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UTSA presents art exhibit highlighting similarities of border cultures

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Photos courtesy of the artists: (top) Rigoberto Gonzalez, “Autorretrato (Self portrait),” oil on linen, 2010, and Laura Anderson Barbata, “Autorretrato,” mechanical plastic bird, paper and wire, 2001.

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(Jan. 23, 2013) -- The UTSA Department of Art and Art History will present the exhibit "Tal Palo Tal Astilla: Artists Influenced by La Cultura" from Jan. 23 through March 1 in the Arts Building Gallery on the Main Campus.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit focuses on notions of identity through the language of portraiture with video and sculpture works by Laura Anderson Barbata, portraits of inanimate objects by Ana Fernandez and portraits and still-life works by Rigoberto Gonzales. The exhibit is curated by Ricky Cuauhyollotzin Anthony Armendariz, UTSA associate professor of art and art history.

>> Free and open to the public, an opening reception is 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Featuring contemporary art from both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border, "Tal Palo Tal Astilla," roughly translates to "Like Father Like Son." The show seeks to highlight the similarities between these people that geographical borders and boundaries seek to diminish.

The artists share conceptual, aesthetic and ethnic lineage with Mexico. These ties help define Mexico, past and present, as a diverse culture influenced by native people, European conquests, slavery, and people fleeing religious and political persecution. But, this history also informs the unique identities of the artists, and they draw from this history to produce work that is compelling, current and insightful.

The video work and sculpture of Laura Anderson Barbata draws inspiration from spiritually charged religious icons, historical text of indigenous origins and personal narratives.

Ana Fernandez paints symbolic and mystically poetic portraits of inanimate objects such as homes and vehicles, which serve as surrogates for their owners. They are regionally specific to a contemporary view but are broad in their appeal.

Rigoberto Gonzales paints portraits and still-life works that mix political and contemporary subjects and contain complex visual vocabulary with an old-master sensibility.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 1-4 p.m., Saturday; and by appointment. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, contact Laura Crist at 210-458-4391.

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Directions: The UTSA Art Gallery is in the Arts Building on the UTSA Main Campus. From Interstate 10, take exit 557 to UTSA Boulevard. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Valero Drive. Turn left onto East Campus Drive and then make an immediate right into East Campus Lot 13. Shuttle buses travel directly to the Arts Building.