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A Message from the Director

 


“The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.”

-Paul Strand

We are living through an extraordinary moment in our shared history, separated from one another through distance and circumstance and yet more than ever in need of the kinds community and connection that will help us make collective sense of our rapidly changing world.

At the end of March, the Rubin Center had to temporarily close the physical doors of our campus location, but we continue to do work that is core to our mission as we navigate our response to this crisis. First and foremost is our commitment to supporting the ongoing education and professional development of UTEP students, particularly in the Department of Art. We are proud to have worked closely with department faculty and our distinguished jurors to create a virtual platform for our 2020 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, an important capstone experience for our students and a special opportunity to celebrate their talents and efforts at this time. These efforts have been supported by our exceptional team of paid undergraduate student interns, who, like our professional staff, continue to work remotely from their homes contributing design, text, social media content and curriculum for our ongoing projects while they continue their studies and their own creative work.

Additionally, taking to heart our core mission of being the place where contemporary art meets contemporary life, we have been exploring our established trajectory of connecting local and international artists and ideas. To that end we have launched the experimental online exhibition series El Balcón, which invites our audience to take an intimate look at the current artistic practices of a select group of local and international artists, through short videos produced from the artists’ homes around the globe.

Both of these efforts are teaching us a lot about the challenges and rewards of reaching out virtually, something we may be doing more of in the year ahead. But they have also taught us about the tenacity, resiliency and creativity of our students and faculty, of our interns and professional staff, and of artists both locally and around the globe who continue to reflect, create and build community in these trying times. Our connections are strong, and our shared world is limitless, we look forward to continuing to explore it with you in the days ahead.


 

 

Mission

 

Where Contemporary Art Meets Contemporary Life

 

We offer our geographically isolated region a direct experience with contemporary art of international recognition and importance. We serve as a learning site for students from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the surrounding community by creating opportunities for student involvement in the planning and execution of exhibitions, and through formal and informal educational opportunities for audiences of all ages. 

We maintain a three-part curatorial focus on:
1) Site-specific works that bring renowned artists to our border community to create one of a kind installations;
2) Art that responds to our geographic and political location in the world’s largest bi-national metropolis.
3) Exhibitions that explore interdisciplinary and participatory practices in contemporary art.
We strive to deepen public appreciation of contemporary art and to inspire active dialogue about its social, political and cultural implications through dynamic and interdisciplinary programming, providing a framework for critical thinking about contemporary art and its place in our world. We promote the highest standard of excellence in every aspect of our work.