Tania Viveros Shines at MXLAN Festival in McAllen, Texas

Tania Viveros. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Tania Viveros. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González 

McAllen, Texas– Tania Viveros is a multifaceted artist and educator. With a decade of experience, she has seamlessly integrated her passion for art with her professional career, influencing her students and the community.

Viveros, founder of Eden and Design and a master in Studio Art and Design, is not just a professor at South Texas College and an art educator at PSJA North Early College but also an active participant in the local art scene. “Art is in my blood,” Viveros shares, emphasizing her dual commitment to creation and education. “It’s not just about teaching or creating; it’s about making a meaningful impact, opening doors for the next generation.”

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Her journey over the past ten years has been continuous exploration and selflessness. Viveros explains, “I began with a simple desire to create, but soon realized that I wanted to do more—teach, inspire, and engage with the community.” Her philosophy revolves around acting on her passions, which has led her to take on roles beyond the classroom, actively involving herself in community-based art projects.

For the MXLAN event, Viveros is curating an exhibition that involves local artists creating live murals and sculptural pieces that resonate with the spirit of the McAllen community. “Today, I represent both a curator and an artist,” she states. Among the highlights is her sculptural work, which includes painting and integrating tamales into her sculptures, a nod to local culture.

The event showcases the work of 13 local artists, all handpicked by Viveros. “These artists represent the best of what our community has to offer,” she says, acknowledging her role in bringing these talents to the forefront of the McAllen art scene.

When asked about her hobbies, Viveros smiles, “Everything I do is my hobby. Whether it’s fashion design, sculpting, or teaching, it’s all woven into the fabric of my daily life.” She starts her day at five a.m. and wraps up after a full day of creative and educational endeavors.

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This year marks Viveros’s second participation in MXLAN, a significant cultural festival in McAllen. “Last year was my introduction, and it was exhilarating,” she recalls. Her deep involvement in community projects, like working with NHPO and the IMAS Guild, has prepared her well for this year’s festival. “I brought myself to the table, ready to paint and connect,” she remarks, emphasizing her proactive approach to fostering community ties through art.

Viveros’s story is one of passion, education, and community engagement, illustrating her profound impact on the local art scene. As MXLAN continues to grow, so does her influence, guiding emerging and established artists in the valley.

As the festivities of MEXLAN unfold in McAllen, Texas, from May 2 to May 5, 2024, local artists find unique ways to connect with their community and cultural roots. Among these artists, Viveros stands out for her role as a participant and curator, bridging her artistic practice with community engagement.

Tania Viveros, known for her abstract and sculptural artwork, draws heavily from her Mexican heritage and the natural resources of her current home in the Rio Grande Valley. Describing one of her pieces, she illustrates a vibrant, 40 by 40-inch flower depiction. This isn’t a simple painting but a textural symphony of palm tree leaves, used ingeniously to create a lush background. The centerpiece—a circular floral object surrounded by husk leaves—is a bold emblem of her roots and cultural identity.

“This is not just about creating an object; it’s about embodying the spirit of where I come from, my querido Mexico, and intertwining it with the Valley,” explains Viveros. Her work is a dialogue between her heritage and her current environment, aiming to establish a visual and spiritual connection with her audience.

At MEXLAN, Viveros’s dual role as an artist and curator allows her to extend her daily practices to a broader canvas. “What I love about this event is the opportunity it provides to bring home what I practice daily—the connection with the community,” she says. In the classroom and through her art, Viveros engages with young adults and emerging artists, encouraging them to explore beyond traditional 2D painting and delve into more tangible, sculptural expressions of art.

This year’s festival is extraordinary, transforming her project into a shared endeavor. “It’s not my project anymore; it’s our project,” Viveros remarks. This approach highlights her contributions and celebrates the spirit adopted by MXLAN.

Viveros emphasizes supporting artists through various avenues such as commission work, exhibitions, and active participation in cultural events like MXLAN. She believes that such platforms not only showcase artistic talents but also strengthen the community’s cultural fabric.

As MXLAN continues to draw attention to McAllen’s rich cultural tapestry, artists like Viveros are essential in merging the past and present, the local and the global, creating a vibrant. mosaic of community, culture, and art.

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