Text description provided by the architects. This building evolved from significant public conversations with students, parents, teachers and community activists, working with historians, curators, folklorists, artists and architects to envision a community gathering place.
As the first important civic building funded in over thirty years, the fine arts center needed to convey the community’s cultural heritage, hopes and aspirations.
The site was built up and the building placed at the crest, so that it could be seen from all directions at a distance.
It is a building of its time, declaring a kind of border modernism that is influenced by the regional vernacular of simple auto shops and garages of the Rio Grande Valley as well as an international modernism that is associated with Mexico.
It tells a story…of La Maquina Amarilla (The Yellow Machine) a rallying cry that defines the spirit of the people of this area. La Maquina Amarilla is recorded as a *Corrido or Border Folk Song that is a part of the oral history of the city. The sound patterns of La Maquina Amarilla have been interpreted as a mural which wraps the building, creating an icon of cultural voice through which every visitor must enter.