The Border Art Residency was established in 1997 as a place to support contemporary visual artists. The residency was the brainchild of Ray Parish and Becky Hendrick, who have put a lot of love and time into making it happen. The BAR is grateful to the board members who have served on the residency, and to the El Paso Community Foundation, which has provided financial and administrative support since its inception.
History at BAR
In 1998, Willie Ray Parish, Becky Hendrick, and some community-minded El Pasoans came up with the idea of the Border Art Residency as a way to support contemporary visual art. The residency was simple. Ray and Becky remodeled an old cotton gin above his studio, and the result was a 2,000 square foot place for one artist per year to live and work without the worries of rent or "real life" for a while.
The Border Art Residency was formed as a 509(a)(3) supporting organization to the El Paso Community Foundation, and the partnership has been wonderful for more than a decade. Ray and Becky have been landlords and volunteers for the project since its inception.
The Border Art Residency maintains its own board of directors, people who have been strong stewards of the residency through the years.
Future at BAR
The Border Art Residency is working with the El Paso Community Foundation to further develop interest in the arts, and to support artists. Recently, the BAR assisted the City of El Paso and the El Paso Community Foundation in conducting a survey of artists in the region interested in living in downtown El Paso. The entities contracted Artspace Projects, Inc., to look at the feasibility of creating affordable live/work spaces for artists within a single structure. The next steps in the process would be to develop apartments with studios, complemented by public show or performance space. Coming soon!