Through June 25, 2017
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery

Work by Beliz Iristay for her Upcoming Exhibition OKU / READ
Photo Credit: Elide Malagamba

OKU | READ is an exhibition from the El Paso Museum of Art’s collaborative project with the Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez, The Border Biennial. Turkish-American artist Beliz Iristay received the award of a solo exhibition from among the forty-four American and Mexican artists whose works were featured in the Biennial 2015 Ciudad Juárez-El Paso. In the Biennial exhibition, Iristay showed Veladora, a nine-foot sculptural installation fabricated from hundreds of pop-culture veladoras, porcelain lips, and the ghostly image of an anonymous female, which memorialized lost and murdered women in Juárez. Her 2017 solo exhibition, OKU | READ, which will feature transformed examples of the rahle, an Islamic bookrest traditionally used to display the Quran, continues Iristay’s cross-cultural melding of historical and contemporary themes, traditions, and materials.

A site-specific installation in EPMA’s Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery, OKU | READ will be populated by reimagined and reconfigured rahles. Rather than being made from wood, the original material of the rahle, Iristay’s rahles are fabricated from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) panels, and covered with photos from vintage calendar cards from the Turkish military. The artist tops them not with books but hundreds of elegant and translucent minarets juxtaposed at different angles. The exhibition title—OKU | READ—features the first word of the Quran in Turkish—oku, which translates to “read.”

Born in Izmir, Turkey, Beliz Iristay graduated from her native city’s Dokuz Eylül University with a specialization in ceramics. In 2005 she moved to San Diego, and now divides her time between the city and her studio located across the international border in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada. The artist embraces not only historical methods such as Japanese raku but also modern ceramics, cast resin, murals, mixed-media installations, and public art commissions.

This exhibition generously supported by Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown. 

With additional support from Mithoff Burton Partners.

Process and Poetry: The Graphics of Kim and Therese Bauer
Through June 4, 2017
Dede Rogers Special Events Gallery

Therese Bauer (American, born 1958)
Two Boys, 2010
Mixed median and punched holes on neoprene
Studio of the artist

Continuing the Museum’s commitment to showcase the careers of local artists who have made an impact, this exhibition pairs the husband-and-wife team Kim and Therese (Terri) Bauer, both of whom have devoted their professions to the graphic arts—Kim to printmaking and Terri to drawing. Within their different technical realms, the pair share a love of craft and an interest in embracing diverse materials and methods. Both their bodies of work possess an evocative bridge between representation and abstraction, as well as the treatment of ordinary architecture, objects, or figures in a manner that transforms these elements into suggestive glyphs or symbols on the paper support. Kim and Terri Bauer have also mentored numerous students over many years in the Department of Art at the University of Texas at El Paso, where Kim is an Associate Professor and Terri an Advisor and Drawing Lecturer. Before this they both received their BFA degrees from Michigan State University and their MFA degrees from Eastern Michigan University. While Kim and Terri have each exhibited through the years in various group shows at the El Paso Museum of Art, this is the first EPMA exhibition dedicated solely to their work, with a focus on recent production.     

The Archangels Michael and Raphael
Through July 9, 2017
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery

Saint Michael, Archangel (early 19th C)
Oil on tin
Gift of Dr. Steven McKnight in honor of Frank and Sara

This particular exhibition focuses on the archangels with the highest popularity in 19th-century Mexican retablo art, Michael and Raphael. Their popularity rose from the merging of Pre-Columbian messenger deities with Catholic figures to ease the shift to a new religion. Saint Michael is considered to be the prince and captain general of Heaven’s angels. According to Christian teaching he was the one to combat Satan, the one to call men into their heavenly judgment and to lead the faithful to heaven after their death, and the champion of all Christians and the Church. Saint Michael’s depiction in retablos was inspired by the description of him leading his angels into battle against a dragon found in the Book of Revelation (12:7–9). He is portrayed as a young and beautiful winged entity often wearing armor consisting of mail and a helmet. He is shown either holding scales or a flaming sword, or sometimes both, while he subdues a demon under his feet. On the other hand Saint Raphael is depicted as a pilgrim or a guardian angel to allude to his description throughout the Book of Tobit. He appears holding a traveler’s staff, a gourd, and the fish that was used to heal Tobias’s father’s blindness, and sometimes he is shown wearing armor. He is depicted as a beautiful young man wearing a diadem with a cross in the middle and a red feather, but can sometimes have a boyish appearance. The exhibition does include a retablo that shows St. Raphael with Tobias (2007.6.2), a very rare occurrence in the depiction of the archangel.