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Artist Fuses Tradition and Religion in Unique Exhibit

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Posted: Sep 19, 2013 4:38 PM

Updated: Sep 19, 2013 4:38 PM

BROWNSVILLE - The love for ceramics and Mexican culture come together in Julian Rodriguez's art exhibit at the historic Alonzo Building in Brownsville.

"This is one of my personal saints. I like to call it 'El Santo Remedios.' (Saint Remedies) It has the manzanilla (chamomile). Then, of course, it has the egg and the Vicks (vapor rub) on the side," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez's exhibit centers on religious icons.

"This is 'La Virgin de San Juan del Valle.' I try to make them Hispanic-looking," Rodriguez said.

"A lot of the older images of saints were made by Europeans, so, they have blue eyes or blond hair. So, I figured I'd do my own cultural saints," he said.

Rodriguez's figurines are made with unique-looking feet.

"For some reason, they are attracted to the feet. That is one of my personal features that I added to the pieces," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has a degree in art. He began his studies in Austin. He now is with the Visual Arts Department at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Rodriguez said pottery work and figurine-sculpting can be a relaxing hobby.

Rodriguez got the idea to craft the religious figurines after one of his pottery works folded.

"The show, exhibit, dealt with saints or santos. I picked 'El Santo,' which is an icon from wrestling, Mexican wrestling," Rodriguez said.

The figurines also include St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresita and La Virgen Milagrosa.

Rodriguez also crafts traditional pottery. The pieces also have a cultural twist.

The free exhibit runs through Sept. 28.

Topics: con mi gente, julian rodriguez

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