Alejo Deleon: Visions of an Indigenous Caribbean

March 25, 2017

As part of their class exercises, students enrolled in Dr. Peter Szok’s “Cultural Contact Zones: Native American Art and Politics” course are organizing an exhibition of works by the Panamanian painter Alejo Deleon (1955-). The exhibition opens at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center on March 3 and runs through March 29.  Community members are invited to join students from the organizing class on Gallery Night, March 25, to view the exhibition. All are welcome.

Deleon belongs to the Guna (formerly Kuna) community, one of Panama’s eight Native American ethnicities, and a group widely known for a 1925 rebellion which stemmed from the abuses of national authorities and which led to the establishment of one of Latin America’s most successful autonomous indigenous regions (Guna Yala).  Guna Yala comprises a 232-mile land strip, along the eastern Caribbean coast, where the majority of the population lives on offshore islands and uses the mainland for hunting and agriculture.  The Guna are also city people.  Today roughly half of their 80,000 members find themselves in other parts of the republic, primarily in Colón and Panama City.

Deleon was born and raised in Usdup, located in the central-eastern part of the comarca and one of the largest Guna settlements.  Usdup was a flashpoint of the Dule Revolution (1925) and boasts a proud lineage of poets, musicians, filmmakers, and photographers.  It is also the home of Nele Kantule (1868-1944), a towering figure in Guna history, who collaborated with Swedish anthropologist Erland Nordenskiöld (1877-1932) in the writing of several path-breaking ethnographies.  Deleon continues to live in Usdup and sells his canvases from his thatched-roof studio to the occasional visitors passing in sailboats on their way to Colombia.  Deleon is also the village painter and decorates its walls for important celebrations.  His creations draw heavily on Guna aesthetics, evident in the reverse applique panels (molas) which women design and sew onto their blouses.  Weddings, puberty ceremonies, daily activities, and funerals are some of Alejo’s favorite topics, as are the heroic narrations of Ibeler, a central figure in the Guna foundational story.  Through the organization of the exhibition, students gain a greater understanding of the Guna, including their interactions with the outside world.

Honors Convocation 2017

April 20, 2017

Chancellor Victor Boschini, Provost Nowell Donovan, Keynote Speaker Barbara Makeda Blake-Hanna, Makonnen Blake-Hanna, and Dr. Darren Middleton after Honors Convocation, Spring 2016

Honors Convocation 2017 will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium. All are welcome, and classes will be canceled. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Clifford Saron, a neuroscientist who specializes in training of attention and emotion regulation.

Spring 2017 Honors Laureate Ceremony & Reception

May 12, 2017

The Spring 2017 Honors Laureate Ceremony will be held in Ed Landreth Auditorium on the TCU campus on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

Due to limited seating, tickets are required.

The Honors College is proud to recognize and celebrate graduates who have earned Departmental Honors, University Honors, or both.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the courtyard between Reed and Scharbauer Halls.

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John V. Roach Honors College
2855 Main Drive
Scharbauer Hall 1016


John V. Roach Honors College
TCU BOX 297022
Fort Worth, TX 76129




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