With the help of two galleristas, I opened in December of 2005 at 201 Market Street in the Azteca neighborhood.
Gallery 201 began and continues to exhibit exciting works by emerging Mexican artists, Texas artists and local Laredo artists, concentrating on the cultural significance in a city comprised of 95% Mexican Americans.
In addition to educating and enhancing culture, the gallery gives people entertainment options beyond restaurants and bars which allows them to socialize and engage in diverse conversations.
One of Gallery 201’s proudest moments was inviting 12 Laredo artists to donate one piece of art for auction at a fundraising event awarding all proceeds as scholarships to local art majors attending TAMIU and LCC. Our non-profit, Mis Raices, coordinated by myself, Ninfa Deandar Cantu, Hector Chapa and Javier Santos with the Fernando A. Salinas Charitable Trust was able to raise $28,000. The participating Laredo artists had already become internationally acclaimed and recognized in their field: George O Jackson, Thomas Glassford, Peter Glassford, Amado Pena, Cesar Martinez, Ana Laura de la Garza, Josephine Sacabo, Ethel Shipton, Max Pruneda, Ito Romo, Ted Laredo and Rosalinda Quintanilla. We have exhibited almost every Laredo artist as well as renowned Mexican artists in our gallery. We began hosting two local flamenco dancers, Bianca Rodriguez and Illeana Gomez along with their musicians in sold-out flamenco performances. The Laredo Border Poetry Slam has found a home within our walls and hold open poetry readings every other Thursday at the gallery. We hosted the launch party for Cream magazine as well as the unveiling of Laredo T-shirt Factory’s “I AM LAREDO” t-shirt. We also host several student art exhibits from private instructors as well as the Child Protective Services Heart Gallery and the client art from the Border Region Mental Health Facility of Laredo.
This venue is not only a historical building; it has a unique ambiance not found elsewhere in Laredo. It is an original structure built between 1835 and 1840 as a home and has been well preserved by all its owners since.