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Sunday, June 15, 2008

La Labor: The Paintings of Roel Flores


La Labor: The Paintings of Roel Flores, a traveling exhibition from Texas Folklife that features the work of artist, musician, and former migrant worker and Weslaco native, will be on exhibit at the Brownsville Heritage Complex, located in historic downtown Brownsville.

The public is invited to view the exhibit, which is the only currently scheduled stop for the exhibition in the Rio Grande Valley.

The free, opening reception for the exhibition is at 6 p.m. June 26, 2008. The opening reception will also feature a presentation by the artist Roel Flores and his wife Epifania, as well as Conjunto musical entertainment provided by Grammy awarding winning musician and Brownsville artist Cande Aguilar.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Humanities Texas, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibit features the work of Flores, a self-taught artist, who paints images of fields, sunsets, instruments and other aspects of his life as a Tejano in South Texas. His imagery reveals his love for music and a bittersweet nostalgia for fieldwork.

"To me, you cannot separate the field work from the music. That was what kept us going. That was our only hope," he says. His portraits of Valerio Longoria and other esteemed Tejano musicians memorialize seminal icons and influences of Tejano culture.

Flores' work is included in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute, and two of his paintings traveled with their exhibit "El Rio."

The exhibit includes 25 paintings, artifacts from Mr. Flores' life in the fields, wall panels, and a five-minute introductory video by documentary filmmaker Marcel Rodriguez, as well as a 16-page catalog of his life and work.

The exhibit will be on view through Aug. 1 and is included with the cost of $2 general admission to the Brownsville Heritage Museum. Admission is free for BHA members.

For more information on programs and exhibits, call (956) 541-5560 or go to www.brownsvillehistory.org.

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