Founded in 1970, El Paso Las Artistas is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide arts education opportunities and promote an appreciation for fine crafts and art within El Paso and southern New Mexico communities.
We provide a venue for local, regional and national artists, as well as emerging artists, to show and sell their work.
Las Artistas also encourages the education of arts students by providing scholarships for arts education, and giving students an opportunity to participate in the annual Las Artistas Art & Fine Crafts show. Many of Las Artistas’ juried members are art educators; they share their experience by teaching classes, workshops, and giving demonstrations at many venues including area schools and universities.
In 1970, Las Artistas began as a backyard art show, organized by a handful of enterprising El Paso artists seeking a venue for showing and selling their work. These artists included Charlotte Nobles, Margie Melby, Jean McGee, Connie Dillman, Cheryl Derrick, Ferne Schrier, Tita Sterling, and Tita Lyle – all known and respected in the local arts community. As the show grew in popularity and number of exhibitors, it was held at a variety of venues in the area, including The El Paso Tennis Club, Sunland Park Race Track and the Union Depot. When attendance at the then one-day show exceeded the capacity of the Depot, Las Artistas was expanded to a two-day event and moved to the current venue at the First Presbyterian Event Center on Murchison and Brown. Las Artistas was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the state of Texas in 2002 and received federal 501(c) (3) status in 2009.
Today, Las Artistas brings the “best of the best” during its annual juried arts show which is held the weekend before Thanksgiving. More than 100 artists from El Paso and New Mexico – and from as far away as Tennessee and Missouri – participate in the show. The show features the work of many nationally known artists as well as emerging and accomplished local artists including metals and ceramics studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.
The 2016 Las Artistas Fine Art and Crafts show is happening on November 19 and 20 (the weekend before Thanksgiving) at the EPIC Railyard Event Center. Located on 2201 E Mills, the industrial sized event center takes up more than two city blocks in a former garment-factory district tucked between Texas Avenue and Union Pacific’s railroad tracks — just east of Cotton Avenue.
“Everything about the building has character—it is an amazing venue for our show,” said David Wieters, wood turner and member of the Las Artistas’ Board of Directors.
For 46 years, people have attended the show because it offers access to superb quality art and fine crafts and the opportunity to meet and speak with highly skilled artists and craftspeople and learn about their vision and technique. This year’s show will feature a new emerging artist section, a children’s activities area, fine art and craft demonstrations, and creative cuisine from food trucks. The site also offers plenty of free parking with easy access to Interstate 10.
Tita Lyle †
Ferne Schrier †
Tita Sterling †
Bonnie Elliott *
Kimberly Vanecek *
Kelly Wiseman *
Board of Directors
Jorge Calleja, President
Paulina Rosas, Secretary
Karen McAnulty, Treasurer
Helen Ellison-Dorion, Member at Large
Pam Schuster, Member at Large
Tamara Michalina, Member at Large
Kelly Wiseman, Member at Large
Show Chair – Laura Caballero
Executive Director – Pam Sullivan
Marketing and Show Operations – Sullivan Creative
Laura Caballero, Show Chair
Laura graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in metalsmithing and graphic design. Her involvement with Las Artistas started as a student artist in 2010. Since then she has participated both as artist and member of Las Artistas. In 2016, she joined the board as vice-president and was also appointed Show Chair, a position that allows her to manage day to day operations of the show. Laura strives to bring new and contemporary aspects to the show while staying true to the Las Artistas mission and its foundations.
Pam Sullivan, Executive Director
Since 2013, Pam has been working with Las Artistas to build brand awareness for the organization and its annual Art & Fine Crafts Show, including the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing program. She is also actively involved in development activities, working on grant applications and recruiting partners for cooperative marketing opportunities. This year, Pam and her staff will also be managing the operations of the Las Artistas Art & Fine Crafts Show.
Pam has more than 30 years of experience in creative management, communications strategy development, design, and direct marketing. She specializes in event marketing, and works closely with organizations to pursue sponsorship opportunities to support and defray the event promotion program cost. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston and holds a Certificate in Fundraising and Development from Boston University.
The Region We Represent
Members of Las Artistas are predominantly from the Southwest region of the United States, specifically the far west part of Texas and southeastern part of New Mexico – both of which border Mexico on the south.
Las Artistas was founded and is currently based in El Paso, Texas. Home to more than 649,000 people, El Paso is the 22nd largest city in the US and has earned several accolades: one of America’s Best-Performing Cities; one of the Happiest Cities to Work; and America’s Safest City. The weather with more than 300 days of sunshine a year is perfect for any outdoor lover. The City offers a variety of parks and recreation activities, outdoor music concerts and cultural events. El Paso also offers a diverse and rich culture that is clearly a reflection of its history and Spanish influence.
Learn more at visitelpaso.com
One of Southern New Mexico major cities is Las Cruces, which is nestled in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande River. Las Cruces means “The City of the Crosses”, and with a population of more than 101,000 is the second largest city in New Mexico. Las Cruces features unique special events, historic attractions, world-class Mexican food, and superb year-round weather with 350 days of sunshine per year!!