EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso’s Finest. It’s a local store in the heart of the Sun City that showcases the artistic gems engraved in the community and has reached international customers that shop and support a small El Paso business.
When you walk inside the shop, you can find all sorts of artistic merchandise and paintings made by El Paso’s very own.
“I just saw it as fun. It was something that I did as a hobby, as fun, to stay entertained, I loved it. But then, as I grew older, I started thinking, ‘Man, I see these people that do it for a living. It’s got to be so cool to live off your art. To just make art.’ That’s just what I thought,” said local artist Moises Garcia. “Then one day, when I was maybe in high school, I thought, ‘Maybe it’s something I could do — why not, if others have been able to do it.”
Growing up, Garcia became inspired by the beauty of architecture after helping his father build a home in Socorro. He then began developing his skills as an artist, which led him to many opportunities that cater to his passion.
“So I’ve kind of come to a point where I was able to make a living using both my passions, which is the mathematical aspect of art — the drafting, the illustration and the looser fine art. Painting,” Garcia shared. “Teaching is something that I have always enjoyed as well. Being able to show others things that I’ve learned and the real enjoyment of seeing others grow as artists as well.
You can notice Garcia’s love for realism in his paintings, such as his iconic Frida Khalo pieces.
Portraits, in particular, are one of his favorite ways of expressing his craft.
“It goes back to what I loved when I was a little kid. It’s just that figure drawing is very precise to that person,” he said. “I love it when I am able to do a commission or portrait and that person is like, ‘That’s me! That looks exactly like me.”
Along the way, Garcia’s work and teachings became part of a local store named “El Paso’s Finest,” which is owned by an El Paso photographer Ruben Gomez.
“El Paso’s finest, the name came from ‘well, I want to feature the finest of El Paso.’ The finest artists, the finest craftsman. I’ve had people come from New York, from Australia, from all over the world that have bought something from the store,” Gomez explained. “I urgently opened up three-and-a-half years ago with furniture from my home and I invited all of my friends who I’ve met at the farmers market, art shows to kind of fill up the walls because I didn’t want it to just be me. I wanted a space to provide for everyone. Everyone who is creating something.”
During the pandemic, efforts to showcase local creatives still remain. El Paso’s Finest hosts themed art shows every month which gives artists a chance to network and discover others.
“Basically I’ve gotten to know everyone on a personal level that I could basically just explain their work, their process, their life and how they’ve come to be in here,” Gomez shared.
During tough times, both artists are encouraging others to take a shot at expressing themselves the best way they know how.
“If you’re an artist, just keep sketching. Even if it’s napkin sketching at a restaurant or in your living room. Keep working, keep grinding and grinding because the more you grind, the better you’re going to get,” Garcia said.
“When I was in school, they would tell me ‘don’t follow the art career because you’re not going to make money off of it’ and all that. I’ve been happy to be a full-time artist for basically almost seven years. It’s a lot of work. It’s never and won’t be easy, but as long as you keep going at it, it’ll pay off,” Gomez added.
Next month, El Paso’s Finest will host an “I Love El Paso” art show, which will strictly be El Paso-themed.
To learn more about El Paso’s Finest, visit https://www.shopepfinest.com/.