‘Popaganda’ Street Artist Ron English to Create Welcome Wall with Texas and Mexican Muralists at National Butterfly Center in MIssion, Texas.
World renowned artist Ron English has previously painted on the Berlin Wall and the separation wall dividing Israel and Palestine, and from April 22-27, he will flip the idea of the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall on its head in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In response to the ecological violence of a barrier wall meant to exclude and divide, English has invited street artists from Texas and Mexico to help him paint a bold and vibrant Welcome Wall depicting colorful pop imagery of irreverence and unity.
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event universally celebrated as a milestone of human liberation,” English said. “To erect a border wall now in the flood plain of the Rio Grande River is not only an act of institutional racism and environmental desecration, but an historical anachronism.”
Ron English will be installing the first section of the Welcome Wall at the National Butterfly Center next week as a powerful creative response to the White House’s proposed destruction of Texas’ remnant of habitat in the Wildlife Conservation Corridor. It is designed to be a conceptual message board for an ongoing discussion about the wall, border, wildlife and immigration issues.
“Unlike the 36-foot concrete slab and steel bollard wall with which our butterfly habitat is threatened, the Welcome Wall will have ample space underneath the panels to allow for the free migration of javelinas, Texas tortoises, bobcats and ocelots to their water source—the Rio Grande River,” said Marianna Trevińo Wright, director of the National Butterfly Center.
“There has been so much misinformation and disinformation unleashed by the administration against the peaceful, safe and magical Lower Rio Grande Valley, we’re delighted to host a platform for a more truthful counter-narrative,” Wright said. “It is not just a pretty story but our lived reality since time immemorial—We are one community graced by a river flowing between us.”
English will be joined by artists Anat Ronen, Jessica Monroe, Helena Martin, The Ghost, Federico Archuleta, The Deathhead, Jose Ramirez, and Jason Perez, who’ll be coming from Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and El Paso to help raise the Welcome Wall in Mission, TX. They’ll paint directly on 4’ x 8’ plywood panels, which will weather in place until election night 2020.
A public celebration/dance party replete with Welcome Wall Volleyball, food trucks, snow cones, performance art and live music is scheduled for Friday, April 26th from 6-10 pm on the grounds of the National Butterfly Center located at 3333 Butterfly Park Drive in Mission, TX, GPS Coordinates: 26.180243 -98.364973.
“Bring your picnics and adult beverages. It’s going to be an LRGV party for the ages,” Wright said. “And ALL are welcome!”
The National Butterfly Center is committed to ‘Growing Connections’ between people, plants, and the winged wonders that pollinate and propagate all that grows around us. We do this through educational and environmental initiatives that cultivating meaningful understanding of the parties and processes that create beneficial and sustainable ecosystems. The Center is open to the public, for visitors and members, seven days/week.
Learn more about the National Butterfly Center, and how you can join us. Your annual membership or charitable gift impacts the beauty of our community and helps preserve the biologically diverse, natural treasures of deep South Texas.