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UTPA alum, author Garza to visit campus as artist/author/storyteller in residence
Posted: 06/17/2011
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Children's book author and alumnus of The University of Texas-Pan American Xavier Garza is coming to campus June 29-30 as UTPA Library's author-artist-storyteller in residence to share his experiences as an illustrator and storyteller with students and the community.

Xavier Garza

Garza, who graduated from UTPA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art in 1994 and Masters in Art History at The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2007, illustrates and writes his own children's books, will give two lectures - both starting at 1 p.m. June 29 and 30 - to students about how he successfully combined his skills as a writer and artist to produce his work. Both lectures will be at the UTPA Student Union Theater, followed by a book signing. The UTPA Bookstore will also have Garza's books for sale.

On June 29, the University Library will also host a reception from 5-7 p.m. at the UTPA Library's art gallery to celebrate Garza and his work, which is on display at the gallery and Library lobby, said Virginia Haynie Gause, marketing and media librarian for UTPA.

Garza has seven published children's books. His newest, "Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller," is due out this summer by Cinco Puntos Press in El Paso. His other books are "Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories" (Cinco Puntos Press, 2010); "Zulema and the Witch Owl" (Piñata Books, 2009); "Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid" (Cinco Puntos Press, 2008); "Juan and the Chupacubras" (Piñata Books, 2006); "Lucha Libre: The Man In The Silver Mask: A Bilingual Cuento" (Cinco Puntos Press, 2005); and "Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys" (Piñata Books, 2004). He illustrated all of his books except for "Juan and the Chupacubras."

Garza also self published two books: "Jesus Wore a Zoot Suit & Other Stories" and "La Muerte en Nuestras Vidas," of which the UTPA Library owns copies.

His work is featured prominently in the books "Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture and Education" (Bilingual Press, 2002), "Chicano Art for our Millennium" (Bilingual Press, 2004), "Triumph of our Communities - Twenty Years of Mexican American Art" (Bilingual Press, 2005), "Yo Soy/I am: Chicano/Latino Artists in Historical Context, volume 2, The San Antonio Gallista Community" (Bilingual Press, 2009) and "There Was a Woman: La Llorona from Folklore to Popular Culture" (University of Texas Press, 2008).

Garza, a Rio Grande City native who has been living in San Antonio since 2000, has said he paints and writes about what he has experienced in his own life, such as going to Lucha Libre as a child, being afraid of El Cucuy and listening to the Pedro Infante songs sung by his grandmother as she rocked him to sleep.

As an artist he has his work exhibited in various venues throughout Texas, New Mexico and Arizona including the Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio, The Arizona State Museum in Tucson and the Mesa Southwest Museum in Tempe, Ariz.

For more information, contact Virginia Haynie Gause at vgause@utpa.edu or call (956) 665-2303.