El Paso Museum of Art

Founded in 1959, the El Paso Museum of Art was born from a need to house a significant donation of European Baroque and Renaissance works to the City of El Paso by the Samuel Kress Foundation. This collection encompasses major works by Botticelli, Canaletto, van Dyck, Zurbarán, and Artemisia Gentileschi, among other Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance masters. Over time, this seed collection grew to include over 7000 works. In 1998, EPMA moved to its current location at the heart of El Paso’s Downtown Arts District, less than a mile from the bridge to Juárez. For the past twenty years, EPMA’s Art School has been an integral part of this space. Housed within the Museum, prominently located on EPMA’s first floor with the main doors accessed from the Museum’s grand lobby, the Art School consists of four studio classrooms and a student artist gallery. The Art School occupies a significant footprint in the Museum: 6,500 square feet. There are three studio classrooms: one designed for ceramics with two kilns and nine throwing wheels; one for printmaking and painting; and another for multi-purpose studio use. EPMA’s Art School is the only space of its kind in the entire Borderplex region. The Art School is unique to the region in offering both children and adults classes that combine art making with the study of original works of art on view in the Museum’s galleries. EPMA prioritizes offering the highest quality experiences through equipping the studio classrooms, providing supportive training for teaching artists, and utilizing professional grade tools and materials. As a result, the Art School’s growth has remained steady since 1998. New staff members and improvements to the studio classrooms prompted a marked increase in quality and participation that began in 2016 with expanded offerings that better connected to EPMA’s collection. Classes are offered for children ages 6-13, teens, and adults throughout the year, and camps are strategically scheduled during spring break and over the summer. EPMA strives to ensure that it provides the Borderplex with the access to the very best art, of international interest. EPMA presents approximately a dozen exhibitions a year, with a wide scope of programming initiatives and Art School offerings. Creating an environment and resource for all audiences is reflected by EPMA’s open doors policy: general admission, school tours, and nearly all of its high-quality educational programming are free.

 

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