Guest UTEP Professor Delivers Lecture on Mexican Art and Culture

Photo of Lorenzo Candelaria. University of Texas at El Paso professor Lorenzo Candelaria, Ph.D., delivered a presentation titled “Aztec Renaissance: Cultural Identity in Post-Revolutionary Mexico.”

VERMILLION, S.D. – A guest lecturer from the University of Texas at El Paso, Lorenzo Candelaria, Ph.D., delivered a presentation titled “Aztec Renaissance: Cultural Identity in Post-Revolutionary Mexico,” today in the Colton Recital Hall on the University of South Dakota campus.

“In an age where the arts are increasingly marginalized. We need to become more adept at telling our stories,” Candelaria said. “We need to be able to tell why our art classes matter–why our history classes matter–why our political science classes matter. We need to be artistic ambassadors.”

Candelaria’s lecture examined the key roles art and music played in 1930’s Mexico, a post-revolutionary period known as the “Aztec Renaissance” when pre-Colombian culture was foregrounded to project a distinctive Mexican identity. The presentation concluded with a primer on the iconic 1935 film “Redes,” which will be screened with live music by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Jan. 13-14 at the Washington Pavillion in Sioux Falls.

Prior to arriving at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2013, Candelaria served on the musicology faculty of the University of Texas at Austin for twelve years and was a visiting faculty member in ethnomusicology at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He received his doctorate from Yale University.

His book, “The Rosary Cantoral,” received the American Musicological Society’s Robert M. Stevenson Award for its outstanding contribution to music scholarship and his research has been supported by prestigious awards including grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News