‘Tejano history lacking’

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Illustrations by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustrations by Alexandra Nelipa

Tejano Heritage winning poster by Professor Richard Arredondo

Tejano Heritage winning poster by Professor Richard Arredondo

Communication design Coordinator Richard Arredondo wins poster contest.

By Paula Christine Schuler

pschuler1@student.alamo.edu

In July, communication design Coordinator Richard Arredondo learned he had won the poster contest for Tejano Heritage Month and would be announced at the 10th Annual Tejano Breakfast, an event on Aug. 31 kicking off the annual September observance.

Encouraged by a former student, Arredondo decided to participate in the contest.

He said he heard of contests in the past and would say to himself he should enter, but he never did.

This time was different. Summertime and student encouragement inspired him.

He hired a professional scanning service to digitize his traditional pen and ink work, then loaded the PDF file into InDesign software for finishing lettering.

In June, he delivered the project a week early to Texas Tejano.

Arredondo said, “Hispanic History Month covers the Mexicans, also the Cubans, all the groups.”

Tejano Heritage Month focuses on the people who were here already, the Indians and Spanish.” Tejanos contributed to the development of Texas before the Alamo,” he said.

He said people don’t find Tejano history in Texas history books.

“They always leave it out or portray them negatively,” he said. “The Alamo was a Spanish mission.” He said Hispanics include the people in the Americas from the Southwestern United States down to the tip of Argentina.

Tejanos are the Spanish and Indians who contributed to Texas.

Tejano Heritage Month was advocated by Texas Tejano beginning in 2003. With Texas Tejano’s encouragement, Gov. Rick Perry declared it a state observance in 2006.

San Antonio-based Texas Tejano, which trademarked TexasTejano.com in 2004, is a historical research and publishing firm that researches and publishes Tejano history and played an important role in the establishment of Tejano Heritage Month.

Arredondo chose to focus on Catholic missions for his piece, including Mission Concepción, Mission San José and Mission Espada.

“I felt the Alamo was overused,” he said. “I also illustrated the statue of St. Anthony that stands in front of the San Fernando Cathedral.” He said they do receive tourists, but all three are part of the archdiocese of San Antonio and still celebrate Mass. “The missions still function as true churches and locals attend their parishes.”

The three missions and the Alamo became part of the National Park Service in 1978.

Arredondo serves as the adviser for the Campus Catholic Ministry. He said, “I was an altar boy and learned the Latin.”

He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Texas in Austin in 1971. He said it was a traditional art program where he learned the pen and ink technique he used in the poster.

For more information, visit www.TexasTejano.com.

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