Colorful paintings and heart-touching poetry are part of the new exhibit “Our Voices Our Heritage” at the Brownsville Historic Association to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Historic Museum.
National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.
“This exhibit was to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which we celebrate here in the United States from Sep. 15 through Oct. 15,” Aubrey Nielsen, collection’s manager, said in an interview.
“It embraces the pride in our heritage culture in our community, honoring our rich history and our diverse Latinx artists or Hispanic artists that we have here in Brownsville.”
The exhibit features more than 10 local artists with art pieces that range from colorful bird paintings to graphite portraits. Artists featured in the exhibit include Alex Macias, Josie Del Castillo, Cecilia Sierra, Jesus Trevino, Jessie Burciaga, Rebeca Arguelles, Jose Lozano, Juan Velez, Ali Garza and Samantha Rawls.
“The most important thing is to see how the influence, how we really are influenced as our culture is influenced through different types of things. From art to history, economics,” Nielsen sad.
“There is a variety of different ways but this year we are doing local and a lot of times people don’t see the local connection, we look at it at a broader scale and this year we really highlighted our local artists. We have several individuals who are showcasing in different areas and we wanted to show that they are from here but they branch out to different areas and that’s really important, to show their home.”
Nielsen said the museum wanted to show the Hispanic influence in our daily lives, here and not just in cuisine but also in art. She said Brownsville is really rich in cultural arts, so this is a way that they were able to combine the community with a national celebration.
“The exhibit since it is community based, and that was the whole idea behind it, besides from the art we do have a section where people wrote their response to what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them, as well as poetry,” she said.
“Aside from the art paintings, we do have writers, we have individuals who had a concept, an idea of what Hispanic culture means to them and we are able to read that as well.”
The exhibit is also available online at their Facebook page “Brownsville Historical Association” and open to the public in person until Oct. 15. with mandatory face covering and social distancing.
“We are here at the museum still upholding CDC guidelines and local guidelines in terms of social distancing and face covering, so they are required when you come into the exhibit,” Nielsen said. “We also have limited capacity, so it is very safe and we do offer face coverings if the patrons don’t have any and hand sanitizer.”
A poem written by Breanne Ruiz is featured at the museum and states what being Hispanic means to her. The poem is showcased with a black frame and the piece of paper features dark purple flowers.
“It’s about all the people that came before me and the rest yet to be seen,” the poem reads.
“It is a way of life in which we wear our pride, where we work hard and never show divide. There may be walls and borders to say they separate, but little do they know that Hispanic knowledge will open every gate.”