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Pic 2 Cotton Fields by RF The Pharr Memorial Library is proud to present an exhibit and short talk with Roel Florez on his portraits and paintings that focus on Conjunto and Tejano music and Migrant work. Florez will also have copies for sale of his self-published book, based on his memoirs, entitled “La Ultima Pesada”/The Last Weigh-In, by Robert Longoria. (66 pages)

As a young boy growing up in the 1940’s in Weslaco, TX, Roel learned about picking cotton with his grandparents and his father. He remembers when as a boy of about 7, he overheard his grandpa talk about cotton to the grownups. Instantly he thought they were talking about cotton candy like the one he had tasted at a carnival. Excited, he said, “I want to go for the cotton grandpa.” Little did the child know back then that he would be introduced to the world of tedious cotton picking. More fun anecdotes and other stories about his life are in his candid book, as well as pictures of his paintings.

Now in his early 80’s, with five adult children and a marriage of over 55 years, he still drives himself and his wife for outings to the Pharr Community Theater to catch a play, to visit an antique shop or to enjoy a meal.

Former President Barrack Obama recognized Roel’s works of art with a proclamation letter that he is very proud of. Also, in the early 2000’s, the Smithsonian purchased a couple of his paintings to be exhibited as part of a Rio Grande Traveling Exhibit and Texas Folklife exhibited 20 plus of his works in a traveling show called “La Labor.” Later this year, Roel will be inducted into the Texas Conjunto Hall Of Fame and Museum for his many years of being a musician and for the numerous songs he has written and for his large collection of paintings depicting the life of a Tejano and the music he loves.

A small collection of his works will be on display as well as the sale of his book. Several works of art by a couple of members of his family will also be displayed and a coloring workshop will be held for youngsters. Local theater producer, Pedro Garcia, will host a short, live interview with the artist, Roel Florez.

The event is free of charge and will be held on Saturday, June 27, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pharr Memorial Library, 121 E. Cherokee Ave., Pharr. Refreshments and sweets will be provided as a courtesy.

For more information visit the Pharr Memorial Library FB page or call Paola Del Angel at the reference desk at (956) 402-4650