New UTEP exhibit to feature art created in Tornillo’s ‘tent city’


Through a new art exhibit, UTEP is giving a voice to the teenage migrants who were housed in Tornillo’s “tent city” last year.

“Even though they were suffering, they still have a sense of beauty, they still have a sense of hope,” Dr. Yolanda Chavez Leyva, the Director of UTEP’s Institute of Oral History, told KTSM.

While in detention, the migrants were given basic craft materials including cardboard boxes, paint, and popsicle sticks.

The art was inspired by their homes, showing pride for where they came from.

A total of 29 pieces of art were donated to the university.

“One of the things that surprises me is was how colorful it was,  how beautiful it was, the talent that you saw as you go through the artwork,” Leyva said. 

The exhibit, “Uncaged Art: Tornillo Children’s Detention Camp” opens on April 13.

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