Los Visionaries art collective promotes culture in El Paso

Chaotic landscapes and playful portraits. Explosions of color and studies in structure. These are only a few examples of the work being produced by an art collective known as Los Visionaries.

“It was born out of this backpacking trip that my friend Edgar and I made,” said Victor Soto, one of the founding members of the art collective. “We went down to Mexico and out there we were talking ideas and we said we should come back to El Paso and start a little movement, a little collective, a group of people that puts on art exhibits, shows, music.”

Los Visionaries recently held their third show in El Paso. It was called "Warped Perceptions" and it featured several local artists who each contributed their own unique perspective.

“It’s an experience. More than an art show. It’s an experience," said Mike Lopez, a self-taught painter. “We said, why not. Why have a concert or why have just an art show or a poetry slam. Let’s just mash it all together.”

Each room in the show was created by individual artists while serving the overall theme.

“You’ll see kind of like the theme is Juarez/El Paso," said Diego Martinez, a street artist who goes by the name Diego Robot. “The time is now as artists to really have a mission. Our mission is to create. Our mission is to create history every day closer to where we want to be.”

Artist Erica Terrazas said: “Yesterday a couple of artists were like, 'How did you get in here? How can I showcase my art?' And I was like, 'I don’t know. You can keep hanging out,' you know? It’s kind of just like growing and connections."

“You’ve got to get yourself out there, man, otherwise, you know, nobody is going to know what you do and who you are, you know? Because no one is going to do it for you,” said artist Joey DelGato.

Hundreds of people attended the three day show, which also included several local bands.

“Every year we get better," said Edgar Lopez, who also co-founded Los Visionaries. "Every year we try to show the city that El Paso is doing something.”

The Warped Perceptions show last week was held in a multi-purpose space in Central El Paso called Power at the Pass.

“To me, this shade of power is creation, and so we’re attempting to combine writing with film and visual art, as you see in today’s show, and you know, give a sense of creation here in El Paso at the pass, that’s the morphology of the name,” said Richie Marrufo, who creates content for Power at the Pass.

What started as a small group of like-minded friends continues to evolve and continues to provide support within the arts community. The success of last week's show has inspired the collective to expand and grow.

“People tend to overlook this city and go to straight to Austin, go to LA, go to other cities and stuff but we want to show El Paso that there are artists here too, there’s a scene here too, and we do it just for the people," said Edgar Lopez."That’s why the event is free. It’s for the city man.”

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