El Paso, Texas: Al Fresco Art Exhibit Makes Use of Outdoor Projectors

Outdoor Projectors in El Paso, TexasThe term "neighborhood watch" has long been synonymous with close-knit neighborhoods and the watchful eyes of its residents in deterring crime. But a coming public art show by the Neighborhood Watch Collective hopes to make access to the arts a communal matter as well by using outdoor projectors. The collective's second show will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Mundy Park in the Sunset Heights neighborhood. It is the second outdoor show for the group. The first took place in April. The collective, which originated in Tampa, Fla., was introduced to El Paso last spring by a former UTEP ceramics professor, Jaime Carrejo. It was adopted by Xochitl Rodriguez, a sculpture and metals student at UTEP, after Carrejo moved away. "The best thing about this show is its accessibility," Rodriguez said. "People can drive by or walk by and see the art projected on the walls and stay a while if they'd like. Art isn't just for museums anymore." Instead of hanging off the wall, still shots of two-dimensional works will be projected off the sides of five houses in the Sunset Heights Neighborhood. Three other projectors will display performances by area artists. Skip the wine and cheese meet and greet -- Rodriguez said the show's atmosphere would be open and laid-back. "There were several people who wanted to help with monetary donations but I declined because I felt like it would change the show," Rodriguez said. "The artists will be setting up their own art and bringing in chairs, lights and extension cords because it's a combined effort." UTEP sculpture major Elijah Fernandez, who will have several sculptures on display at the show, said he is a firm believer in public art shows that represent the true nature of artists. "To make this happen, it has to have a sense of invisibility so that there is no real structure like there is in museums," Fernandez said. "Most galleries often have shows just to make money off the artists and there's not enough interest in the work, and that aspect is what will be present at this show." The five houses included in the show will be centered on Mundy Park and, upon arrival, guests will be handed a map of the houses featured in the exhibit. Various artists will also showcase their sculptures in front of each of the five houses. A runway walk exhibiting jewelry created by students in the UTEP metals department will also be included in the show. Rodriguez hopes her approach to art, as well as the approach of fellow artists, is exhibited in the show. "There isn't a theme for the show. Everyone is doing their own thing, and that's OK because I think student artists have always been a bit more brave and innovative in their artwork," she said. "When we have people of all ages and backgrounds who normally wouldn't go to an art exhibit or museum come to our show, I think we've done a great thing because we've brought art to them." Cynthia Romero may be reached at living@elpasotimes.com. Make plans - What: Neighborhood Watch Collective Art Show. - When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. - Where: Mundy Park, 500 Porfirio Diaz. - Information: 238-0529. From "Artists project works on sides of houses" by Cynthia Romero; originally published in the El Paso Times. Read full article at: http://www.elpasotimes.com/entertainment/ci_10986997

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