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Cultural Arts in McAllen

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As a rising star in Texas, McAllen, located in southern Texas along the 100 mile expanse of the northern bank of the Rio Grande River separating the United States from México, possesses a rich arts and cultural landscape with a great deal to offer.

Artisan excellence can be found almost everywhere you look throughout the city. Along Main Street there’s the McAllen Arts District, a collection of over two dozen galleries and studios displaying a wide range of art genres and focuses.

At the center is Nuevo Santander Gallery, achieving international acclaim for its exquisite finds including colonial relics, Native American beadwork, vintage saddles and spurs, works by both Texas and American cowboy artists, antique furniture, religious artifacts, Spanish Colonial art and other works, but the gallery itself is a work of art.

Built from scratch 15 years ago using Caliche Caprock stone mined where the building now stands, the owners took great care in every detail of the gallery which features stunning mesquite floors, Mexican Talavera tile, Mexican ironwork and a set of elaborately carved 150-year-old wooden doors.

During the First Friday Art Walks (September through May), art lovers can explore and enjoy the works at galleries and studios including Art Studio by Design, Santa Anita Gallery, McAllen Stained Glass, Douglas Clark Sculpture Studio, and Hinovations Art Gallery, among others.

There is also a relatively new Art Village, a Tuscan-style retail facility spanning 30,000 square foot encompassing four buildings comprised of studios, creative firms, art galleries, and restaurants.

To get a firm grasp of the cultural heritage of the Rio Grande Valley region, be sure to visit the Museum of South Texas History.

Located in the nearby suburb of Edinburg the museum is a great testament to the many people who helped transform the South Texas/Northeastern Mexico borderland from an open, citrus–rich agricultural area, into a vibrant, economic engine and driving force in the U.S. economy.

Founded in 1967 and opened in 1970, the museum architecture includes elements like the arches which came from the original Hidalgo County Courthouse.

The gigantic woolly mammoth here (and used in the movie X-Men) is a cast reproduction of bones found in the area, and the section about the Mexican-American war provides a unique historical “insiders look” by illustrating each country’s perspective, in their respective languages, based on the writings found from those times.

Moreover, all of the museum’s exhibits are presented with bilingual signage, representative of the binational culture and visitors.

The state of the art displays and exhibits encompass full-scale steamboat and windmill replicas, three riverboat history-related theaters, unique artifacts including prehistoric fossils, ancient tools, and a great deal more chronicling the region’s deep cultural heritage, pride, hospitality, and high priority placed on family and entrepreneurial development since its earlier founding.

Learn more about McAllen – A Rising Star in Texas!

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