UTEP alumnus moves El Paso art scene onward

Ayer+Eternal+Photography+studio+is+located+at+2909+1%2F2+Alameda.

Special to The Prospector

Ayer Eternal Photography studio is located at 2909 1/2 Alameda.

Leonardo Montañez, Staff Reporter

As an artist, Luis C. Rodriguez felt that the possibilities of a prolonged and successful career would be many as he decided to pursue those options here in El Paso.

According to Rodriguez, who graduated from UTEP in 2010 with a multidisciplinary arts degree, he has been artistic his entire life, but decided to become an artist at the age of 19.

“Back then I wanted to be a poet and philosopher, but eventually I realized that as an artist I could be more versatile,” Rodiguez said. “I consider myself a modern visual artist with a heavy emphasis in computer arts such photography, graphic design, web design and film.”

In 2011, Rodriguez started the Chuco Artist Network (CAN) to help artists increase their popularity with the help of social networks.

“Back in April 2011, I was promoted to digital imaging instructor at EPCC and was looking for clever and innovative ways of changing the learning process,” Rodriguez said. “At that time, I was toying around with an idea to create a website that myself and a few prominent artists could use to promote and sell our work. CAN essentially became a platform for these two concepts.”

According to Rodriguez, since he began CAN, his own and his fellow artists’ careers grew.

“Chucoartist.com is the result of years of struggle in the El Paso art scene to develop a name for myself and furthermore to get recognition by the movers and shakers in town,” Rodriguez said.

Chucoartist.com facilitates the process to connect with each other more efficiently, supporter Carolina Rico said.

“Rodriguez’s creativity has opened the doors to many local artist and musicians, he has created a network that serves to innovate the way we connect to our community,” Rico said.

It is simple for artists to join CAN and promote themselves.

“Signing up is free and very simple, people just need to visit chucoartist.com and click join, that’s it,” Rodriguez said. “It may be alarming at first because of the diverse and overwhelming content, but in time it becomes second nature, and we better our community by taking part.”

Rodriguez said that he is proud of CAN as a form of art that he has created, but that he has other projects he likes just as much.

“CAN is definitely an artwork I am most proud of,” Rodriguez said. “But I am also proud of my two other endeavors, including Ayer Eternal Photography Studio whose success has helped fund CAN and Eternal SEO, an advertising/marketing startup specializing in assisting others create strong and profitable businesses.”

Aside from CAN, Rodriguez has other short and long-term goals for the future that involve both himself and his art.

“My short-term goal is to become a more efficient business person to amplify the success of my artwork. I aim to solidify relations with the City of El Paso so we, as artists, could finally have a way of combining city-related funding with community events all in one place,” Rodriguez said. “Long-term goals include continuing to take my artwork in the direction where it makes a positive influence to society and to take part in blossoming the city’s art movement so that it becomes a mecca for Chuco
art.”

Rodriguez said that he is inspired by many metaphors.

“Inspiration comes in many forms and I am inspired by eagles as a creature. Also, I am inspired by the sword, for it represents the warrior in me, the believer and conquerer,” Rodriguez said. “Finally, I am inspired by the rose, whose fragile form defies beauty, even more so in death.”

According to Chuco Artist and friend, Arturo Saldaña, he met Luis through their mutual interest in music. Saldaña said that Rodriguez had a particular interest for art.

“His passion for the arts is very distinct,” Saldaña said. “I’ve know him to be driven to succeed in whatever he puts his mind and heart to. He has sacrificed much in life to get where he is now. He is one of a kind in this city.”

Rodriguez will be working closely with many events and places to exhibit his artwork during the next few months.

“I am working on establishing a black-light photography exhibit as part of the Last Thursdays monthly event at the Network this September,” Rodriguez said. “I will also be working closely with the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee in integrating the Chuco Artists as part of the Lincoln Park Day celebration Sept. 22, and in October we begin the autumn solstice with the Sunset Heights Block Party.”

Any artists interested in participating should visit chucoartist.com or facebook.com/chucoartistnetwork and fill out the ChucosizeMe! form.

Leonardo Montañez may be reached at [email protected]