Nationally Recognized Artists Alex Rubio and Oscar Martinez Exhibit at the Islander Art Gallery

Published: October 10, 2013

Nationally Recognized Artists Alex Rubio and Oscar Martinez Exhibit at the Islander Art Gallery

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas— Two nationally-known artists, with ties to South Texas, will have their work on display at the Islander Art Gallery beginning Oct. 18.

Alex Rubio

An opening reception will be held for Alex Rubio from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 18.   Rubio, who grew up on the west side of San Antonio, has exhibited throughout the southwestern United States, as well as New York and Puerto Rico.

He got his start in 1987 when the director of a mural project for a San Antonio arts group noticed some images that Rubio had spray painted on walls in his housing project. Impressed by the paintings, the director arranged for Rubio to participate in a work-study program. This allowed him to study art at San Antonio College and simultaneously work on murals in the area.

Feeling that the mural project had helped him, Rubio resolved to do whatever he could to help other artists develop their talents. He became the artist in residence for the Inmate Creative Arts Program at Bexar County Jail, taught in an after-school high school arts program, and was an art instructor at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Having worked with community-based organizations since the age of sixteen, Rubio stresses the importance of using his art to make a contribution back to the community.  Rubio says his new work, in mural and digital print media, explores the past and present through the iconography of his personal and cultural identity.  

Oscar Martinez

 Tributo: Selected Paintings by Corpus Christi Tejano Legend Oscar Martinez also goes on display Oct. 18 at the Islander Art Gallery.  Martinez graduated from Corpus Christi’s Roy Miller High School in 1952 and went on to have a music career that made him a Tejano music legend. 

In 1958, Martinez formed the “Oscar Martinez Orchestra.” At this time he wrote songs to include lyrics and music score to such songs as “ Makes no difference,” “Corpus Christi Rock,” ”Darling, I’m in love with you,” and others. Martinez’s biggest hit and signature song, “El Tejano Enamorado,” has become a staple for all Tejano and Conjunto bands. “El Tejano Enamorado” has been recorded by at least 45 different bands.  Martinez was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

But while Martinez was climbing the ladder of fame in the music world, he said he was always doodling on any piece of paper he could find.  In 2009, he decided to take his art to another level.  His paintings are now made into prints and sold at his concerts, at the Corpus Christi Artwalk, and on the web.

You can see the work of both Rubio and Martinez at the Islander Art Gallery Oct. 18 through Nov. 27.  The Gallery is located at 4024 Weber Road in the Hamlin Shopping Center. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 6 p.m.