If you think the Southwest is only famous for its hot temperatures, delicious tacos, and Chihuahuas baseball team, think again.

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Canva Image

Although a border town, El Paso, Texas, has given birth to some of the most remarkable visual artists who've ever lived.

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And let's face it, that's MUCH cooler than the desert heat.

1. Tom Lea III (1907-2001)

An illustrator, muralist, and painter who was obviously obsessed with the American West.

I mean, his artwork was as rugged as the region itself.

And as a war correspondent during World War II, he definitely didn't shy away from a little action.

2. Luis Jimenez (1940-2006)

The big-shot sculptor loved playing with fiberglass.

He was all about celebrating the West and its people.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of his sculptures started singing "Home on the Range."

3. Gaspar Enriquez (born 1942)

A painter and muralist with an eye for color.

His work explores the Chicano experience and is so heavily influenced by Mexican folk art that it practically dances off the canvas.

4. Francisco Romero (born 1953)

He took Mexican folk art and gave it a modern twist.
His vibrant paintings make you feel like you've stepped into the heart of a fiesta.

5. Hal Marcus (born 1949)

He is the Southwest's answer to Bob Ross.

With his bright colors and attention to detail, he creates scenes that make you wish you could step into the painting and soak up some desert sunshine.

6. Manuel Acosta (1921-1989)

He was all about capturing the Mexican-American experience.

His bold, expressive brushstrokes are like a visual fiesta celebrating Mexican culture.

7. Pat Olchefski-Winston (born 1951)

She is a photographer and mixed-media artist who delves into themes of identity, memory, and family. 

Her work is so thought-provoking, it's like therapy without the bill.

No? I'll see myself out...

The Southwest is a hotbed of artistic talent today, and its current and past masters have left an indelible mark on the art world.

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Canva Image

From Tom Lea's cowboy-infused illustrations to Gaspar Enriquez's colorful Chicano explorations, these artists remind us that the Southwest is as diverse and beautiful as the masterpieces they've created.

So next time you're in El Paso, tip your hat to some of these legendary artists – and maybe grab a taco while you're at it.

Let me know what you think about this list of Southwest artists, or if I missed any, at nico@klaq.com

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