by Mary Jane Garza
It's been twenty years since I departed South Texas for Austin ample time to watch the hippy college town I knew when first moving here develop into the high-tech business center it has become today. Of course, not all of the changes have been positive, real estate prices have skyrocketed and traffic is a nightmare, but the arts, especially film, have benefited from the influx of new wealth. Cultural facilities are being built and renovated, preparing Austin to be a future player of world-class acts.
2001 has started off exciting for me a new millennium, a new focus and a new job. I never expected to become associate editor of a magazine, but when the offer came to set up the Texas section of El antiQuario in Austin, I couldn't resist.
I had been working as a staff reporter for a Latino community newspaper and free-lancing for other publications for about five years. Most of those journalistic pursuits centered on the arts, specifically Latino endeavors. So when the offer came to work for a Mexican arts publication, taking the position felt natural. The opportunities for providing many deserving artists exposure in an international publication warms my heart it is a continuation of my work since the first article I published years ago.
In looking over past issues of El antiQuario, I see how the publication has grown to become an international journal that crosses borders, exploring the culture and arts from south of the border that so many of us love and admire. With this track record in mind, El antiQuario will be expanding its scope to cover Texas based Latin American artists and events.
One of my favorite local artists is featured in our new Texas section. Sam Coronado has come a long way from the first small rented gallery he and other artists opened in downtown Austin several years ago. Many of us celebrated with him over his recent purchase of an East Austin building. The new studio now offers artists a space to create and show their work.
Our other Lonestar feature article is on the Mexic-Arte Museum. The institution's director, Sylvia Orozco, has done a tremendous job of establishing an influential museum dedicated to Texas and Latin American projects. Orozco is set to see the edifice renovated, a long-held dream of the museum. We will be reviewing exhibits from this fine facility in future issues of El antiQuario, they are always of high caliber and very interesting.
Perhaps the words of poet, painter and dear friend Juan Ochoa best sum up my frame of mind. During a trip to Machu Pichu, Peru, two weeks before his sudden death, he wrote, "...And my heart opens for the poets, the painters, the musicians and the dancers, porque ellos son las voces, los ojos, los oidos y el ritmo de nuestra gente..." His words speak great wisdom, for it truly is the artists, the singers, the dancers, the musicians, the actors and the writers who are the heart and soul of any culture. Their spirit and creativity only add to the beauty of this Earth. We aim to capture a little bit of it on these pages.