The Postcard Project
In this illustrated postcard series, Houston writers in both Spanish and English celebrate the East End's natural spaces, from thriving backyard gardens to muraled car washes to kudzu frilled bayou shores. This Spanish/English publication incorporates visual artwork from Houston/East End area artists and designers. Seed paper printed copies will be made available to the community at an East End Farmers Market booth. Plant the poems and grow Black-eyed Susans.
This project is funded by the Houston Arts Alliance.
Sylvia Blanco is a Houston-based artist who was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She is self-taught and has an enthusiastic eye for detail. Her work is influenced by Life, intuition, culture, experiences, nature and animals. In addition to her personal work, Blanco commissions family and pet portraits, as well as participates in beautifying the City of Houston with murals for local businesses and residences.
Find more of Sylvia's work at www.blancoart.com
artist and designer
Artist and muralist Armando Castelan was born in Puebla, Mexico in 1979. At age five he remembers the satisfaction of being able to draw his first hat in 3D and motivating him to continue and improve. Upon graduating from the HIgh School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston in 1998, he began to accept commission work and art projects of any type with the goal of building a diverse portfolio. He is now painting murals full time. In addition to this, Armando teaches a mural workshop at the Art League of Houston and is on the Artists advisory board for the organization Artists for Artist. Armando also enjoys doing digital illustrations and painting on canvas. He considers his personal work to be on the surrealist side.
Find more of Armando’s work at www.armandoarts.com
Elvira Diaz Ocampo
poet and artist
Bi-lingual writer and multi-media artist who was featured at Talento Bilingue de Houston (“TBH”), for her Dia de Los Muertos installations in 2006 through 2009. First place winner of the 1999 Johnnie Harris Writing Award for short story, “El Norte.” Poems, :”Frida” was published in the 2003 San Jacinto College Lean Seed Magazine, and “Washboard Knuckles” was included in the anthology of the Rio Grand Valley, “Boundless 2010.” She is also a jewelry maker who likes to include recycled items in her work whenever possible. Some of her mediums are bottle caps, soda cans, soda tabs, metal embossing, metal smithing, wire wrapping and making jewelry with silver art clay. Keeping her Mexican traditions alive through her art is very important to her. Former Legal Secretary for 33 years and Notary Public for the State of Texas since 1984. Selected for the 100 Hispanic women in Leadership Award in 2010.
Find more of Elvira's work at Hecho Aqui.
Matt Flores is originally from the Corpus Christi area of south Texas and completed their BA at the University of Houston. They have received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the Ideafund and were an attendee of the Tin House Summer Writer's Workshop. Their writings are published or forthcoming from Defunkt Magazine, Grouphead, and Gulf Coast and currently is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State.
photo credit Tere Garcia
Sarahi Hernandez (she/her/ella) is a graphic designer, California native, caffeine connoisseur and recent graduate of the University of Houston where she earned her Bachelor's in Fine Arts with a minor in Marketing. When she's not creating cool things behind her computer, she enjoys going to concerts, travelling, painting, playing guitar, dance, and working out. She also hopes you enjoy the postales!
Find more of Sarahi's work on Instagram @sarahihernandezdesign
Manuel Nava Leal
Manuel Nava Leal is an Author, Poet & Playwright who has written since early childhood. Mr. Leal has been involved in theatre for over forty years as playwright, producer, director, and actor. Mr. Leal curated The Pandemic Poetry Anthology (2020) featuring local as well as national and international poets. His recent books are, Ancient Jaguar Child 2020 (Poetry) and Blue Agave Imaginings (2020) (Short Stories) were self-published through Balamku Press. Mr. Leal is a founding member of NHPO, The National Hispanic Professional Organization. Manuel continues to write and looks forward to collaborating with, as well as producing the works of other playwrights, actors and artists. Seek him out!
Manuel Nava Leal may be reached at 832-291-6654 or Facebook and/or e-mail: email@example.com
Josie Mitchell is a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Houston. She teaches creative writing at UH, with Inprint, Grackle & Grackle and WITS. And she co-hosts the podcast Bittersweet Infamy with her dear friend Taylor Basso. Her work can be found in Flyway: Journal or Writing and Environment, Boneshaker and Vancouver Contemporary Museum. Recipient of the Houston Arts Alliance Support for Artists and Creative Individuals 2020 grant, she has lived in the East End since 2015 and is thrilled to celebrate this neighborhood.
Find more of Josie's work at josephinemitchell.com
artist and poet
Angel Quesada has been creating artworks for 25+ years. A decades-long connection to visual arts, music, and martial arts has all influenced his approach. Upon his return to his home state of Texas after twelve years in Boston and then Los Angeles, he has worked as a arts curator, producer, exhibition designer, musician, arts administrator, digital editor, ethnographer, urban muralist and public artist.
For the past decade, since moving to Houston in 2010 he has concentrated on large scale murals, he has created dozens of commissioned murals across the city. Creating documentaries about culture, he has used his professional work in the field of ethnography to infuse a complex narrative into his murals, and video work to address larger varieties of audiences.
Given his multimedia background, Quesada asserts that art is a succinct and powerful way to improve and enhance living conditions for all people. Facilitating that communities literally visualize their neighborhood and help cultivate a sense of place in a shifting landscape attempt to honor unique landscapes and residents while expanding an aesthetic that is at once connected and informed by its final placement. Beautifying places allows a community a sense of pride and self-awareness.
Lucy Reyna is a long-time resident of Houston and has lived in the East End for ten years. Lucy has served as Board President for several non-profit organizations, including the Hispanic Women for Leadership and the National Hispanic Council on Aging and has served as a sitting member of various community committees such as the Steering Committee for Go Neighborhoods, Near North Side Healthy Community Partnership, the Police Advisory Committee, and the Police Department Administrative Committee. Lucy is self-employed and has served as grant writer and fundraiser for various agencies. Currently Lucy is focused on unifying, beautifying, educating and informing the residents where she resides, of governmental projects or decisions that may affect our community. Her passion though is writing poems and short stories. She is currently working on a children’s book based on a true story. Her poem titled “Tomorrow” was one of six poems selected for the East End Postales project.
Matthew Rosas is the author of Praying not to Fall and The Legend of Mariquita and Other Short Stories, He has also been published in The Pandemic Poetry Anthology, Corpus Christi Writers 2021 Anthology, Corpus Christi Writers 2020 Anthology, and was a featured short fiction author in The Bilingual Review of Arizona State University. Matthew has studied Short Fiction and Flash Fiction with Inprint Inc. in Houston, TX.
Dillon Scalzo is a poet and translator with a passion for working back and forth between the mediums of Spanish and English. Based on the U.S./Mexico border for 13 years in San Diego, CA/Tijuana y Tecate, Baja California, he completed a B.A. in English and Spanish at the University of San Diego and later an MFA in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. He has worked in México, Spain, and in 2016 completed a U.S. Fulbright grant in Uruguay teaching Creative Writing and pursuing translation. Dillon is interested in all things transfronterizo, especially the movement of poetry and art across physical and imaginal borderlands. He currently teaches Creative Writing for WITS Houston, ESL for adults at AEC Texas, and is a translator and museum educator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH).
Martha Serpas is the author of four collections of poetry, Double Effect (LSU); The Diener (LSU); The Dirty Side of the Storm (Norton); and Côte Blanche (New Issues). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, Southern Review, Southwest Review, and Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion. She holds degrees in English and creative writing from Louisiana State, New York University, and the University of Houston, and a master of divinity from Yale Divinity School. A native of south Louisiana, she co-produced Veins in the Gulf, a documentary about efforts to save Louisiana's disappearing wetlands. With Michele Burgess, she has collaborated on three artists’ books, The Diener, Ghost Trees, and Reliquary. Since 2006 she has worked as a trauma chaplain at Tampa General Hospital. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at The University of Houston.
Brandon Tho Harris
Brandon Tho Harris (b.1995, Houston, Texas) is an interdisciplinary artist and arts professional based in Houston, Texas. His creative practice explores his identity as a child of war refugees. Through intensive research on the Vietnamese diaspora in relation to his family history, he examines notions of intergenerational trauma, displacement, and the land as a living archive. Found in his work are often self-portraiture, his family archives, found objects, raw materials, and historical images portraying the Vietnam war. By the use of photography, video, performance, and installation, he provides viewers a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding migration. Harris’ work has been featured in exhibitions and projects at Asia Society Texas (2021), Houston Center for Photography (2020), and the Blaffer Art Museum (2019). His projects have been funded through grants from The Idea Fund and Houston Art Alliance. He has participated in lectures and presentations at Yale University and Rice University, among others. He received his BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and currently is the Manager of Engagement and Communications at FotoFest.
Find more of Brandon's work at brandontharris.com
Roger P. Wallace Jr.
Roger P. Wallace Jr. is a long time resident of Fifth Ward and grew up on Lyons Avenue and Lockwood area. He graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School, class of 1975. After graduation he worked contract delivering furniture for Montgomery Wards for about 3 years and Pioneer Contract Services for 8 years delivering office furniture and freight to Sears stores. March of 1988 he was hired on with Harris County Precinct One Parks Department under Commissioner El Franco Lee and retired in July of 2012, after 24 years of service. But before he retired he started drawing art on canvases with gel ink pens before he slowly moved to acrylic paint around 2004. He bought himself a small camera to take photo prints of his art, and to have with him when he went on walks along Buffalo Bayou to take pictures of the wildlife and the action on the bayou. August 22, 2016 he started his business: Art by R. P. Wallace Jr. With market manager Roy Rodriguez's help he became a vendor with the East End Farmers Market where you can visit his booth and purchase his art.