Mission: The Caldo Collective is an artist driven curatorial collective based in El Paso, Texas. In response to a lack of support for contemporary art in our community, we initiate grassroots projects that generate opportunities for artists through direct support from the community. Through community fundraising events, professional development workshops, public discussions and multi-media arts projects, the Caldo Collective sparks critical dialogue that examines how artists can engage our region's marginalized populations and ignite interest in art that shapes a bi-national and bi-cultural community.
The Caldo Collective thrives on experimentation. We are interested in forging partnerships with local artists that initiate participatory projects that respond to the issues that live and grow from our community.
What does Caldo do? The Caldo Collective addresses four major obstacles that hinder the growth of the art community in El Paso through different projects that each focus on one obstacle.
How to make a Caldo: Stemming from an expressed need for professional development for artists, the Caldo Collective helps artists learn how to prepare resumes, artist statements, grant proposals, project budgets, artist talks and powerpoint presentations about their projects. Caldo's cofounders are familiar with the many facets a career in the arts champions and they are dedicated to providing artists with an opportunity to take control of their careers, seize professional opportunities and help contribute to higher professional standards for artists working in El Paso.
Conversations over Caldo: In 2014, the Caldo Collective initiated its first "Conversations Over Caldo" in collaboration with the CUADRO Project in downtown El Paso. The informal panel discussion was set in the comfort of a living room. The Caldo Collective served up a tasty bowl of soup to welcome 50 participants in the conversation. Members of other collectives, individual artists, arts administrators, and other arts professionals were present for the conversation. The event was the first of its kind in El Paso and the first of many conversations to come.
Frijol Feasts: "Frijol Feasts" is a dinner designed to raise micro-funds for artists living and working in the El Paso Community and broader border area. "Frijol Feasts" is a part of the Sunday Soup Network, an international system of over 70 organizations who initiate similar micro-financing projects, originally founded by the Chicago-based artist collective, Incubate.
Three times per year, Caldo invites the El Paso community to share home-made caldo over locally grown art. Up to ten different local artists are selected as the special guests for each dinner. The artists come ready with an idea you’ve never heard before and a presentation to back it. After learning about each artist, their ideas and their potential impact on the community, dinner guests vote on their favorite idea. The artist who is selected by the dinner guests receives the funds raised by the dinner donations collected at the door! Funds range from $500 (supplies for your project) to $1,000 (supplies and some time spent compensation maybe?!) depending on the event. During its inaugural year, the Caldo Collective raised over $5,000 to provide direct support for local art. There is no better way to feed a starving artist than with a feast that keeps El Paso family. Come and FEAST your eyes. So simple. So easy. So tasty.
Transient Triangle Project: The "Transient Triangle Project" is an experiment in alternative public art practices. Caldo aims to directly address the absence of art studios and galleries in El Paso, Texas, while triggering projects that challenge ideas and perceptions of what art is in the 21st century.
Three times per year, we select adventurous public venues for an art exhibition, seeking out spaces that are otherwise unused or neglected, or that serve a purpose unrelated to “art”. We temporarily transform these spaces into art venues. Caldo moves the artists into the space, installs work, opens the exhibition and closes it within 48 hours. Caldo brings contemporary art directly to the public to eliminate the perceived boundaries that stifle access to the arts in El Paso. During its inaugural year, Caldo worked directly with five local artists . Each artist came to the table from a different background, specializing in their own individual contemporary mediums. “STAND WITH ME”, the generative exhibition series for the year, opened in the historic Manhattan Heights Neighborhood and aimed to trigger experimentation and a shattering of the boundaries for how art can WORK in public spaces. The project focused on the generation of concepts, ideas and perspectives that were discovered through months of field research on the streets in El Paso, TX. The exhibitions provided art FOR EVERYONE, BY EVERYONE through multi-media performances that carried recorded stories and sounds provided directly and indirectly by hundreds of people.
The Transient Triangle project eliminates walls, ceilings and even a door, taking art to the streets and making it come to life in a neighborhood near you. We don't need four walls or a ceiling to have an art show!
In 2015, the Caldo Collective was proud to receive support from the Texas Commission on the Arts, made possible through the City of El Paso-Museum and Cultural Affairs Department's "Community Art Program" for The Transient Triangle Project.