Fine Art • Antiques • Old West Collectibles
Che Guerra & Becky Guerra
Nuevo Santander Gallery Owners
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In 1998, Che and Becky Guerra celebrated the opening of Nuevo Santander Gallery in McAllen, Texas - turning their collecting hobby into a full time business. Both felt that opening the art gallery was the next step to take as antique and art collectors. About twenty years ago, Che started collecting old west antiquities - old guns, saddles, spurs, anything having to do with the great American West. He would travel a lot, buy private collections that had been held for decades by families, and (after selecting a few jewels from these collections for himself) sell the pieces to other private collectors and museums. Eventually, Che and Becky knew that they wanted to design an art gallery to house their historical artifacts.
Since many of their artifacts tell the story borderlife on the Rio Grande and of Colonial Mexico, they designed their gallery to have the warmth and charm of a Spanish Mission. The grand entryway to the gallery is graced by doors and colonial ironwork from Mexico - all over 150 years old. Caliche caprock native to the area was used for the stone facade. Mesquite wood also native to the area was used for the interior floors and interior doors. Talavera tile and Saltillo tile add additional beautiful touches to the inside of the gallery. Custom made stained glass windows depict the original map that the Spanish Conquistador, Don Jose de Escandon, used when he colonized Southern Texas and Northern Mexico. The gallery's name also reflects this bit of history as Escandon named the area of his discovery Nuevo Santander.
The antique collection in the gallery includes guns, military uniforms, furniture, and religious pieces dating from as far back as the 1700s. The Guerras select artwork for the gallery that has been exhibited nationally or published in art digests. A few well established artists from the local area are also represented. Traditional realism is the theme at the gallery. Wildlife, landscapes, and figures compose the majority of the collection of oil, pastel, and watercolor paintings. Today, a constant stream of local, national and international artwork makes its way through Nuevo Santander Gallery. The Guerras take great pride in their collection, in their gallery, and in the fact that they are able to share art and history with others. "Whether it's a person visiting their first gallery or an experienced collector discovering something that captures their heart, it's a pleasure to share the experience," says Becky Guerra.