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Banners celebrate accomplishments of current, former San Luis residents
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — What do a fashion photographer, a professional soccer player and a film director have in common?
They grew up in the San Luis area — and their accomplishments are being celebrated in a series of street banners and posters along the city's principal street, Main Street.
They are Jo Lance, the fashion photographer; Irving Garcia, the soccer player, and Georgina Garcia Riedel, the director.
The banners and posters, hung along both sides of the street that passes through the city's downtown commercial district, were the idea of Antonio Carrillo, an Arizona Western College counselor who was assisted by youth members of the League of United Latin American Citizens in seeking financial sponsors for the project.
“The goal is to help change the negative image of the border and to emphasize that there's a lot of talent in this area in many different fields,” Carrillo said.
Lance, who besides being a photographer, has served as a judge on the Mexican reality show “Mexico's Next Top Model,” praised the effort.
“For me, it is a reason for pride to say that I was born on the border and that I grew up in San Luis, Ariz. I hope that the project serves to demonstrate to the people (of San Luis) that they can accomplish big things.”
Lance, who currently lives in New York, has worked as a fashion photographer for such internationally known fashion designers as Versace and Jean Paul Gautier.
His work has been seen on the cover of Cosmopolitan and in such magazines as 17 Magazine and Latin Vogue. His photos also have appeared in promotion of such recording artists as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Idol, Maná, Thalia, Gloria Trevi and Timbiriche.
“I grew up in San Luis, I worked in the fields, but since I was a child I liked photography, and I always told myself, ‘I am going to fight to success.' A lot of people will see the (banner) and will ask themselves, ‘Who is that?' I hope they become interested in knowing more and becoming motivated.”
Also appearing in the banners is Garcia, a soccer standout at San Luis High School and Arizona Western College who went on to play professionally with the New York Red Bulls. Currently he is playing professional soccer in Guatemala.
Riedel was the producer and director of the acclaimed 2005 film, “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer,” which was filmed in Somerton.
Also appearing in the banners are Efrain Escudero, a mixed martial artist from Somerton, as well as students in the Gadsden Elementary School District who have excelled in summer college-level classes offered by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth program.