Artist and Author Carmen Lomas Garza Giving Keynote Address During 2017 MAS Summer Seminar

Article by: Rosa Linda Reynoso

The Del Mar College (DMC) Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program’s annual summer seminar is like taking a crash course that covers topics ranging from literature, music, art and the humanities to history, politics and the Spanish language. Scheduled Friday and Saturday, July 21-22, the free two-day event will give participants a taste of what the College’s associates degree program offers. 

This summer marks the fourth year the College is providing the event to the community. Participants can even earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through DMC Career and Community Education. For more seminar information, call 361-698-1218 or email

To download a printable flyer, visit click here.

Sessions run from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21, and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at the College’s Center for Economic Development located at 3209 S. Staples.  

Friday activities include a Merienda, or afternoon break, with tamales, refreshments and entertainment featuring Folklorico dancer and instructor Teresa Saldivar, who will perform the traditional old-school Cumbia titled “La Llorona” and “El Jarabe Tapatio” in the spirit of Día de los Muertos, along with other songs and stories. 

Saturday’s event begins with a complimentary breakfast followed by guest keynote speaker, artist and author Carmen Lomas Garza. The South Texas native will cover her book, Pedacito de mi Corazón (A Piece of My Heart). The book is a collection of art works, including colorful images that capture the beauty and texture of daily life among families, friends and neighbors in southern Texas. 

Born in Kingsville in 1948, Lomas Garza has exhibited her paintings, paper cutouts and metal cutouts in museums throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., Oakland Museum of California, Mexican Museum in San Francisco, San Antonio Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, Smith College Museum in Northampton, Mass., and National Museum of Mexican Art (formerly the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum) in Chicago, among others.

Lomas Garza has presented keynote speeches, conducted visual art workshops and lectured at museums, universities, schools and educators’ conferences since 1973 across the United States, Mexico and Italy. She has also produced public art commissions for the San Francisco International Airport and the Water Department, New Hope Housing in Houston, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, The San Antonio Institute of Texas Cultures and AltaMed in Los Angeles.

Among the artist’s special honors, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board named a new primary school in East Los Angeles as the Carmen Lomas Garza Primary Center in 2007.

A recipient of two fellowships in the visual arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, Lomas Garza was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for a special International Artist-in-Residence grant from the Mexican arts agency FONCA (Fondo Nacional para Cultura y las Artes) to reside in Mexico for two months. Additionally, she received an Artist-in-Residence grant from The Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Lomas Garza earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University—Kingsville (formerly Texas A&I University), a Master of Education from Juarez-Lincoln/Antioch Graduate School in Austin and a Master of Art from San Francisco State University.

The DMC Title V Program has sponsored Lomas Garza’s keynote address.

Seminar participants can view ongoing exhibits, including “War and Remembrance: Memorabilia Display” with personal items provided by local veterans, “Literary Works by Mexican-American Authors: Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and Plays” and “Spanish Genealogy.”

This year’s summer seminar sessions include:

• No Wall Between Us: Cultural Continuities Along the Texas-Mexican Borderlands

• Día de los Muertos: Differences in Celebration

• The Legacy of Irma Rangel: The Fearless Little Lady from South Texas

• LULAC v. Richards and the Struggle for Equal Access to Quality Higher Education for South Texas   

• From the Failure of Comprehensive Immigration Reform to the Great, Great Wall: An Exploration of Shifting Politics and Policy of Immigration in the Obama and Trump Administrations 

• Party Change, Political Generations and Implications for Mexican Americans in Texas 

• Making Tacos in Space: José Jiménez and the Evolutionary History of Hispanics in American Spaceflight, 1958-Present

• Attitudes of Hispanic Young Adults Toward Disability

• War and Remembrance: Combat Veterans Share their Perspectives on the Conflict in Vietnam

• Tejano Talks—A Review of the Weekly Print and Online Column in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times

IN THE PHOTO: Artist and author Carmen Lomas Garza stands next to one of her pieces featuring South Texas cacti.  

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