Monthly Art Night to showcase Mercedes native

HARLINGEN — A retired law office administrator, Hortensia Ramos, 75, from Mercedes, has been a fan of artistic hobbies for a long time.

Today, she has taken painting as one of her favorites and her art will be showcased this Friday during Art Night.

“Since I was a little girl, I always thought painting would be something I’d like to do, but I never had the opportunity,” she said.

“But in 2003, I ran into a friend who told me she and another friend would get together to paint and asked me to join them, and I said I would love to.”

After that encounter, she has been painting ever since, and has been a part of the Harlingen Art Forum for 11 years. Ramos said she enjoys painting buildings, palm trees and flowers. One of her main inspirations are photographs taken by her son, Kevin Hurt.

“I started a portraits class, and I have done two paintings. I did one of my husband when he was a senior in high school and I also painted one of my great granddaughters,” Ramos said.

Painting is not her only hobby at the moment, which she said she has abandoned a little bit in the past year.

Ramos has done belly dancing classes, as well as ballet, salsa and tap since she declares herself a dance lover. Ramos said she loves keeping herself busy and her husband encourages her to do what she likes.

Ramos also displays vintage items and collectibles that she gathers at a boutique in McAllen.

Being a part of the art community in Harlingen as one of her main hobbies is something she said she really enjoys. “We are trying to get more people interested in this community, which is why we host art nights,” Ramos said.

“We want to show them what artists do and there are a lot of people that like to paint and want to but they don’t do it, and we try to encourage them,” she said.