II Print Exchange

View from the other side
of the large hallway

The small hallway

The "Gallery with a Cause" at the New Mexico Cancer Center announced the Horned Toad II exhibition, along with the 17 other artists, on their website.



Putting labels on the back of the prints in the Quelab hackerspace.


We delivered the prints the day before (Friday, May 29).


Greg helped Krrrl hang the prints on Saturday morning, May 30, 2020.

Santiago Perez is one of the other artists showing in the "Gallery with a Cause" at the New Mexico Cancer Center.

There will be no opening, due to Covid 19 concerns, but there may be a closing reception in August.