CALEXICO â€“ On hands and knees, Mexicali artist Carlos Alberto Cortez Gomez created an elaborately detailed chalk painting on the concrete parking lot of the Gran Plaza Outlets Friday evening during the community’s â€œArt Walk on the Border.â€
Gomez spent several hours displaying his talent by painting his rendition of a young mariachi boy dressed in a mariachi suit playing a trumpet â€“ only to have it washed away after he was done.
â€œI have been painting since I was ten years old,â€ said Gomez. â€œArt is my passion and creating unique artwork gives me a great satisfaction, especially when people like my work.â€
Gomez said he learned the concrete painting technique during a trip to Uruguay. Gomez is currently a student at Centro Estatal De Las Artes (CEART), an art school in Mexicali, and plans to continue to pursue a career as an artist.
The wall separating Calexico and Mexicali was not an obstacle for the hundreds who made their way to the Outlets and enjoyed an evening with live music, food and art.
â€œThere is a lot of talent in the Imperial County and our sister city Mexicali,â€ said Roxana Pacheco, a co-organizer of the event. â€œWe wanted to provide a place where both cities could come together and exhibit their art, and what better than at the Gran Plaza Outlets that is located in between both cities?â€
Over 60 booths displayed an array of goods ranging from original art work, jewelry, old records, hand- crafted items, t-shirts, plants, clothing, hair accessories, food and beer.
â€œHolding this event was such a great idea,â€ said Luis Rosas, a Mexicali resident. â€œNot only does it give an artist the opportunity to show off their talent, it also gives families a chance to enjoy an evening together.â€
Celeste Jimenez, Gran Plaza Outlets Customer Service Manager, said the shopping center was the perfect place to unite both countries, since half of the plazaâ€™s clientele is from Mexicali.
â€œNot only did people shop today, they also had the opportunity to enjoy themselves without spending any money since the event was free of charge,â€ said Jimenez. â€œWe are happy to support local talent and the community.â€
Among the various live bands was performer John Leo, who entertained the crowd with his tribute to the Beatles. Leo said he was happy to be playing in the city of Calexico.
â€œI’ve always wanted to come to the city of Calexico and play my music,â€ said Leo. â€œIt is a real honor to be here playing for all of you.â€
Organizers said the Art Walk on the Border will be held every other month with the next event scheduled for May.
â€œI encourage everyone who has a talent to participate in our events,â€ said Pacheco. â€œArt is a talent that needs to be displayed and appreciated.â€[envira-gallery id=”74043″]