STC Starr County Campus exhibit examines the human qualities, machismo and vanity


South Texas College’s Starr County Campus Library proudly presents “Machistas Y Vanidad,” an exhibit featuring artwork by Noel Palmenez. The exhibit opens Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 and will be on view until May 9. A talk with the artist will be held on Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. at the STC Starr County Campus Library (Bldg. F), located at 142 FM 3167 in Rio Grande City. Admission is free and open to the public.

Palmenez’s exhibit titled, “Machistas Y Vanidad” or “Macho and Vanity,” is about one’s exterior, or how we wish for ourselves to be perceived. It also dissects what it means to be macho.

“The Machistas greatest weakness is the belief that they know it all, and the fear to ask a question or admit that they are wrong,” said Palmenez. “It is pride that keeps many men from living a more fulfilled life, and the fear of change. What is left is an ego-driven young man that is more than willing to take what he wants because there is no alternative.”

As for the role of vanity, though often seen as a negative quality, Palmenez chooses to view it as a great freedom and a way for women to express their identity and fearlessness.

“The time honored roles of men and women are beginning to change,” said Palmenez. “Men are gradually releasing the reigns of authority and letting women be a larger part of what happens within the workings of the world. A new voice is a good change, for it is not tied down to tradition, and a woman’s voice is genuine and real.”

“The subject matter of Palmenez’s exhibit is extremely pertinent to this region,” added STC Art Galley Associate Dawn Haughey. “Although the ‘macho’ or ‘machismo’ attitude can appear in all cultures, it seems to be especially ingrained in many Latino households. This type of mind set has a detrimental effect on families, marriages and children. Palmenez’s work speaks of the evolution of this negative tradition into something positive and hopeful. It is a message that needs to be heard.”

Palmenez earned a Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Fine Arts from The University of Texas Pan-American in painting, drawing and sculpture. He currently teaches at The University of Texas-Brownsville.

STC’s Library Art Gallery exhibits regional, national and international artwork, explores new visions and theories of creativity, and introduces innovative artistic expressions to the South Texas region.

For more information, contact Terri Rosalez at mtrosalez@southtexascollege.edu or 956-488-5822; or Dawn Haughey at 956-872-3488 or dhaughey@southtexascollege.edu, or visit http://lag.southtexascollege.edu.