Approaching El Paso, everyone in the group continued to think this day would give us a rest because it has a reputation as Podunk town. Eventually we would find this is far from the case in a border town. The scene of the area as we drove down the highway produced a visual distinction between Mexico and America as each landscape lied on either side of our van. Even though some areas from each country proved to be completely different with America’s vast developments and Mexico’s great poverty, other areas of the two countries looked frighteningly similar in poverty. This was the first among many aesthetics that point to the fact that El Paso seems to live up to its name which means “Crossing Over” as it proves separate from America and in fact a part of Juarez, Mexico.
Beginning at the El Paso Museum of Art downtown the class began to explore paintings, sculptures, prints, and more that were created from a heavily influenced Mexican-American or El Paso perspective. Sculptures such as Frances Bagley’s The Portrait portrayed a womanly structure made of wire filled with rocks; a place with structured gates filled with pavement and construction. Directly adjacent to this was another sculpture called Border Patrol by Suzanne Klotz which stood about five feet tall. On one side, the statue pictured American flags and graves while its other side was of praying hands and Mexican icons. As I watched each student become more and more involved with the artwork and analyzing it, I grew to see how much art is necessary in life.