Art and music student teams attend fashion show at Garlan’s

CAlex Co — Students from two of the Imperial Valley’s largest high schools teamed up to showcase their wide-ranging artistic talents Tuesday evening, April 30, at Garlan’s inaugural Spring Fashion Show event in downtown Calexico.

Garlan’s has been a staple in downtown Calexico since 1960.

The event features art, music, food and, of course, fashion from Calexico High School and El Centro Southwest High School. Students of all ages participated, with art on display including spring-themed mannequins and framed art by students from two high schools.

Orchestral music greets guests as they enter the front door of the iconic downtown department store, creating an ethereal atmosphere and a wonderful backdrop for the visual display. The afternoon sun shines in from the large windows of the department store, making the artwork appear more textured under the natural sunlight.

Myrna Ramirez, store manager at Garlan, explains how the idea for the event came about, explaining, “We invited two schools to promote the future of the arts. There is so much talent in the Valley, but sometimes it doesn’t get recognized. We essentially are In community outreach for these talents.

Calexico High School art teacher Eddie Schiffer supports student work at Garland’s first spring fashion show event in downtown Calexico on Tuesday, April 30. Includes art and music presentations. Southwest joins Calexico High School. | Christina Uriart Photos

Owner Robert Gronic said he’s excited to support local artists. “It’s a great combination: business and creativity. We are very proud of the kids. It takes courage to express yourself[artistically]. We are happy to have them here.”

Meanwhile, store owner Lorena Gronich expressed her gratitude to the students, saying: “We are so happy to have them here. They put a lot of time and effort into their art. We Both owners are excited and lucky to be able to help and say they welcome more events like this in the future.

This spring-themed event would not have been possible without the help of Southwest High School art teacher Jacqueline Pleitez. “This was a wonderful event. I thank Garlan’s for inviting us to participate in this collaboration. We hope to create opportunities for students to showcase their art.

Likewise, Calexico High School art teacher Eddie Shiffer welcomes the opportunity to share his students’ art with the community. “It’s great that local businesses can invite students to display their work. There are nearly 50 pieces of art here today,” he said.

Anahi Arvizu, a first-year art student from Southwest High School, created a mannequin piece titled “Butterfly Garden.” She decorated the mannequin with flowers in pastel colors, added a pair of wings made of wire, and painted the mannequin’s body in various flesh tones.

Anahi said of her artwork, “It’s a spring theme. The flowers represent womanhood and the wings represent freedom. The flowers come from the earth and the many colors represent every skin tone.” She shared that her artwork Taking about a month to complete, her mannequins now “greet” visitors as they enter the store.

The Southwestern High School Orchestra, led by Dr. Matthew Busse, performed classical music on the second floor of Garlan’s during Garlan’s first Spring Fashion Show event in downtown Calexico on Tuesday, April 30. | Christina Uriart Photos

Two fashion-forward art students, Dominique Macias and Reggie Martinez, decided to create a variety of dresses and costumes for the occasion. Dominic said: “It was a really lovely event. I’m very artistic and I do my own makeup. I saw this as an opportunity to get into a career in the arts.

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Reggie expressed her enthusiasm, saying: “I was involved in modeling and making mannequins. This was my first art show and it was to add to my resume. Throughout the evening, two ladies showed in the store their fashion-forward choices.

Two parents of Southwest High School students, Gustavo and Isaura Bibiano, expressed their thoughts on the event: “It was really good. Our daughter is a member of the orchestra and they play at various events in the community. Their daughter is a freshman, plays the violin, and is now a member of the chamber orchestra. Her parents believe music helps with concentration and creativity. They also believe it is a structured form of therapy and helps relieve stress.

Nelson Baxley, a parent of another viola player in the South West Symphony Orchestra, would like to see more support for the arts and young people, with more parent involvement. He has seen firsthand the benefits of art and music for his son, now a ninth-grader and already the second in the symphony orchestra.

The event ended with people networking, talking, and more musical and artistic expression. As Baxley said: “Art and music are one of the few things in this life that are permanent.”

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