Local artist exhibits 50 years of work at fine art museum

Local artist Teodoro Garcia Estrada is showcasing more than 50 years of his artwork, which includes paintings, drawings and sculptures, at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art as part of his exhibit “Camino de milagros: A Spiritual Journey.”

The exhibit, is a mid-career survey, which are often held for artists that are alive, creating and working in the art community, he said. The title is inspired by his many travels in Mexico where he studied the art and culture.

“This is a 50 year-plus survey of my work, which means that it includes artwork in various media: like painting, drawing, sculpture, digital, installation and it starts back in 1967, when I created my first paintings that were colored by number, actually, I was 10 years old,” he said.

“My mom put them away and so, we all forgot about them. As I grew up, I went away, and I never thought they were in existence. But three years ago, my sister Guadalupe brought them out and gave them to me. I was really really surprised that those paintings were still around in the family home.”

Garcia Estrada said while growing up he never took an art class but spent a large part of his childhood creating in his own ways while playing outside. He remembers how his life changed when he took his first art class in 1975 at Porter High School.

“Growing up as a child, I never took an art class, until I went to Porter High School, and that was in 1975. My teacher, Ms. Minerva Garcia would ask me, ‘Where have you studied art?’ and I’ve never studied art. But as a child, I was always creating. … So I grew up being very creative on my own, it was just play time,” he said.

Garcia Estrada said there is a whole new movement of artists who are creating more than ever due to the pandemic. He said he is glad that more museums in the country are showcasing local artists from their communities because it is essential that artists get the opportunity to showcase their work.

“What’s happening now, a lot of the museums in the country are showing art work from the artists in their community, the local artists, and I’m very glad that Brownsville is doing the same. It is essential, it is really important that our local artists here in Brownsville, and throughout the Valley, get the opportunity to exhibit their artwork. Because this doesn’t come around very often, I actually waited 50 years to show my whole art career.”

The Brownsville Museum of Fine art is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is an admission fee of $5 for adults, $2.50 for students, senior citizens and veterans and $2.50 for children 6 to 12 years of age. Children ages 6 and under get in free.