The City Magazine October 2023

Page 1


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FASHION · HEALTH · lifestyle

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AT LARGE Shelley Mozelle | ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Chaz Wilson | EDITORIAL Senior Editor Erin Coulehan |

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October 2023


October 2023

From the arts

Shakespeare has a great line

month, we’re celebrating creativity

others would be satisfied” (I’m





are alive and well in El Paso. This

and the arts, and the many ways our city is illuminated by ideas brought to life. I’m excited for you to get to know

the masterminds behind Creative Kids’ extraordinary work, and the larger-than-life puppet they’re bringing to town.

Little Amal is a 12-foot-tall puppet of a little girl created by Handspring Puppet

Company. I fell in love with the company’s

work in 2010 during the premiere season of ‘War Horse’ in London, and later more

deeply infatuated with their production

about “leaving hungry where most paraphrasing!) but this was totally my experience at Texas Culinary

Institute. Chef John Delgado was

incredibly patient with me and my

aversion to getting my hands wet, sticky, or in any other state that

might prevent me from typing,

and guided me through a crash course in the classes offered

at Texas Culinary Institute that include spooky classes in honor of Halloween.

of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer

Other Halloween-themed activities

Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2014.

and Goblins in the Garden’ on

Night’s Dream’ at the Kennedy Center for

Suffice to say, I cannot wait to meet Little Amal and learn more about her journey.

This issue is, essentially, a road map of some of the many artistic journeys being lived in

El Paso, as well as a showcase of the very

this month include ‘Ghosts, Ghouls, Halloween at Keystone Heritage

Park and Botanical Garden where guests can explore the garden in

a family friendly environment that

includes vendors, and maybe a few fun tricks and treats.

many intersections that exist.

This issue is particularly exciting

For example, take Rebecca Munoz, who quite

mediums that makeup the work

literally has her hand in almost every artistic

endeavor going on in downtown El Paso, and continues to elevate our exquisite city. You’ll read all about her, from her role coordinating

Chalk the Block’s 16th anniversary, to being a

co-owner of a trendy film cafe, to being at the helm of the Mexican American Cultural Center. What’s more, Cimi Alvarado, renowned local

because it celebrates the artistic we do at the magazine. From celebrating




fashion designers like Molly Hiett Dery and Gia Soleil Espinoza, to documenting the great, the glam, and badasses that makeup our community through photography that Jordan Licon, Sergio Olivas, and Katherine Kocian have gorgeously captured.

artist and muralist, has lent his talents to the

Like the process of creating a magazine

Lanahan captures the meaning and beauty

savored, honored, and cultivated – and it’s

silver screen as part of ‘Blue Beetle.’ Amber of the work in her editorial, and explores

its larger cultural message, I really love this work by her. 12

itself, artistic creation is something to be

been my experience that good things come to those who create.

October 2023

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October 2023

Contributors Erin








Senior Editor




Fernando Antonio








contents OCTOBER 2023 VOLUME 115





The Continental Collective By: FERNANDO ANTONIO MONTEJANO



‘Blue Beetle’ Illuminates Latino Communities


Creative Kids Walk with Giants By: ERIN COULEHAN


Here and Now



Of Minds and Marathons

A Star is Born




Paradox Immersive Art Gallery Awakens the Senses By: STEPHANIE AMERENA


REBECCA October 2023


MUNOZ October 2023




welve years ago, in October of 2011, Downtown El Paso earned its title as an Arts District

through an 18-month long campaign pushed forward by the cities Museums and Cultural Affairs Division, also known as MCAD. Since 2005, MCAD has been working to, as their mission statement says, “assist in developing a world-class arts community in El Paso, Texas.”

Judging by the amount of arts and cultural events in the city, MCAD really has been working hard to accomplish that mission.

In one year alone, the El Paso Arts District manages to:

• Host over 50 art exhibits from local artists to exhibits from international museums • Produce four mainstage operas and 21 symphony orchestra concerts

• Present five touring Broadway productions and up to 30 locally produced live theater shows • Run 80 children’s camps, 150 open air concerts, and up to 200 lectures and workshops • As well as put together 10 major arts/cultural festivals The city is full of artists and events that highlight how incredibly talented El Paso is. Not only talented, but also passionate.

Now, all of this is great, but talking about an organization like this makes it feel like some

faceless entity spitting out arts events, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

MCAD offers the opportunity for local

MCAD is run by a handful of professionals

A native El Pasoan, former professor at

to find spaces to market themselves and

the creatives they work with.

Aaron & George’s Film Cafe, has a master

creatives to be paid for that passion, but also their products during massive events like the

Art and Farmers Market or Chalk The Block, both of which hire local artists and vendors every year to celebrate the city’s culture.

who are just as passionate about the arts as

Some of them are even creatives and artists themselves.

I’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Munoz.

EPCC, painter, chef and baker, co-owner of

of fine arts from NMSU, and is an absolute powerhouse of a cultural worker.

(Plus, there are too many other things to list because she is amazing.)


October 2023

Munoz has been MCAD’s Cultural Program

just in the “organized chaos” that comes with

exactly as it should. Even if things go awry,

farmers markets, Chalk the Block events, and

events, but also in the ways these events

handle it.

Manager since 2012. Meaning, many of the

Dia De Los Muertos celebrations that have happened over the years were coordinated

the planning and production of these many connect artists, communities, and culture.

by her and the team of professionals who

“It’s a little bit chaotic but it’s an organized

“It’s been a privilege to be able to work in my

The first moment I walked into the MCAD

I take lightly! I understand what a space

that chaos.

work by her side.

field, in my hometown. It’s not an opportunity it is to have that, there are a lot of working

chaos!” she told me with a chuckle.

doorways, I was greeted with some of

Munoz and her team are sure they can

“Cultural and Arts workers wear lots of hats,” said Munoz, with a fair amount of pride. She’s been going through vendor applications for the upcoming Chalk the

Block event, selecting groups for Dia De

Los Muertos festivities, and even planning Winter Fest already.

artists hitting the pavement every day,” she

The offices are under renovation, so things

Munoz spoke of the ways she hopes that

development, that culture, and that process

despite the construction going on in the

people enjoy, but events that truly showcase

says. “It’s really great to be a part of that

here in El Paso – to be able to push projects along that are innovative and community-

based that seeks to support artists and organizations to do what they do best.”

After talking with Munoz, it became clear that

she finds a genuine joy and satisfaction not 20

are a little disjointed at the moment, but

building, the walls remain adorned with

incredible props from events past and

MCAD isn’t just putting on events that the unique culture that exists in El Paso.

beautiful pieces of local art. Something

These major events become hubs for

work that happens behind the scenes. The

the culmination between these two distinct

about that felt almost symbolic of the

organized chaos that looks like madness from the outside but on the inside is running

community, bordertown celebrations of and beautifully melded cultures. Munoz is passionate about these spaces she creates


October 2023


being spaces where people don’t just celebrate the way culture can change, but also embrace that change for the better.



“Culture is not a monolith, it’s something that breathes and lives and transforms,” she says.

The work Munoz has done with MCAD has been incredible but now she’s taking this drive for cultural connection and using it in a new role under the MCAD umbrella.

In 2012, the same year Munoz started with

MCAD, 72 percent of El Pasoans voted for a Quality of Life bond that included three signature projects.

One of those signature projects is the

CONTACT ME FOR A QUOTE! (915) 642-8037

MACC, The Mexican American Cultural


to be a cultural hub using art to connect

Delightful Creations by Kim, LLC.

Center, opening in 2024. A space designed communities in El Paso. The MACC will

include; exhibition spaces, a state-of-the-art

auditorium and black box theater, broadcast and recording studios, an artist in residence studio, and so much more.

A place such as this needs someone in

charge who is as passionate as the space is impressive.

Lucky for us, the Director of the Mexican

American Cultural Center is our very own, Rebecca Munoz. Speaking with Munoz made me hopeful for what’s to come, not just for her

future, but for the future of Downtown El Paso and the passionate creatives who live here.

“We are unique in our position as a border

city, we have the opportunity to showcase the beauty of Mexican-American culture in El Paso,” she says, “to make connections to other

communities, and to be a hub that honors the history and struggles that came before.”


October 2023

ike muscles in the body, creativity is

strengthened through exercise. Athletes,

especially runners, describe a “high” that leads to a meditative state that can lead

to increased mental and creative activity. For example, a study published in 2014 by Stanford University reports that participants who walked on a treadmill underwent a creative boost after exercising.

Additionally, research links physical activity

to neurogenesis in regions of the brain

question: What got you

into athletics or more

specifically running? Were

your family and friends into

sports and running or were

you flying solo? Could you tell

us more about yourself? How

long have you been in El Paso? What do you love most about being in the southwest, El Paso, specifically?

associated with memory and learning. On

Mike Coulter

or community helps develop friendships.

and raised. Went away to

top of that, being part of an exercise group

Mike Coulter is the Race Director of the El

Paso Marathon and has been involved in the running community for 15 years. He is

part of Race Adventures Unlimited and the

El Paso Marathon Foundation who execute philanthropy and diverse races for our region and beyond.

The City Magazine sat down with Coulter to discuss El Paso’s marathon culture.

Thank you for giving us your time and on




directing the El Paso Marathon. Origin story


college for a few years but

returned. You can’t beat our

weather and our unique culture.

I am also a huge fan of our Franklin


life. I was 26 when I discovered running. It

to inspire, raise funds, and create healthy

Mountains. I came to running a little later in was through my work that I got introduced to

the joy of road running. My boss at the time extended an invitation to every employee

to join him in running the International 15K,

Major cities to small towns have marathons communities. Could you tell us how the El Paso Marathon was started and how it has evolved historically and organizationally?

a 15K race that started in El Paso, ran into


About 15 of us took him up on his invitation

that El Paso was one of the few major metro

Juarez and then finished back in El Paso.

The City Magazine expertise

I am a native El Pasoan, born

and the rest is history. We had so much fun! I was hooked.

In 2006, Luis Talavera came to the realization areas without a marathon and went to work setting up a non-profit to organize a

marathon that would be a Boston Qualifier in

October 2023

Of Minds and Marathons | By: NICO SILVA-SALINAS |

hopes of bringing people from other cities

Dorian, or Aravaipa Running. Could you tell

runners through Fort Bliss to a spectacular

took place in 2007 and featured a marathon

is there anything to do about bringing it back

This was probably our most popular course.

to run in our great community. Our first race

and half marathon starting and finishing adjacent to the El Paso Museum of Art. A 5K distance was added in 2008.

readers why the race hasn’t been back and

or maybe something similar. The Franklin

Mountains and our Castner range are gems. Especially during Poppy Season.



Transmountain Challenge: Half Marathon,

race I participated in and one of my all time

I know you from running races like the probably one of my favorite running experiences outside of Ultras, held by Mark

The Transmountain Challenge was the second

favorites. One of our marathon courses actually

started at the top of Transmountain then took

downtown finish in Southwest University Park. Two things required us to find another course. One was major I-10 construction prohibited us

from closing Transmountain road to vehicular

traffic and the other was higher security

measures on Fort Bliss that made it impossible to have runners just run through the post. My hope is that things will change in the near future as I am often asked when we will be able to run on TransMountain again.


October 2023


For those new to running or walking long distance (over a mile) what advice can you

Facebook and I encourage people to get connected with a group!


I have one of the greatest jobs ever. I get to

see scores of people realize their goals as they cross the finish line!

give them to train for their first 5k. Hopefully


that benefits a great cause.

races, running and the “why” of going for 26.2


Famer, went for the Pan y Agua Party Series.

support this year’s race as a volunteer,

the Spine and Rehab Specialists 5k or a race

miles as Jim Weddell, El Paso Athletic Hall of


Start out walking just to get your body used

to the movement. Make it your goal to walk, jog for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week for a couple of weeks. Work up to 45 minutes a

session 4 to 5 times a week by adding 10% each week.

The pandemic has taught us the power

of health and community. Are there any

running clubs you know of that are very

active outside of Run El Paso. Would you say the running and walking culture of El Paso is developing?





But what keeps you going being the Race Director and literally how do you pull it off, from volunteer direction, to logistics, to





Runners. You can find these clubs on

Speaking of speed, how can El Pasoans

entertainer, or spectator? I love clapping and cheering on the racers as they come in from sub 3 hours to the ones that finish with every last drop of energy in their body.

making and flagging the course, to wow


check in and asking participants if they are

the Volunteer tab. There you will be able to

doing the race for their first time or gunning

for a PR. You can see how proud they are of their training and a light in their eyes to

accomplish something truly amazing. From a first 3.1 mile run without stopping, to a

Visit us at and click on see what our needs are and sign up to be a part of this outstanding community event. Or







flat and fast 13.1 mile to a challenging and


even drive 26.2 miles a day, so to do it at a 15

the marathon world and what do you see in

possibly life changing 26.2 miles. I don’t

Striders, Coffee Posse, and El Paso 24

What comes to mind for me is: #endorphins

how do you do it? I love volunteering at



We could probably talk for hours about

min or slower pace or Olympic record pace should be celebrated either way.

What are some trends you are seeing in the El Paso market? Are more new runners trying more races?

October 2023 MC

Things are picking back up and that is

encouraging. More and more people are discovering the marathon distance and we’re thrilled to be able to offer them the opportunity to take on the challenge. TCM

Who should we be looking out to win this year in each gender, place and age group? Do you see UTEP, EPCC, NMSU, and local

The 5th Largest Food Distributor in the US

school track and cross country represent?

Family-Owned And operated for over 100 Years


It’s too early to predict who might cross the

line first. You never know who’s going to be there on race day. TCM

What should people expect at the end of a

Founded in Fort Worth, Texas

Our promise is a commitment to excellence by being the best, most efficient distributor of quality products , superior services, and support to our employees and customers everywhere

marathon party? What advice do you have

(915) 203-6944

race? Rest, ICE, compression, elevation?

Call David Garcia for the best service and food quality

for first time racers for what to do after the Have a sports massage? Any particular

potassium and electrolyte foods you prefer? MC

Post race re-hydrate! Electrolytes are

important too. We are planning more

entertainment in our post race area this year

We are makers. What can we make for you?

with music, photo opportunities, post race

stretching courtesy of our 5K sponsor El Paso Spine & Rehab Specialists. TCM

I am extremely excited for all the runners and

walkers getting ready in the winter to reach

their personal goals on race day February 18, 2024. Anything else to add? MC

We couldn’t put this event on without the generous support of our title sponsors. Michelob Ultra sponsoring our Marathon, RAIZ Federal Credit Union sponsoring our Half Marathon and runner bags and Spine

& Rehab Specialists, our 5K sponsors! So keep running, invite your friends and

neighbors out to cheer and be there on Sunday, February 18, 2024.




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Serves L&ooks Love

October 2023



October 2023


ashion isn’t for the faint of heart,

Not to be deterred, Espinoza took on the

elevated options to the Borderland

owner where she focused on print materials for

and a local entrepreneur is bringing that are ready to wear, whether

you’re serving looks or on the tennis court.

Gia Soleil Espinoza, founder of Gia Soleil

Boutique, is working to create chic and

family trade as a third-generation print shop milestone events like weddings, baby showers,

and more. She parlayed the print shop into fashion after selling the business, which

empowered her to focus on the clothing brand.

sustainable fashion in the Borderland with

“It’s definitely been a process. The fashion

entrepreneurial endeavors, Espinoza is also a

constantly have to be on the lookout for

inclusivity and innovation. Aside from her fashion enthusiast, model, and Miss Teen Lone Star State who is using her platform to advocate for her sartorial and environmental values.

“I always wanted to create a brand based on my pageantry and modeling experience,”

she explains. “I graduated high school early then earned my realtor license, then quickly realized that wasn’t for me.”

industry is very hard to break into, so I

what’s new and what’s trending – and I love that!” says Espinoza.

Espinoza oversees each step of the process,

beginning with sketching the design and later selecting the fabrics and materials.

“I’ve always struggled with finding materials that I can be in. I get very overstimulated by clothing that doesn’t fit comfortably, or is

too loose or too tight, or the texture is itchy or uncomfortable,” she explains. “So I find

materials that are soft, comfortable, and make you feel good wearing them.”

The athletic collection includes individual pieces that can be mixed and matched as

sets, as well as one piece in pants and shorts. Espinoza used her experience with apparel

that wasn’t functional for her own workouts to ensure that pieces from her collection are functional (and fun!).

“Everything has a built-in sports bra and sweatproof material, so your sweat doesn’t

show when you’re wearing it. Also, our shorts don’t ride up during squats – they stay right where they’re supposed to be,” says Espinoza.

For now, Espinoza is working on expanding the

athletic collection to include more pieces for fall, like pants, jackets, hoodies, and sweats, as well as events throughout the community.

“It’s an exciting time and I’m really looking

forward to introducing more people to the brand,” she says. “The best part is that this brand is by women, for women.”

October 2023

Not Your Typical Movie Night

The Community Curator at Aaron & Georges Film Cafe | By: FERNANDO ANTONIO MONTEJANO |


October 2023


t’s Saturday night and you’re looking for

Munoz, the husband and wife team that

Jazmyn Janay Cuevas recently graduated

all the movies playing in theaters and

offering something so unique that it has

a minor in African American studies, as

something new to watch. You’ve seen

because of the writers’ strikes, the only

things releasing are remastered versions of

old movies you’ve seen a million times. You

run Aaron & George’s Film Cafe have been exploded into something neither of them could have imagined.

hop onto the internet and start searching for

The Community Curator is a special event

As your fingers type and type, something

Georges’, it is a special movie viewing where

anything other than the same old same old.

catches your eye. A place Downtown you’ve

that happens every weekend at Aaron & the presenter of the night’s film is a member

from UTEP with a masters in literature and

well as a concentration in Ethnic Studies. As she took the stage to present the film for the night, ‘La Negrada,’ a 2018 movie

directed by Jorge Perez Solano, it became clear that the audience wasn’t sitting down for a run of the mill movie.

of the community.

Cuevas approached a microphone set

event. Live music follows the night’s feature

Some are artists, musicians, or just film

night’s presentation. She used her time as

being presented. Some passionate member

passionate El Pasoans who are using the

never been to before, playing a movie you’ve never even heard of, but not just that, it’s an

film and the movie itself isn’t just playing, it’s

of the community is planning a whole night based around this piece of cinema you don’t know and you can’t help but be interested. So you make a plan, head Downtown, and as you walk into this new place you feel something.

The space is inviting and comfortable, warm

lighting illuminates framed posters of old and new movies. Cult classics adorn the walls, the back corner glows with polaroids

of special guests and regular customers who’ve become family. You smell popcorn

but not just that, the allure of home cooked meals fills the air and a long haired man in

lovers. Others are scholars, activists, and medium of film to relay their message to a wider audience.

Community Curators get to choose a movie

they love and submit it as their choice to present at the cafe. As far as the form goes,

that’s it. You submit a film idea, write a short description of why you believe it would be a

great film to present, and if you’re accepted, well that’s where the fun begins.

Once you’ve been accepted, the ball is in your court.

glasses notices you shuffling in. You are

Winter and Munoz offer a lot of freedom

de Olla, a smile that asks you to come and

long as you can put it together, the way you

greeted with a small sampling of warm Cafe

find a seat, and suddenly, it’s like you never left home.

Aaron & George’s Film Cafe is a unique space in Downtown El Paso that doesn’t just want you to come and watch a movie, it’s a

place that breathes film and instead asks

you to take part in the celebration of cinema that occurs every weekend.

A cafe that serves diner classics alongside homemade Mexican comfort foods and

professionally baked pastries to go along

to their Community Curators, meaning so

present this film is entirely up to you. Because of this freedom, so far the Community Curator

but one that sits as a cultural milestone for Mexican filmmaking. ‘La Negrada’ is the first

film in history to feature a cast made up entirely of afro-indigenous people. Every

character in the film was a black Mexican

and Cuevas talked about the topic with informed passion.

Winter and Munoz were so shocked – not just

at the content of the films being presented – but also by how passionate people were when presenting them.

“We were very happy at the response,” said Munoz. “It’s so great to see people who are

maybe a little shy, but love films, coming to the cafe to talk about why they love these films.”

history and significance, to power point

‘Psycho’ because the soundtrack was so

passionate film essays detailing a movie’s presentations and even live musical shows

filled with songs that connect to the movies

come in and play ‘Psycho,’ and they chose influential to him becoming a musician.”

central themes. Basically, the Community

Aaron & George’s Film Cafe has quickly

will bring a unique flavor to their film of choice,

Downtown El Paso’s art space, offering a

Curator event guarantees that each presenter delving into the most important issues presented in the movie itself.

art and culture downtown, but for the last

necessarily passionate about film, but about

just beautifully shot and artfully directed,

She continues, “We had a music teacher

The real fun begins when Community

few months, Douglas Winter and Rebecca

Community Curator to show us a film not

event has seen people bring everything from

with your Cafe de Olla. All of this alone would

be enough to make the film cafe a staple of

out for her to speak and let loose on the







become a powerful yet cozy contender in quiet reprieve from the normal nightlife.

Allowing the community to take the reins

and share their passions with the city, no matter what those passions may be.

the film’s subject matter.


October 2023

Diabetes on the Runway These models represent individuals from all walks of life. From youth with Type 1 diabetes to individuals who have lived with Type 2 diabetes for over twenty years. The diabetes journey is unique to each person and we are thankful to all the models for sharing a bit of their story. Know someone with diabetes or recently diagnosed? We have the tools to manage diabetes! Visit to take the diabetes risk test and find helpful videos, downloadable guides, recipes, and more! 32

October 2023


October 2023


October 2023

The Continental Collective

Giving An Old Building New Life N


ot far off the corner of Overland

store that doesn’t just pile up

with a simple history and a

it’s old. Escandon has cultivated a vintage

and El Paso sits a mighty building

powerful presence. If you’ve ever strolled down El Paso Street and admired the many

local businesses bustling with life, there is

a huge chance you’ve walked beneath the big blue awning that jets out from the front

of The Continental. Not long ago, this was a simple clothing and shoe store sporting

garbage and hope you’ll buy it because

Guillen occupies the back of the building

a part of her collection. Not only does she

projects from various buyers, and teaches

the history of and has hand chosen to be

have an eye for incredible vintage finds, she also has a keen sense for business in a way that I can only describe as artistic.

She views her business practices less as

Now, however, The Continental building is

an opportunity to empower local business

of creators, artists, and entrepreneurs come together to breathe new life into Downtown El Paso.

a way to meet the bottom line and more as owners. She creates spaces where art, commerce, and community can come together to stimulate the local economy in ways that are familiar but unique.

The leader of the group, a familiar name

“It’s a lot of work and we’re putting our heart

Escandon. If you recognize that name it’s

something that I think is going to continue

in vintage retail in recent years, is Darlene

because Darlene runs the Jane & Jensen

Nostalgia Shop, a breathtaking vintage

firefighter turned obsessive woodworker.

retail experience full of pieces she knows

brands like Nike, Adidas, and Levi’s.

evolving like a living being as a fresh team

Next we have Sergio Guillen, a former

where he works on beautiful commission amateur woodworkers the art of the craft. He is a true artisan: a stoic who chooses

his words wisely and who claims to be fully obsessed with his work, feeling a constant

drive to better himself, and learn more about this work he has found so much fulfillment

in. Guillen spoke with a conviction I rarely hear in other people, it was a sureness in his voice that reminded me c that this was what he wanted to do; since he started,

there was no question that he needed to do anything else but this.

and soul into it. This is a passion project and

“I’m obsessed, yeah? I’m not just motivated

to grow if we continue to support each other

exclaimed as he delved more into his

instead of trying to compete with each other,” says Escandon with a fire in her eyes.

or ambitious, I’m obsessed. I love it,” Guillen motivations for woodworking.


Giving An Old Building New Life

October 2023

Finally, we have the resident artist, JD

art for it and people talk about it with me,

2021 was a way to bring people back to in-

mediums, both painting and branching

Vizarraga explained with a sincere smile

to people that would make them want to

Vizarraga. A visual artist working in multiple

out into physical 3D art as well. Speaking

with him felt comfortable, like speaking

and then once I do that, then I can let it go,” running across his face.

with someone whose obsessions lie in the


things he is passionate about. It doesn’t

hosts markets at The Continental most

genuine pleasure he gets from taking in matter if it’s movies, television shows, or cult

classic pop culture, when Vizarraga finds

something that sparks in his brain, he buries himself in it. He creates new pieces of art

inspired by classic characters, turning them

into vibrant pieces of modern art. We spoke for hours about the things that drive him and

as we did I understood what brought these three individuals together. Obsession.





all devoted to their crafts. Escaondon

weekends, putting in the effort to find local vendors for each one as well as lining up

live performances to provide ambiance for

step out and experience some connection

again. Her first market saw collaborations with vendors but also marked her penchant for bringing artists into the fold.

For example, Brian Holt created a massive calavera out of metal that was lit on fire.

each market. During some markets, Guillen

Escandon even collaborated with acclaimed

or putting more time into his craft as he

his art during her markets!

works in the back, teaching workshops

finishes commissions. Vizarraga meets

local artist, Diego Robot, who still features

fans of his art, people taking selfies with his

“Being an artist in El Paso and taking that

vibrant color as they contemplate buying

I’m always looking for ways to connect

pop culture icons all done up in fantastic, one of his originals.

“I love getting lost in things, I love going into

Escandon has been holding creative markets

things. I just can’t get rid of it until I do the

started to wane. Her first in October of

my own little world and I get obsessed with

person shopping, trying to offer something

like these since the pandemic lockdowns

risk, it takes a lot of courage. As an artist

with people. I feel Darlene has that gift, that

magic to her. She knows how to connect with people and is always super supportive of everyone,” he says.

CHeck us out! CALENDAR

Find out about:

Locally Owned & The most up-to-date calendar in El Paso

Special Events Parties Art Exhibits Films Concerts And MORE


learn more at:

Trying to add events? Contact Mari VanPelt at 915.217.0723

Together, with Escandon’s passion for

bringing creatives and local businesses together, Guillen’s obsession to create

more and get better at his craft, and Escandon’s penchant for capturing the subjects he’s most enamored by, the

three have birthed something in this

space that could be a game changer each other in Downtown El Paso.

A room without a rug is like a kiss without a hug

All three of these driven individuals are

Stop by for a cup of tea and browse

for the way local entrepreneurs support

excited to see what comes next for The

to add more creators, professionals, and


this old space that is breathing new life

Repairing Cleaning Padding

Continental Collective, hoping especially community minded business owners to into a historic part of this wonderful city.


6600 North Mesa

Suite 404, El Paso, Texas 79912 37

October 2023

| Words and photos by: AMBER LANAHAN |


October 2023 the Segundo landscape. During the tour, the

two also opened up about their personal stories growing up in the communities of Segundo and Santurce.

“At the time, I didn’t know much about Puerto

Rico, so I found it interesting that during

the tour he shared how much Segundo reminded him of his community back in

Illuminates Latino Communities he City of El Paso has had its comic

book superhero take to the big

screen in the film ‘Blue Beetle’ this past

our discussions about the Chicano and Puerto Rican movements that we realized they had a lot of details in common.”

It wouldn’t be until later that Alvarado would discover that his connection to Soto and

Puerto Rico would not end after Soto’s stay in El Paso.

August. While the film doesn’t take place

While the film was in the middle of production

the call to action to promote the young man

he’d be willing to fly to Santurce and paint a

within the Sun City, local artists answered in the blue suit.

in Atlanta, Alvarado received a call asking if mural for the film.

However, amidst the array of creatives

“I’m always grateful for the opportunity, “

local artist has been granted the opportunity

someone out there seeing what I’m doing,

chosen to celebrate Blue Beetle, only one to create a massive promotional mural

celebrating the iconic superhero and have their creative work appear within the film. That artist? Muralist, Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado. A call from the film’s director, Angel Manuel

Alvarado shared, “ I feel honored that there’s and being invited onto a project such as this – it’s big.”

Alvarado saw firsthand the truth behind

Soto’s words about the similarities between their communities as the citizens of Santurce welcomed the El Paso artist as one of their own during his stay.

Soto, asking for a local guide throughout the

“They didn’t just show me kindness because

Alvarado’s journey with ‘Blue Beetle.’

and the community over there was very

city of El Paso served as the origin story for

“I don’t know how he knew of my work, but

he’d reached out asking to meet, and we ended up touring through Segundo,” shared Alvarado.

Alvarado grew up in Segundo Barrio, which

of the film. They were very welcoming, reflective to that of the El Paso community and culture,” he says.

When asked about the mural he designed

for the film and his inspiration, Alvarado shared his experience.

is also the location of much of his creative

“I was given a lot of creative freedom when

symbolism of the various murals illuminating

where he was going with the story or even if

work, where he and Soto discussed the

Santurce,” Alvarado says. “It was through

it came to the mural in the film. I didn’t know 39

October 2023 it would make it past the final cut, but when they let me move forward with the work,

which is a political piece, I knew that the film would be interesting,” he says.

The mural Alvarado created tells the history of activists who stood up against the injustices facing Latino communities through the portrayal of notable iconography and Latino revolutionaries.

Two symbols within the piece are the Zapatista





nationalist Lolita Lebrón. Both stand as a

testament to the power of Latina women,

seen documented throughout the film, but also the more profound message of a

people who continue to face a disregard of

their history and culture. Such experiences ring true to the home within the film’s narrative as lead Jaime Reyes bears witness

to the gentrification of his community and the threat of eviction from his family home.

The centuries-long history between cultures

is reflected in Alvarado’s favorite character in the film, Nana Reyes, the matriarch and abuela of the Reyes household.

“I won’t spoil anything, but I like what they referenced with her character. The people she’s representing and her past. In Latino

families, our abuelas and mothers are the ones who are the heads of the family. They’re the glue that holds everyone together, and I feel

these traits are shown with the abuela,” ha says. Nana Reyes is a character who has seen much adversity in her lifetime.

The way she addresses these trials pays

homage to generations of Latina women

who have taken on such struggles with more than grace.

The narrative within the Blue Beetle film sprinkles kisses to the Latino community

through nostalgic Easter eggs, like Mexican superhero El Chapulín Colorado. 40

October 2023

Blue Beetle


[ Still, it never fails to delve deeper into the facets of the community that make its story unique.

From those embarrassing (yet comforting)

family moments supporting a significant milestone to the uncomfortable reality of

microaggressions from the front desk clerk

Tinseltown property that proved to be an unexpected challenge.

“It took some time because if I didn’t pay

attention to how I painted the pillars, it would end up affecting the flow of the work”, Alvarado shared.

once one passes through the door, ‘Blue

The focal point of the mural, Blue Beetle,

to underlying issues that drive its antagonist

and care, but that effort proved all the more

Beetle’ is a film that chooses to bring attention forward, while also allowing audiences the opportunity to understand the film’s hero through his culture and community.

To boost anticipation for the film, Warner

Bros. contacted Alvarado again to ask for his assistance promoting ‘Blue Beetle’ to the El

took the artist a week’s worth of attention

worth it as the detailing of the completed work is on full display at 45 feet high.

The mural was on display at the Tinseltown

on 11855 Gateway Blvd W. briefly after the film’s initial release.

Paso community.

‘Blue Beetle’ is a film that allows audiences

Picking up his spray can one more time for

providing a glimpse into the everyday lives

the film, Alvarado worked for two weeks to

create a 50-foot, four-story mural of the El

Paso superhero in an action pose with the distinct white glow of the El Paso star atop the mountain beneath the evening sky.

This piece was worked on throughout two weeks of 12-hour days under an El Paso

sun that quickly shot the Borderland into the triple digits would not be the biggest

problem facing the muralist. Rather, it was the pillars that lie along the wall face of the

to enjoy a great superhero story while also

of Latino communities. The efforts made by the ‘Blue Beetle’ team are best summed up

by a line that Alvarado came across during the film’s promotion.

“I’d come across a piece that called Blue Beetle ‘a love letter to Mexican Americans

and Chicano culture.’ I feel the film does an

(915) 594-2841

excellent job at displaying that rich history,”

he says. For the creative minds behind the film, it would appear that ‘Blue Beetle’ represents the Latino experience.


11250 Montwood Dr, El Paso, TX 79936

January th


, 2024


FOLLOW US for up-to-date information The City Magazine El Paso



Beauty and Personal Transformation

Beauty and personal transformation go hand-in-hand, and this month, we’re thrilled to explore the range of services available in El Paso led by top-notch industry professionals. From fashion and lashes, to medical esthetics and brain performance, these experts are sure to have you looking and feeling your best from the inside out!


@injectionsbydrii @injectionsbyyvonne

Higher Level Skin and Beauty El Paso 9398 Viscount Blvd, Building 5A El Paso, TX 79925


Higher Level Skin and Beauty Dallas 218 W. 10th St. Dallas, TX 75208

Photographed by: KATHERINE KOCIAN

Higher Level Skin and Beauty El Paso 9398 Viscount Blvd, Building 5A El Paso, TX 79925 What do you specialize in?

Higher Level Skin and Beauty is a premier medical spa that focuses on achieving your aesthetic goals. We help patience boost their self-esteem and develop heightened confidence.

How did you get started in this industry?

Being a patient ourselves made us fall in love with the industry.

Photographed by: KATHERINE KOCIAN

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

Our services include Botox, dermal fillers, facial treatments, and medical-grade skin care products. Our trained and experienced team will provide an individualized treatment plan to achieve your desired look. We specialize in lip augmentation, Kybella, non-surgical rhinoplasty, jawline and body contouring.

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you?

We make people feel better about themselves inside and out. Allow us to be part of your Higher Level of Beauty and #levelup. Why do you love serving the El Paso community? We love our home town and the amazing community that we serve. We help people look and feel their best.


Maribel Magallanes FNP-BC Modern MD 5915 Silver Springs Dr, Bldg. 3 Ste A. El Paso, TX, 79912 Modern MD El Paso PLLC @modernmdpllc


Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Maribel Magallanes FNP-BC Modern MD 5915 Silver Springs Dr, Bldg. 3 Ste A. El Paso, TX, 79912

Modern MD El Paso PLLC

What do you specialize in?

At Modern MD, we specialize in family medicine, hormone replacement therapy, weight loss, and more. Our Mission is to provide you and your family with the best care possible and treat you with dignity and the respect you deserve. We are committed to excellence.

How did you get started in this industry?

Since I was a child, I have liked helping people. As an adult, I wanted to help people feel better and look great. Today, I’m able to live my dream everyday in the beautiful community of El Paso.

Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS


Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

I have a passion for helping patients prevent diseases, while also looking and feeling their best. At Modern MD, we offer a range of services that include injectables, Botox cosmetics, lip fillers, and Kybella), Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, custom weight loss programs, and more.

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you? Being in this industry means everything to me! Making my patients feel good and look good is priceless.

Why do you love serving the El Paso community? I love the food, history, and the beautiful mountains.


Desert Spirit Spa

Desert Spirit Spa

Adam Gautreaux, Area General Manager Desert Spirit Spa 10 Henry Trost Ct. El Paso, TX 79901 (915) 516-6680 48 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING

Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Adam Gautreaux, Area General Manager Desert Spirit Spa 10 Henry Trost Ct. El Paso, TX 79901 (915) 516-6680 Desert Spirit Spa

Desert Spirit Spa

What do you specialize in?

At Desert Spirit Spa, our services boast a variety of specialties across the genres of massage, skincare, nail services, hair styling, and waxing treatments. We have the only salt therapy room in El Paso with a halogenerator to vaporize organic Himalayan salt into the air, which neutralizes toxins from the body and improves overall wellness by removing toxicity from the respiratory system, improving the function and appearance of the skin, and boosting the immune system.

How did you get started in this industry?

The beauty industry is a diverse and dynamic field with numerous opportunities for creativity and innovation. We started with a simple promise that our guests will drift into paradise from a highly customized experience.

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

Located on Hotel Paso Del Norte’s Autograph Collection’s exclusive 10th floor, Desert Spirit Spa captures the soul of El Paso with customized treatments, ambiance and breathtaking views.

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you?

Beauty blooms in diversity and empowers each one of us. We celebrate our clients’ inner and outer beauty that encompasses a wide range of personalities, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes.

Why do you love serving the El Paso community?

Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

We’re proud of our rich, 100-year heritage and luxury of this premiere destination that remains a favorite meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Our unique blend of Mexican, Texan and Native American cultures makes this stately hotel and all of it’s offerings a true Southwest gem. SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 49

Alfredo H. Arellano PMHCNS-BC, PA Eddie Mariscal PMHNP-BC Office: (915) 307-5796 Fax: (915) 307-5822

Alfredo H. Arellano Mental Health Services aapsychelpaso


Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Alfredo H. Arellano PMHCNS-BC, PA Eddie Mariscal PMHNP-BC Office: 915-307-5796 Fax: 915-307-5822

Alfredo H. Arellano Mental Health Services aapsychelpaso

What do you specialize in?

We specialize in the most advanced, psychiatric treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy, Spravato (esketamine) treatment, diagnostic testing (brain mapping, psychological and neuropsychological testing) and medication management to help others transform their lives. We offer services to those ages 12 and older, and offer treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, and much more.

How did you get started in this industry?

Psychiatry is intriguing and we enjoy helping others. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

We provide comprehensive evaluations and offer the most recent, research-based treatments to assist you in improving your mind, body and soul! Our clinic is the largest TMS clinic in El Pasoand has treated over 700 patients. Our two office locations have four CloudTMS machines and a highly-trained staff to ensure treatments are delivered correctly.

What does personal transformation mean to you?

A person’s ability to make drastic, positive changes. Change starts in the mind and that’s our specialty. Our mind dictates the rest of our body’s behavior.

Why do you serve El Paso?

We are enthusiastic about our services and are here to assist you or your loved one with the best evidence-based therapies and treatments, regardless of whether someone has an acute or chronic condition. El Paso is home and we want to give back to our community. We want El Paso to know that we strive to be leaders in psychiatric care and that the best, most recent treatments can be found in our clinics! SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 51

House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano 4700 North Mesa St. Suite F-1 El Paso, TX 79912

House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano



Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano 4700 North Mesa St. Suite F-1 El Paso, TX 79912

House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano


What do you specialize in?

House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano is a premier beauty salon located in El Paso, Texas, with over 25 years of experience. We specialize in transformative hair and skincare services and products. SYLFIRMX is a the world’s first and only pulsed wave and continuous radio frequency micro needling device. It painlessly provides skin tone, texture and tightening. It also can treat Melasma, acne scars, skin rejuvenation and vascular pigmentation. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

How did you get started in this industry? Since childhood I’ve been passionate about hair and skincare.

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

We’ve established a new standard in El Paso. Our dedicated team of skilled professionals is passionate about delivering exceptional beauty services and creating a luxurious and welcoming environment for our valued clients. What does being in the beauty industry mean to you? I love enhancing my client’s self-image through hair and skincare. With a commitment to staying up to date with the latest trends and providing personalized attention, we strive to help our clients look and feel their best.

Why do you love serving the El Paso community?

Because El Pasoans are unique, friendly and amazing people. We look forward to sharing our skills and expertise with the community and being a valued part of our clients’ lives.



935 Sunland Park Dr. El Paso, TX 79912 (915) 581-7000 Biometrixep


What do you specialize in?

Our one stop shop concept at BioMetrix is to improve the overall quality of your life through hormone balance, nutritional education, exercise, and supplementation. Our highly -trained medical team helps achieve optimal health using a combination of bioidentical hormone therapy, customized nutrition, fitness regimens, comprehensive testing and pharmaceutical-grade supplementation.

How did you get started in this industry?

I have always had a passion for nutrition and began working out at a very young age and acknowledge the value of being healthy as it is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself! I am passionate about delivering that same insight to citizens of all ages within our community.


Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

We are the specialists to your complete health and will customize a treatment program to address each of your health needs in accordance with your age, lifestyle and health needs to achieve optimal weight management.

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you?

Being able to personally witness the before and after is very fulfilling and if I have helped just one person live their best life, it means the world!

Why do you love serving the El Paso community?

El Paso has one the highest rates of diabetes in the nation. I love that we can bring awareness to our city on how to take care of your overall health and how to avoid being part of those statistics. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

The Brain Coaching & Psychotherapy Place

Traci presley Licensed Professional Counselor 4855 N. Mesa St. El Paso, TX 79912 (915) 588-9901 What do you specialize in?

Neuropsychotherapy. I combine traditional psychotherapy and neuroscience to initiate neuroplasticity in the brain that leads to positive changes in your life. Using tailored treatment modalities, I help people change the way they think and what they do to reach their mental health, emotional, physical, spiritual, and life goals.

How did you get started in this industry?

My own struggles with anxiety and seeing evidence of how psychology combined with neuroscience has superior outcomes. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

I weave evidenced-based alternative health, integrative health, traditional psychology techniques, and brain science to achieve results. Also, some people don’t want to use medication and I can help with that naturally.

What does personal transformation mean to you?

It is becoming the best version of ourselves. No matter what happened in the past or the situation, there is always a way we can have a growth mindset to become that better version of ourselves. Step by step.

Why do you serve El Paso?

Firstly, I am an El Paso lover! If we can initiate positive transformation in one person’s life, that one person has already made El Paso a better place! All of us working together to help transform one person at a time, we have a better community! SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 55

Bellezza Hair Salon (915) 842-1737 7930 N Mesa St. #B8, El Paso, TX 79932

Bellezza Hair Salon caters to demanding tastes. Led by Ruth French, we are proud to present our new line of LEYVARU luxury hair extensions. We offer a perfect match for all hair types. We also offer a hair extensions membership so that your hair always looks healthy and has a long life at a fraction of the cost.

We guarantee both our services and our hair. The membership is practical and it includes your birthday celebration and regular maintenance. With minimal weekly charges, you can save up to 60% annually compared to the regular cost of yearly maintenance. Discover the perfect combination of experience, comfort, and utmost luxury at

Bellezza Hair Salon.


Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Z Lashes

10978 Montwood Dr Unit C., El Paso TX, 79936 (915) 478-7994 What do you specialize in?

At Z Lashes, we specialize in enhancing your God-given beauty one eyelash at a time.The products and services at Z lashes elevates natural beauty by emphasizing and beautifying each client’s natural beauty.

How did you get started in this industry?

An Army accident left me wheelchair bound and led me here. Adjusting to life after my accident was challenging, but my passion for my work has helped me to persevere through difficulties and focus on client’s inner and outer beauty.

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

My relationship with you is my priority over lashing. I’m here to assist with any questions or concerns you may have about your lashes, while also helping you to look and feel your best.

z1lashes @zlashesep z1lashes

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you?

I love knowing my work is a part of your daily routine. I know that your days are busy, and being part of your beauty routine is a privilege.

Why do you love serving the El Paso community?

El Paso dominates the hard-working mom demographic. I love being able to help the hardworking moms in the community achieve their lash goals and conquer their days. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVASW


360 The Colour Bar Salon 6135 N. Mesa (915) 581-7360

360 The Colour Bar Salon 360thecolourbar


Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

absolutelygorgeousyou absolutelygorgeousyou

Absolutely Gorgeous You MedSpa 4013 N. Mesa Ste B 915-706-4047 What do you specialize in?

We pride ourselves on offering a wide array of full-service med spa treatments to cater to your unique beauty and wellness needs. Our comprehensive services include non-surgical facial rejuvenation, such as the state-of-the-art Tri-Lift procedure, and popular dermal fillers like Juvederm.

How did you get started in this industry?

Absolutely Gorgeous You MedSpa opened more recently and has been a fascinating journey so far. Our MedSpa professionals are deeply committed to guiding each client toward their beauty and wellness aspirations. Photographed by: SERGIO OLIVAS

Why should readers turn to you for their needs?

We are thorough and insightful. In addition to facial treatments, our med spa is dedicated to helping you look and feel your best by offering a diverse range of treatments that address both your physical appearance and overall well-being.

What does being in the beauty industry mean to you?

Our expert team is committed to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals through personalized treatments and innovative advancements in the industry. In addition to facial treatments, our med spa is dedicated to helping you look and feel your best by offering a diverse range of treatments that address both your physical appearance and overall well-being.

Why do you love serving the El Paso community?

We love the people of this city and want to give back. We love to celebrate each person’s unique beauty and help them become the best version of themselves. SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 59

Pipo Academy of Hair Design & El Pipo Barber College 3000 Pershing El Paso, TX 79903 (915) 565-3491

What do you specialize in?

We provide career preparation and an opportunity to all prospective students who desire to benefit from an education in cosmetology. The cosmetology industry is huge, so the opportunity for students to specialize in facials, corrective color, manicures/pedicures, etc. with one license opens up many doors.

How did you get started in this industry?

The Academy was founded in June 1977 by Hector M. Barragan, Sr. Our mission is to provide the best cosmetology training possible, so that students are well-prepared with basic and advanced education.

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We’re an accredited private school. In addition to developing the necessary skills of the profession, a commitment is made to instill within each student the qualities required to achieve


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The emphasis is on serving the individual student through a comprehensive and balanced program of beauty, culture, skills, and the development of personal qualities to ensure success in modern society. Our expertise is made available in a setting that is ideal for learning and understanding our methods at a comfortable pace for every student.

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I relate to the struggles and am committed to developing trust with each client. I listen attentively to clients’ concerns and needs.

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Our community deserves support, love and encouragement.

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The Dream of ‘‘Faux’’ Painting Come True

October 2023



October 2023


t’s been said that to follow our

in Business Management, subsequently


satisfied with her decision, she recalls the

passion, is to live our dream. Although this



journey that Myriam Montes embarked upon beginning in her early years as an artist. A native of Nacozari de García in Sonora,

Mexico, Montes recalls those early days

where she’d visually redecorate her bedroom

joining her parents’ business. Never fully epiphany she had following the birth of

her fourth child, which soon after, led her to Louisville, Kentucky to begin her longawaited studies in faux painting.

walls as a teenager, over and over, until she

It wasn’t long after her initial training, and

painting an expansive, bright violet lily across

a clientele of those who were eager to see

could no longer contain herself; eventually her entire wall with only a simple sponge.

She was just 17 years old, and this was only the beginning.

Almost obsessively, she began artfully

redecorating her friends’ homes every

chance she’d get, and found an instinctive love for everything interior design, especially

once back home, that she began procuring their spaces magically transformed into the

highly imaginative works of art that were becoming her trademark.

Some of her more notable works during

that time involved painting the walls of the Mexican Governor’s home, as well as a massive ceiling project at a tobacco shop

within the art of faux painting, a wide ranging decorative painting technique.

Her stunningly intricate creations can be

The art form looks to create texture and

locations, various prominent medical offices

found inside of numerous GECU banking

dimension across any blank wall, and varies

and, of course, within many of our area’s most

from dramatic illusions of natural wood,

dazzling homes from Rim Road and beyond.

stone, brick, marble, etc., to more modern wallpapering techniques that replicate any

In fact, it’s not uncommon for her regular

very much on trend.

to their homes located throughout the

design or textured finish, and all of which are

clients to fly her aboard their private jets Southwest, all so that she can transform

Although her passion was calling, Montes

their spaces in ways only she can.

set aside her dream to study interior design in Guadalajara, Mexico, the closest city at

She maintains an impressive roster of clients

and chose instead to pursue a degree

through yearly training courses aimed at

that time where the study was available,

by staying on top of cutting-edge trends delivering the latest faux painting techniques. within the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Eventually, she moved to Juarez, Mexico and

was almost immediately commissioned to paint the city’s prestigious Cibeles event hall. Roughly a decade later, Myriam relocated

her studio to El Paso where it continues to

flourish at the Placita Santa Fe on Doniphan Drive, alongside her other artistic fashion project and boutique, Veranda by Myriam’s.

Today, she continues to take her 27-year

craft to the next level, while her impressive

works make their mark all around our city.

Aside from her immense gift for making walls come alive, Montes finds her greatest joy in the relationships she builds with her clients.

“Every client is special … I find beauty in

every single client relationship, which is what makes this all so rewarding,” she says. Clearly,

an artist who not only followed her passion

to live out her dream, Myriam exquisitely transforms each and every one of her clients’

passion for enjoying art at their fingertips into their very own dream come true.


October 2023


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Creative Kids

Walk with L

ocal youth artists will be walking

with a giant this fall and giving her hand-made paper flowers and

written messages in honor of the

August 3rd tragedy and to continue to raise

awareness to the issue of gun violence and

the importance of cultivating art, creativity, empathy, and community with Creative Kids.

Creative Kids Inc. is a nationally-recognized non-profit educational community-based

art agency that positively impacts specific

| By: ERIN COULEHAN Editorial photography by: JORDAN LICON Little Amal photography courtesy of: THE WALK PRODUCTIONS |


populations of children along the U.S.Mexico border through purposeful visual art





Giants October 2023

month, they’re partnering with Little Amal,

The organization is able to

and resilience.

year through its programming

a larger-than-life global symbol of hope

“We started 25 years ago, we were just two college students,” says Stephen Ingle,

Creative Director and Co-Founder of Creative Kids. “I came from California and was an artist at UTEP. Drea was a special education teacher, and also taking classes at UTEP.”

Ingle and his wife / fellow Co-Founder, Andrea Gates-Ingle, began working together

reach more that 600 youth a

that includes working alongside disconnected



Project ABLE (Art Brokers

Learning Experiences), at-risk

children with the Boys and Girls

Club of El Paso’s Project MAP

(Making Art Possible), and kids

fighting cancer in Project AIM (Arts in Motion).

with children who have special needs in the

“We just started working with kids on

and evolved into community opportunities

their ankles, monitors, and they

classroom, which quickly gained momentum and engagement.

“The El Paso Times took a picture that was

published, and within months the hospitals

were asking us to go in to work with kids

who were battling cancer,” says Ingle. “From

probation: they have beepers on have been beaten down,” explains Ingle. “Before they came to us, they were told ‘Wash windows, wash the floor – you’re in trouble.’”

that point on, we started branching out

Ingle explains that once

kids and education, whether it was with the

gallery, the Creative

into different environments: working with Housing Authority of El Paso, or working with

children in schools. Now, we’ve branched

out into a lot of programs that we’re doing with the United Way, the hospitals, after school programs, and other non profits like the Boys and Girls Club of El Paso.”

the youth entered the Kids team welcomed and invited them into a safe space where

they could be and express themselves.

Creative Kids uses art as an educational tool

and also provides leadership and mentorship.


C r e at i v e K i d s Wa l k w i t h G i a n t s

“What we do is awesome

understanding of the world around them,”


navigate today’s challenges, the programs

because we get to see go




good place to either being inspired, or feeling better,” says Gates-Ingle. “A variety

of things come out of the kids; each one of them is

Creative Kids has accomplished great

passively uses art, rather than actively employing an educational strategy with measurable outcomes.



college readiness.”



they’ve earned, but are looking forward to

with these kids who are incarcerated, and

One misconception is that the organization

cultivate enthusiasm for learning, support

take those things in (and the

majority of them do), and they move on to do

a way to create a relationship.”

we are honoring offer safe harbors that

Ingle and Gates-Ingle are proud of the work

“Everyone saw a transition, and these kids

also train people in that setting to use art as

said First Lady Obama. “As young people

different. We give them the

tools, and we hope that they

and their parents felt it,” he says. “We work

October 2023

great things.”

they’ve accomplished and the recognition expanding the scope and reach of Creative Kids – while also reaching new heights.

things as an organization, too.

“We’ve received a lot of awards for the

In 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama awarded

curriculum that we’re going to be launching

the National Arts and Humanities Youth

Program Award to Creative Kids’ Project AIM. The program was recognized because

of its efficacy in cultivating learning and

work that we do. We’re developing our own

on a new platform and scaling it to not only partner nationally, but also provide to school systems and other nonprofits,” says Ingle.

life skills in youth, particularly pediatric

“He always says “If you’re not scaling, you’re

they see pretty pictures, but people forget

Gates-Ingle traveled to the White House

Growing the organization and expanding its

was somebody teaching that kid how to do

Project AIM participant. Luna was diagnosed

“We’re actually reaching these kids using

education and leadership training. Yes, there’s a person doing that, and that there that,” says Ingle.

Creative Kids also has a program for those directly affected by the August 3rd Walmart tragedy, which is called Project RAP (Resiliency Art Program). 70

oncology patients.

to accept the award with Miranda Luna, a

dying,” laughs Gates-Ingle.

reach is not achieved in isolation.

with Leukemia in 2008 and was drawn to

“A lot of good people work with us,” says

Providence Children’s Hospital.

we talk about it at dinner – our daughter is

Project AIM once she began treatment at

“Through these programs, young people are





developing a stronger sense of who they

are as individuals, and gaining a deeper

Gates-Ingle. “We’re married, so we live it, probably sick of it, but that’s what we do. We

just love it. It’s not really a job: it’s something

that brings us purpose, pride and it feels good. It feels good to give.”

October 2023

C r e at i v e K i d s Wa l k w i t h G i a n t s

Creative Kids is housed in a sleek 16,000

“It’s vital that they cultivate their talents and

hundreds of partners, large and small,

artists have access to a myriad of artistic

solving, and leadership in teams. I think it’s

on this journey,” said The Walk Productions

square foot gallery in Union Plaza, where the

mediums that include digital tools. Creative Kids also has several revolving galleries

throughout the community that include

Southwest University Park, the office of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, and local hospitals.

creativity, as well as idea-making, problem-

important to provide art as an educational

component so that teachers can reach

students in that way – and kids can feel proud and have self-esteem about who they are, what they mean to the world, and know that they’re important,” says Ingle.

“I always have out of body experiences when

This month, Creative Kids is taking its

Gates-Ingle. “We go to the gallery and

Walks Across America,” which includes a

I’m giving a tour to somebody,” explains everyone says, ‘This place is amazing!’ It’s hard to believe we did something like this.”

One reason Creative Kids is so successful

is because its founders understand artistic potential and the need to encourage

creativity in children while also providing a

foundation for education, empowerment, and leadership.

Ingle says there are many kids like he was who have tremendous gifts and talents that can sometimes go unnoticed.

has a story to tell about their unique slice of American history and culture, and is inviting Amal and all Americans to learn about what makes this country’s heart beat.”

a trip to the Borderland that includes the

Little Amal is a 12-foot tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl who has





months ahead of the walk to coordinate August 3rd memorial and healing garden at Ascarate Park on October 25th.

traveled through cities, towns and villages

Participants in the Creative Kids’ Resiliency

Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the

create art pieces that will go hand-in-hand






UK in 2021, and Ukraine, Poland and the Netherlands in 2022.

created from the perspective of a 10-year-

assistance the whole way.”

“Each artist, organization and institution

stop in El Paso.

thing I was good at in school was drawing. still not able to read very well and needed

in charge of Amal Walks Across America.


Amal Walks Across America is one of the

I realized once I got to college that I was

Artistic Director Amir Nizar Zuabi, who is

programming to new heights as part of “Amal

“I’m completely dyslexic, so I don’t read

or write very well,” shares Ingle. “The only

coming together to support us as we embark

world’s largest, free, public art engagements, old unaccompanied child in search of family and friends. She brings with her curiosity and

warmth, caution and vulnerability, fear and joy. As a child, she experiences excitement

Art Program have been hard at work to with Amal’s visit.

“The kids are going to have paper flowers

that they’re going to write a note on,”

says Gates-Ingle. “We have a big bouquet that we’re giving to the kids; they’ll write a note, or draw a picture, as a way to say

something in their own words about what it means to them.”

as she is welcomed in new places.

Amal and her team are walking across the

“Amal stands for unity and hope, and we

country that has long been a refuge for

couldn’t impart this message without the

United States to learn firsthand about a those seeking safety and opportunity—but 71

October 2023 is struggling with how to manage long-

standing issues related to immigration, as well as gun violence awareness.

Most recently, in the fall of 2022 Amal

completed a journey through the five boroughs of New York City. In New York, she participated

in more than 50 events with cultural, political, spiritual, and other leaders, as well as artists and immigrant groups, among others.

Amal walks for the hundreds of thousands

of people of all ages roaming the world in search of safety, half of whom are children. When she walks, Amal brings people

together. She gives voice to marginalized

people (although she does not speak), and

is welcomed by ordinary people capable of extraordinary feats.

The walk is a celebration of art, hope

and shared humanity that aims to unite communities and refocus attention on the needs of communities like El Paso.

“I think being part of the Amal project is

cathartic for the kids in the Resiliency Art Program,” says Ingle. “We’re teaching kids to be leaders, to believe in themselves, and to

follow through, which makes their art come out great. They really love what they’re doing, and it’s giving them insight to who they are and what they can do.”


October 2023


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kastllawpc 75

October 2023

Chalk the Block’s

t e e Sw 16 76


October 2023


n an average weekend in Downtown El

After managing the events for the last two

the sidewalk and would see wandering

like: setting up installations, helping vendors

Paso, most people would look down on

double-chinned pigeons, some gum, or even some dropped pocket change

if they were lucky.

However, for the 16th year, on the weekend

of October 13th through 15th, Chalk the

Block will fill the sidewalks with vendors, musicians, food trucks, and endless chalk

art by numerous artists. With an event that hosts an average of 60,000 people every

year, one would think that there would be a

behind Chalk the Block currently consists

Rebecca Munoz, who has been with the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department since 2012, is the Director of the Mexican

Usually, the third member of the head team

is the Arts and Farmer’s Market Coordinator since the weekly farmer’s market evolved

from Chalk the Block. When it comes to these currently vacant coordinators tasks, Duran and Munoz dabble with the local

artists, vendors, food trucks, artisanal items, etc. since both the farmer’s market

and Chalk the Block translate into each other. During Chalk the Block weekend, the farmer’s market will be held during the event on a more elevated stage.

“This will provide a platform for local artisans to be exposed to thousands of people during the event,” said Munoz.

American Cultural Center and oversees

After all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s

with MCAD since 2014, is the Department

can enjoy the variety of activities Chalk The

the events. Lucero Duran, who has been Production and Marketing Coordinator.

have been crossed, the people of El Paso Block has to offer.

As the coordinator, Duran handles the

As per tradition, the chalk art contest will be

implementation on the ground level. Luckily,

While the artists complete their work, visitors

logistic side of CTB and handles the two weeks before the event, the burden

is eased, and the team grows to include stagehands, contractors, and volunteers.

“We wear a lot of different hats when it comes to the day to day logistics,” Duran explained.

held and judged by a panel of expert artists. can wander their way between the downtown

museums filled with family activities or make their way through the mural walk curated and

crafted by local artist Babak Tavakoli with seven other talented El Pasoan artists.

and Operated Since 1948

of only two.

streets, etc. They do it all.

Go to and find your nearest location today

This is not the case. In fact, the leading team

with their tents, rolling trash cans down the

El Paso Owned

large team to help get everything ready.

years, both are involved with most tasks


Chalk the Block’s Sweet 16 Rain or shine, that won’t stop MCAD. As long as safety is taken into consideration, people will still come to the event to support

anything to ensure their art is not impacted by

seeing it from a child perspective when I

inclement weather occurs, it does throw a wrench in the plans, so adjustments are made

performing. This will include Grammy and

Emmy winning Lucky Diaz and the Family

interactions in their own hometown. It’s nice

to social distancing standards.) During that

time, the event had one line that Chalk the

while also being engrossed in a one of a kind

and families adding it anywhere they can,” said Munoz.

vendor marketplace and prerecorded music

standards of the Chalk The Block, no matter

performances were also made available.

If guests want to experience a different

Even after hours of fun, one can find rest

to see the streets of downtown filled with art

Thanks to the dedicated effort of Munoz,

could participate from their homes. Online

Chalk the Block, there is no time to waste.

and visual lights.

can enjoy and experience these unusual art

Block distributed chalk art kits to artists who

With so much that needs to go into scheduling,

Delgado’s installation of interactive audio

everyone gets,” says Duran.

No Chalk The Block has ever been canceled –

Jam Band.

form of audio, they can visit David

see how excited she gets and how excited

Additionally, “I enjoy seeing how people

adjustments needed to be made to keep

sound stage. At this time, six groups will be

experience Chalk The Block differently;

by moving the contests a couple hours.

not even during COVID. (Granted, even more

more local talent performing on the event’s

version of a similar answer.

“Now that I have children of my own I can

unpredictable weather. However, if and when

background will be filled with the sound of

is, Duran and Munoz each had their own

their city. Being seasoned vets, both the

organization and the artists are ready for

As guests walk through downtown, the

October 2023

planning, contracting, and much more for

Planning starts all over again for next year’s event at the conclusion of the present year’s.

Being so devoted to this event, when asked

what their favorite part of Chalk The Block

Duran, and all the hands to help maintain the

how much time has passed, or how far the

distance, people can come back to El Paso

as adults to see the art they loved as kids. With every year being different there will always be new experiences to be had with

friends and family. However, even when the art is washed away there is that certainty

that next year, Chalk The Block will be there, and El Paso will show its beauty.

installation that symbolizes the warmth and

comfort of home. The installation consists of eight interactive swings that are meant to

replicate the mercados of Latin America. This is the Mi Casa, Your Casa 2.0 installation created by Esrawe + Cadena and produced by Creos.

After sixteen years of hosting Chalk The Block, the team at MCAD has the process down to a science. However, it is not without its challenges.

“It is an ongoing process. We need to plan

the dates and locations at least five years in advance. Of course, with Downtown always

evolving and growing every year we need to adapt,” explained Duran.

Another impactful factor is weather. 78

October 2023



October 2023




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October2023 2023 October


A Star is Born T

October 2023

| By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: CARRIE SILVA |

he film industry in El Paso continues

and a script consultation with renowned

The City Magazine

producers, actors, and more expand

Screenwriting Competition, as well as a $300

double win! Can you talk about what

to bloom as writers, directors,

and enhance independent film across the

Borderland. One of the community’s most anticipated film events, The Plaza Classic Film Festival, convenes local and out-of-

writer-director Lucky McKee as part of the cash prize that will go toward producing a

short film of her script by Subharmonic City Productions as part Pitch Fest prize.

town filmmakers once a year for a meeting

Following the double win in July, filmmaker

screenwriter and native El Pasoan, Carrie

of the competitions, adapted Silva’s 111-page

of the minds (and movies). This past year,

Silva, was a double winner of two of the festival’s most prestigious challenges, the

Plaza Classic Film Festival Screenwriting Competition and Pitch Fest for her original screenplay, “The Best Dive in the 915.”

Silva won a prize package that included a

$500 cash award, copy of Final Draft 12,

Austin Savage, who was also the coordinator

screenplay into a one-hour table read with a cast of six actors to read as the characters: Roland Esparza, Mia Grajeda, Nichole Audrey Hardgrove, Aura Moon, and Brad Thomason.

The City Magazine sat down with Silva to

discuss the film industry, writing, and plans to turn the screenplay into a short film.

This is such an exciting and encouraging inspired you to write this – now awardwinning – screenplay? Carrie Silva

After I graduated high school, we all got hit pretty hard by the 2008 recession and

I had to start working instead of going to school. I ended up landing a job at a dive bar

where I met a lot of really cool people and characters. I remember thinking, “Wow! This is such a crazy spot.” I loved that job, the

environment, and the people – I made some of the best friends of my life at that place.

Later, when I started studying screenwriting, I remembered that experience and thought about how much I missed it, especially during the pandemic. TCM

How did you go about

character development? CS

A lot of the characters in the screenplay are composite characters, so they’re based on

people that I know but at the same time also fictionalized. Some of the characters are standins for my buddies at that bar, and remember

the time we spent together. It was a lot of fun to be able to put those memories into something.

October 2023


What was your writing process like? CS

It was long! There were also a lot of

interruptions because I’m a single mom. Last

winter, my son was getting sick constantly, so he’d get sick, then I’d get sick and it was

difficult but possible. The process was me writing something, then going back and

rewriting – a lot of rewriting! A lot of throwing something into a draft and then later going back to revise and refine it. TCM

Can you tell us about the plot of the screenplay? CS

The plot follows the protagonist, his name is Ted, and he’s a former paramedic with PTSD.

He’s not handling his PTSD very well: he’s drinking too much, he’s overreacting, and he’s acting out but he’s also an artist. One

day, he decides to stop running away from

his PTSD and comes back home to face his

issues. He returns to his favorite dive bar

and discovers it’s being staked out by law enforcement, and nobody believes him. He takes it upon himself to ensure the dive bar

when I found out that I won – but a wonderful

hits everybody. I tried to write something

Mckee, who’s done so much great work. It

make it doable.

surprise. I was able to meet with Lucky was a wonderful meeting with him because he’s a screenwriter himself, and I was able to

learn so much. I met with Austin Savage, too, who’s wonderful and was able to give me

that would appeal to people, and worked to


What’s next for the film?

so many pointers and great ideas. Having


other screenwriters has been invaluable as

making my proof-of-concept short, so I’m

that mentorship and being able to talk to a screenwriter who is just starting out. TCM

Why do you think your screenplay won?

Part of my prize package is $300 toward going to be working with Hector Gallardo, a

local filmmaker in El Paso, to put it together.

I’ll be submitting that short to other festivals to try to get attention and generate more buzz around the screenplay so that I can get

doesn’t get shut down.



well as a screenwriter and have experience

I’m also submitting to other competitions

was able to use that experience. I wanted to

screenplay, and meeting with people to see

What did it feel like to win the Plaza

Classic Screenwriting Competition? CS

It was an amazing experience! It was a

I think it’s a lot of things. I’m a filmmaker, as working on other people’s productions so I write something that was low budget, no big

car chases or special effects because all of


to get more eyes and criticism on the what I can do to get this film made.

that costs a lot of money.


anyone in the country. What I love the most

I have a big imagination but really wanted to


competitors submit their screenplay without

a minimum. I tried to make it really funny and


moments. I wrote it about grief, which is

that’s something that people have told me

nationwide competition that was open to about it, is that it’s completely anonymous: their names on it or any other identifying

information, then it’s sent to several judges who score across five different categories.

I was really surprised when I got the email

that I was a finalist, and even more surprised

focus on the plot and keep the locations to really deep; there’s a lot of very poignant

something that everyone goes through

in life. A man is leaving, dealing with loss, and working through the fear of losing something again, which is something that

When did you know you wanted to be a

I’ve been a storyteller my whole life, and

since I was young. The one thing my teachers

always told me was, “You’re a strong writer – you can write.”




October 2023

Feast | By: ERIN COULEHAN photography by: KATHERINE KOCIAN |



l Pasoans are indulging in exotic tours for their taste buds in the

Borderland while also exploring

culture, heritage, traditions, and developing a sense of community, otherwise known

as gastronomy. Gastronomy is the art of choosing, preparing, serving, and – most

importantly – enjoying fine food that is rooted in relationships, cuisine, and

longstanding codes of hospitality that go back millennia but remain modern.

Texas Culinary Institute is guiding the community through gastronomy, one class at a time, with a smorgasbord of culinary classes taught by top-tier chefs. The mission

opportunity to establish a culinary school for the public in a fun atmosphere.

of Texas Culinary Institute is to empower

“We try to decorate the kitchen as much

appetite for culinary adventure. Each class

are able to bring their own bottles of wine,”

chefs of all skill levels while whetting the

is one-hour long and teaches students to

prepare a three course meal from a range of

courses that include international, regional, and seasonal cuisine for adults and children.

Yvonne Enriquez is an El Paso native with a

taste for culinary excellence who opened

Texas Culinary Institute in 2022. With more than a decade of experience in education administration, Enriquez says she saw an

as we can, we put music on, and students she says.

The classes feel more like hands-on dinner parties than a “school,” which is achieved

through a recipe that Texas Culinary Institute continues to perfect: elevating the atmosphere, encouraging students to

loosen up, and offering a variety of classes taught by expert chefs.

For example, Enriquez first met Chef

John Delgado through a friend, and was immediately impressed with his creativity and skill.

“One of the things I liked most about John is that he was open to creativity, and that’s

what I’m always looking for in chefs. Texas Culinary Institute is a place for art: for chefs

to create their art and for our students to have a cooking experience,” she says.

For Delgado, teaching the classes are as

much about creating a meal as they are introducing students to tastes, tasks, and textures they might not be familiar with.

“I want people to feel comfortable and eat!”

he says. “Something that I do is peel and eat shrimp in one of our classes. It’s one of my


October 2023 favorites because you get to see people eat

with their hands. I think that’s when people are at their most humble, when they’re able to talk to a stranger and be happy while getting their faces and their hands dirty.”

On the day of our interview and photoshoot, Delgado and Chef Hannahe Romero put us to work preparing items from their courses.

Delgado taught me how to make a green

goddess-style dressing using cream cheese, parsley, and lots of lemon, which I then massaged gently into a bed of bibb lettuce.

Romero, a self-professed wine nerd, chocolate

connoisseur, and sugar enthusiast, prepared

beautiful charcuterie boards that looked like a Carvaggio painting with plump grapes, tangy berries, and juicy oranges.


October 2023

A Teachable Feast This month, Texas Culinary Institute is offering a

plethora of spooky-themed classes that includes: • The Annual Hogwarts Feast with Hagrid’s

roasted pumpkin, Ron’s smoked turkey leg, and Harry’s butter-beer cupcakes

• Le Fantome de l’Opera with Parisian onion

soup, steak au poivre and pomme puree, and creme brulee

• Gothic Gala by The Addams Family with

a charcuterie board featuring salami roses;

Morticia’s squid ink pasta with garlic butter shrimp, and cherry galette with dried rose glaze

• Noche de Ofrenda, a Dia de Los Muertos

culinary experience with atole, mexican rice, mole, and pan de muerto

The classes are designed to be fun, inspiring,

and educational, but Delgado notes there are a few rules.

“Number one is washing your hands. Second is teamwork,” he says. “Because you’re nothing without your team.”



October 2023


October 2023


October 2023

Enhancing Hope & Healing through Art | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: EL PASO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL |

October 2023


he benefits of exploring creativity are

Paso Children’s Hospital, where she invites

Lochausen explains that 1 in 5 patients she’s

lives, as well as scientific data. From

arts room.

that the time spent making art becomes

numerous and evident in our everyday

the murals that pepper downtown El Paso to

them into the “No Poke Zone,” which is also the

the local artists who light up our lives with the

“They’re able to do an art lesson with me or

creativity through making art has therapeutic

with the families and the patients is

beauty of their work. For many, indulging in effects that can also have medical benefits.

“We’re doing special things that the families

incredibly uplifting.”

some beautiful art that comes from the

The NIH study reports that, “Chronically high

patients can lead to positive outcomes.

and affect the progression of the cancer.





the emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of cancer patients,” writes Girija Kaimal, lead author of the study.

In the Borderland, the Therapeutic Arts program

at El Paso Children’s Hospital is helping patients and families going through cancer and other

disease treatment through emotional support, while also encouraging optimal development

of children facing challenging experiences.

The program is supported through the El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation and

partnerships with Sunflower Bank, the El Paso International Airport, and Southwest University.

Gina Lochausen, Therapeutic Arts Coordinator, meets patients and families each day at El

invaluable to families.

paint freely,” she explains. “The interactions

A 2020 study by the National Institute of

Health reports that artmaking in cancer

worked with since 2015 do not survive, and

can carry with them forever – and there’s children,” she says.

levels of stress can increase inflammation

Every piece created by the patient is property

Psychosocial interventions could reduce







emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs,” which Lochausen sees each day.

“All control is gone: they’re not going to play in the baseball game; they’re not going to

go to homecoming. This program gives the patients some control and connection with

other people who are going through similar illnesses. It’s a coping mechanism, it’s mindful

meditation, it’s incredibly proactive with how it affects their care. The patients become more

compliant with their nurses, more compliant with their treatments,” she says.

Another important aspect of the program is the opportunity for memory making.

of the patient, Lochausen adds, but oftentimes ask




the pieces to showcase throughout the community to raise awareness.

Patients in the Therapeutic Arts program are exposed to age appropriate mediums, where




get their hands and hospital gowns dirty

with finger paints, while the older patients

express themselves with colored pencils, line work, and shading techniques like cross hatching or chiaroscuro.

Lochausen invites prominent local artists like Patrick Gabaldon and Steve Hastings to

visit with the patients and teach them about their work.

“The guest artists will come in and give a lesson, so students are able to meet with professional artists whose work they’ve

seen on the news or elsewhere, and it’s really cool for them,” she says. For





understand, process, and cope with their illness through art is the mission where long

term relationships are created during the one to two year treatment process.

“My focus is to be truly present with the children in the art room and let them have a space where they

are free and safe to express themselves,” she says.


October 2023

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e v i s r e m m I x o d a r Pa y r e l l a G s e t s Arkens the Sen a w A October 2023


| By: S





o photos c

U RA T y of: LA



One might make the mistake of walking past

the cactus plants and the chain-link fence surrounding what appears to be an ordinary home like any other. It is not until your eye catches the gleaming pink and yellow

lights shining through the windows and bouncing off

the rainbow of colored pudding cups embroidering the

fence does the person stop in their tracks.

Luckily, everyone has a chance to look inside this hidden

treasure chest of art and sound called the Paradox Immersive

Art Gallery. Open every Friday and Saturday night, guests are led on guided tours by owner Laura Turón.

Turón is a local artist from El Paso and graduated from UTEP

with a double major in Drawing and Graphic Design. Between

working for non-profits and working on her own pieces of art,

Turón began the idea of Paradox not in the gallery, but in a bus. The bus was called, Paradox Traveling Art. Turón would take the bus to places that have limited or even no access to art and even host workshops out of the bus. Starting

with the bus, Turón wanted to collaborate with the community. 94

October 2023 “I like to create and feature art that promotes a sense of belonging where anyone

can feel welcomed. People can be themselves,” she says. Like any dream, it grew.

When she took advantage of the opportunity to have studio space in Socorro, Turón began work on her Paradox Pyramid that would be featured in El Paso’s Chalk the Block event in 2018.

After the event, she moved the exhibit back to Socorro where

she would sell tickets to go inside the pyramid. Once the

word spread, Turón invited more artists to be a part of it

until March of 2022. From there, she closed the project

and applied for a grant with the Museum and Cultural Affairs Division (MCAD).

After being awarded the Arts Active Program grant, Turón

was able to rent the current location at 3915 Rosa Ave.

from artist Tino Otega. She reopened her project and was

even able to house her studio inside as well. Not only does

the gallery feature Turón’s art, but she also collaborates with a variety of local artists.

With the first steps in the door, guests find themselves in the first exhibit, “Memento” by artist Isadora Stowe.

It is the calm before the storm when guests become aware of just how much their eyes can see.

With each new secret and memory to discover, Turón

explains how the artist wants the guests to think on the

two questions: “If you could do anything right now what

would you do?” and based on that answer “How would that

change your life?”

These questions will follow the guests through the rest of

the gallery.

Without spoiling too much of the fun, every guest of the

gallery is able to explore their senses in new ways; where

they can see sound, and even see their impact on the world

when they make that same sound move.

“They get to feel the art and be part of the whole experience,”

said Turón.

The multitude of opportunities are present from Chicano Glitch by artist

Ruben Reveles or when guests make their way outside to David Delgado’s

“Sinestésico” inside one of the shipping containers painted by Ulysses Cueto.


Pa r a d ox I m m e r s i v e A r t G a l l e ry

October 2023

Another attraction to the gallery is Turón

teaching the guests, especially those not familiar with art, the different techniques and concepts showcased. Concepts like

optical illusions, stenciling, carving, digital

projections, screen printing, found object

art, and many more. Some highlights of

these techniques can be seen in a wood carved octagon designed by artist Juan

Carlos “Waka” Reyes, in Isadora Stowe’s Periphery Series, or even with Turón’s

Paradox Pyramid standing gloriously outside under a kaleidoscope of lights.

The gallery not only provides support for local artists, whose pieces reside in the studio, but Turón also makes it a point to

contribute to the community as well through collaboration projects.

One of which is in front of the gallery where she showcases handmade clothing by the non-profit Ni En More.


Enjoy. Every. Moment.

On the way to the back of the gallery leading

exhibit. Then they can grab food from one

postcards. This is the collaboration with

next lot over and reflect on how the art is still

outside, there is a designed box filled with UTEP’s Theatre and Dance Department.

The gallery has been collecting stories from members of the community so UTEP can

develop a theatrical play that is inspired by the voice of the people living in the border or

of the many local food trucks parked in the

dancing in their minds. The conversations

will even continue during the drive home through Lincoln Park’s murals standing tall

like Atlas holding up the road home for many.

by those just passing through. Even after the

As truckers above sit through their likely full

box and post cards available in the gallery

look out their window and see the beaming

play is performed, Turón plans to keep the for anyone who wants to tell their story.

At the end of the immersive experience,

the guests step out and are met with even more potential local encounters. El Pasoans can walk across the street to the Sheepdog

Brewery and have a drink to talk about each

hour of traffic crossing into Juarez, they can lights radiating from the gallery below and for

a moment feel the hint of ease. Maybe even

as they inch along, they can think on the question resting in the back of their minds:

“If I could do anything right now, what

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October 2023

El Pasoan


Chain (Stitch) Reaction


Texas | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: MOLLY HIETT DERY |


he colors of West Texas are being brought to life and worn across the

country thanks to the inspired designs that pay homage to the Borderland.

Molly Hiett Dery is a native El Pasoan living

in Austin who is the founder and designer of Molyan, a luxury clothing label that bolsters self-expression via small batch, one-of-a100

kind wearables that uses traditional chain

October 2023

stitching techniques to create beautiful garments inspired by and made in Texas.

“Growing up in El Paso is probably one of the highlights of my life,” says Hiett Dery. “I went

to Polk Elementary, Hornedo Middle School, and then Franklin High School where I was

a soccer player. What I love about El Paso is the ability to create – that is my most valued story of growing up.”

Molyan’s jacket line is inspired by the candy-

colored sunsets of far West Texas that are chain stitched in geometric shapes and architectural designs.

“I’ve always been really into fashion, and it’s always been in the back of my mind to consider doing something creative,” she says.


October 2023 Hiett Dery’s day job and background are in medicine as a nurse anesthetist that requires rigorous discipline and strategy to ensure patient safety.

“It’s very serious,” she explains. “It’s black and white, and there’s no room for error. And that that is the biggest day

of someone’s life. I was ready to try something where mistakes are part of the process and not fret about being perfect.”

Despite her skill as a nurse, Hiett Dery felt the need

to scratch a creative itch and enjoy the process of creation and revision that are understandably absent in the operating room.

“One day, I decided just to do it. I thought a combination of geometric and architectural elements might look

really beautiful stitched onto a jacket,” she says. “I sketched out the design then asked a local jean stitcher to stitch it onto one of my husband’s jackets.”

The result was an edgy yet intricate jacket whose






versatility is matched by its playfulness.



Where Art Meets M


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Karen Herman, MD 915.745.5888 7470 Cimmaron Plaza Building 13, Suite 100 El Paso, Texas

October 2023 Inspired by the shapes and shades of El Paso, Hiett Dery

developed unconventional color combinations that were integrated into five designs, then manufactured in Texas.

“I design in Austin, the jacket is manufactured in San

Antonio, and the chain stitched in Lockhart. This debut collection is really inspired by the West. Even though my husband and I have lived all over the country, something always draws me back to Texas.”

Despite the homegrown Texas roots, Molyan is expanding across the country in stores that include High Noon General Store in Santa Fe, Slate in Martha’s

Vineyard, Hotel St. George, and soon, Paradigm Texas right here in El Paso later this autumn.

“The jacket itself is intended to express your individuality,” says Hiett Dery. “You can wear it in the

evening with a slip dress and cool pair of cowboy boots with the collar popped. It’s a style that you can work into your outfit to really elevate it.”


Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls in the Garden

October 2023



ake an event and boil it in a cauldron

Gaglio has been with Keystone Park for over

one provides their own part of Halloween

overhead, add a couple whispers of

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls in the Garden

vendors, groups, or talent.

with the voice of young opera singers

ghost stories, a couple bird skulls,

ten years, and she has been hosting the event for five years. With each passing year,

flair. Every station will consist of either local

the event has grown into a more lively and

Walking through the park, you can have your

This is the current recipe for this year’s

“Getting candy can only be so fun,” Gaglio

At another, cookies are for sale from the

event at Keystone Heritage Park and

explore throughout the gardens and find

visitors of the park, they will recognize her

animal pelts, many handfuls of candy,

and let the moon do the rest.

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls in the Garden Botanical Garden.

more interactive family event.

said. “This way families can play games and new ways to have Halloween fun.”

The Keystone Park was first established

Beyond that, one of the key missions for the

Preservation and Protection Association, but

to provide a safe space for families. Gaglio

in 1997 as the Keystone Archeological the Halloween events didn’t begin until the garden was officially opened in 2003 with the help of the Junior League of El Paso. While it

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls in the Garden is

explained the unique perk the layout of the park provides.

lasted for some time, it began to dwindle.

“It’s contained so families won’t be crossing

That is, until Keystone’s Event Coordinator

about traffic, but there is still space to walk

RubyAnn Gaglio spoke up at a Board Member’s meeting, vouching for the revival

and revitalization of the spooky seasonal event. The rest of the board looked at her and

the street,” she explains. “There is no worry

local Sweet Sorcerer. If guests are avid

from the monthly Mystical Markets. There

will be many regular vendors attending as well, but there will be some that only come out on Halloween.

After partnering with Da Vinci School for

Science and the Arts, students can fulfill

their volunteer service requirements by dressing up in costumes and hiding through the park – especially in the maze.

around. Everyone can experience the dusk

Parents of babies or small children should

garden, but even with that it is totally safe.”

and when not to scare guests. Not only

lighting in the spooky atmosphere in the

said, “If you can make it happen, go for it.”

With one less thing to worry about, children

And she did.

dinner meals provided or have their pick of at


fortune told at one stop.

can run in and either sit down to eat the least two dozen trick or treat stations. Each

not worry, the students will know when will Da Vinci provide the terror form of entertainment, but the Da Vinci dancers will

also perform “Monster Mash” and “Thriller,” to name a few.

October 2023






October 2023


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BEST RADIO STATION IN THE CITY! Tune in and listen to

Another school that will be contributing to

Learning can have a mysterious vibe to it,

taken frequent trips to the park. They will

will also be attending with three separate

the event will be Insights El Paso, which has have a Mad Scientists table where guests can help build experiments and no matter what, at the end they get candies.

If the kids are more into magic than science,

Weekdays 6am-10am


they can stroll down to the Youth Opera

where they will be entranced by the voices as they sing classic Halloween songs amongst many others.

Taking from the classics, ghost stories will be told at multiple spots in the garden by

the Six Guns and Shady Ladies group so kids can sit in and hear not only a variety of

classic ghost stories, but also local stories

Listen online at 106

to learn how uncanny and ghostly their El Paso really is.

which is why the Texas Master Naturalists

stations. Each one provides something

unique where the kids can learn about the different ologies of science. One table

will have mammals with skulls and pelts, another with birds, and one with games that can add even more candy to the soon to be overflowing plastic jack-o-lantern buckets.

The community can even contribute to the spookiness of the event.

If you find yourself buying that 15-foot

skeleton from Home Depot, but don’t have any room in the garage, you can make an

appointment with Gaglio to donate any decorations or extra lights. Keystone Park

is non-profit, and every penny counts. The

fees for the event are only a dollar per child and three dollars per adult.

Not a bad price for a full night out as a family. Though, the dentist bill months later will be a different story.

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls in the Garden will be held on October 31st beginning at 3pm and until 7pm.

The event’s schedule and information can be found


on Keystone’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Though, since Gaglio is constantly being inspired

by new ideas, the list of vendors, entertainers, and activities will most likely grow even further.

So much so that guests should not be surprised if

they catch a light out of their peripherals as they

walk through the gardens. It is only the ghosts

coming to see what the Keystone Heritage Park has in store.

(915) 532-5205 325 N Kansas St, El Paso, TX 79901 Mamacitas

mamacitas.downtown 107

October 2023


October 2023


October 2023

Kool & the Gang to ‘Celebrate’ with UMC Foundation



October 2023


he University Medical Center Foundation

Tarango explains that cancer diagnoses can

Borderland’s most anticipated events

employment, and a lack of basic resources,

of El Paso is gearing up for one of the

this October, and the community is encouraged to “Get Down On It.”

not only cause debilitating illness, loss of but also bolster community efforts to combat cancer.

Kool & the Gang will be giving a special

“The Cancer Care Fund is pivotal because

the Plaza Theatre to raise money and awareness

availability in our El Paso community.

fundraising performance on October 26th at

for the Cancer Care Fund, which was created to focus on the needs of the region.

“The Foundation is thrilled to present the first-ever benefit concert with the support of

it aims to revolutionize cancer treatment Residents of our area shouldn’t have to

travel hundreds of miles for vital cancer treatments; it adds undue stress on patients and their families,” says Tarango.

Trinity of El Paso Home Health and Hospice.

The University Medical Center Foundation

entertainment but also an impactful way to

Tarango explains.

This is not just an extraordinary night of

rally our community around a critical cause:

of El Paso is more than a fundraising arm,

Cancer Care,” says Abigail Tarango,Ph.D., and

“We are advocates for equitable healthcare.

“Events like this help us bring awareness, act

overcome systemic challenges, whether

Executive Director of the UMC Foundation. on bridging the healthcare gap, and provide a vibrant atmosphere that allows us to come

together for a cause bigger than ourselves. The benefit concert amplifies our core

message, offering an evening that celebrates life, music, and the spirit of giving back.”

We channel our resources and network to

it’s by acquiring state-of-the-art medical equipment,




access, or simply providing a transportation service to alleviate the financial strain on

families (and so much more),” she says. “With

a focus on transparency, accountability, and 111

October 2023

drummer, and producer of this album), who

continue to put out music that makes good times great and bad times bearable.

“You’ve got the funk, you’ve got the jazzier tracks, we have a few ballads on there. Then

there are songs that cross over to a pop sort of thing. We go from the ‘70s, the ‘80s, right

into now. It’s old school, it’s new school — we kinda captured it all here. With all our community involvement, we strive to be a force

and background, much like the cause we’re

healthcare landscape of our region.”

audiences aligns with our mission, maximizing

of good, continually committed to uplifting the

Kool & the Gang’s concert will raise awareness and help make strides to

ensure that high-quality cancer care is locally accessible.

“Kool & the Gang offers more than just a

musical performance; they offer a unifying,

energetic experience that transcends age 112

supporting. Their reputation for engaging the benefit for the Cancer Care Fund,” says Tarango.

The band is celebrating its 60th anniversary

with the release of a new album called ‘People

music over the years, people have had fun.

So I’d say this album just about sums it all up,” says Bell.

Attendees at the benefit concert can expect

to hear music from the new album, as well as hits from the band’s iconic catalog that goes back 60 years.

Just Want to Have Fun’ this summer and

“It’s the kind of uplifting, universal music


the ideal match for this benefit concert,”

continues to tour. The band is led by founding Robert




and George “Funky” Brown (keyboardist,

that can bring us together, making them says Tarango.

October 2023








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The City Magazine dove into the September,

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on the patio to honor cover stars Cory Herman and Corey Heon of the El Paso Rhinos.





October 2023

OCTOBER Advertiser INDEX 360 The Colour Bar......................................................................... Pg. 58

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A-1 Kitchens by Sierra.................................................................... Pg. 10

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Alfredo H. Arellano, PMHCNS-BC,

Nicholas Reyes Hair Salon............................................................ Pg. 88

PA - Psychiatry & TMS Clinic....................................... Pgs. 50-51; 87 American Heart Association........................................................ Pg. 63 Ana Square Microblading & Permanent Makeup................. Pg. 15 Bellezza Hair Salon.......................................................................... Pg. 56 Ben E. Keith Beverage Distribution............................................ Pg. 25 BioMetrix............................................................................................. Pg. 54 Borderland Bail Bonds.................................................................... Pg. 14 Casa Buena Vista Homes..........................................................Pgs. 6-7 Delightful Creations by Kim.......................................................... Pg. 21 El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank................................... Pg. 89 El Paso Center for Diabetes......................................................... Pg. 32 El Paso Children’s Hospital.................................... Inside back cover El Paso Rhinos Hockey................................................................... Pg. 13 El Paso Zoo Society........................................................................ Pg. 73 Epic Events & Entertainment....................................................... Pg. 97 Ethos Financial.................................................................................. Pg. 73 Expert HVAC & Refrigeration....................................................... Pg. 26 Great American Steakhouse...........................................................Pg. 1 Higher Level Skin and Beauty.............................................Pgs. 44-45 Hotel Indigo..................................................................................... Pg. 107 Hotel Paso del Norte Desert Spirit Spa..........................Pgs. 48-49 Hotel Paso del Norte....................................................................... Pg. 86 House of Beauty by Sandra Lozano.................................Pgs. 52-53 Hyundai of El Paso...................................................Pg. 96; Back cover Intraceuticals..................................................................................... Pg. 98 Kastl Law P.C...................................................................................... Pg. 75 KFOX 14 / CBS 4...........................................................................Pgs. 2-3 La Cuatro............................................................................................. Pg. 33 Made by Seoenz............................................................................... Pg. 74 116

Paso del Norte Center of Hope................................................... Pg. 62 Persian Rug Gallery.......................................................................... Pg.37 Pipo Academy of Hair Design / El Pipo Barber College..... Pg. 60 Poe Toyota.......................................................................................... Pg. 11 Raiz Federal Credit Union.............................................................. Pg. 67 Rejuvene MD................................................................................... Pg. 102 Saratoga Homes............................................................................... Pg. 81 Sculpted by Lina............................................................................... Pg. 61 Southwest Plastic Surgery.......................................................Pgs. 4-5 Sparkle Effects....................................................................................... . 21 State Line............................................................................................ Pg. 79 Stryker by Spectrum.................................................................... Pg. 113 Sue Woo.............................................................................................. Pg. 79 Sugar Skull Fashion Boutique................................................... Pg. 109 Supreme Laundry............................................................................ Pg. 77 Sushiitto............................................................................................ Pg. 103 Taco Tote............................................................................................. Pg. 66 The City Calendar............................................................................ Pg. 36 The City Ticketing............................................................................ Pg. 99 The Elmont Resort........................................................................... Pg. 92 The Mix Salon and Spa................................................................ Pg. 108 Traci Presley....................................................................................... Pg. 55 Track One............................................................................................ Pg. 80 VIP Design.......................................................................................... Pg. 25 Walgreens.......................................................................................Pgs. 8-9 West Texas Pain Institute....................................... Inside front cover Z Lashes.............................................................................................. Pg. 57 104.3.................................................................................................. Pg. 106

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