Award-winning artist returns to El Paso for book-signing

Raul Gonzalez provides workshops through Young Audiences of Massachusetts.

Illustrator and El Paso native, Raul Gonzalez, won the 2017 Pura Belpré Award for his book, Low Riders in Space, a novel for kids.

Gonzalez returns to El Paso on Aug. 6 for a book signing at Chuco Relic. The store will be selling copies of his book, along with shirts and prints of his illustrations.

Chuco Relic is located at 4935 N. Mesa in the TI:ME Montecillo development. The event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to the public.

Gonzalez, also known as Raul the Third, is an artist who grew up on the border and now resides in Boston. His favorite past-times include walking the bridge that connects El Paso to Juarez and visiting Mercado Cuauhtemoc.

Art enthusiasts say Gonzalez’s art speaks for his love of his hometown, a place he calls unique, safe, and full of culture.

Chuco Relic is a locally owned and family operated gift store in El Paso, Texas. Ninety percent of the goods sold at the retail location are produced by twenty local artists.

The Pura Belpré award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth was illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez, written by Cathy Camper and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth follows Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack and Elirio Malaria, as they lowride into an epic quest to the realm of Mictlantecuhtli, Aztec god of the Underworld. The ballpoint pen art creates a fantastical borderlands odyssey, packed with subversively playful cultural references that affirm a vibrant Chicanx cultura.

“Raúl Gonzalez’s energetic ballpoint pen drawings portray a complex mash-up of cultures with humor and verve,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Eva Mitnick.

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