the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center,
the Arhoolie Foundation,
and the UCLA Digital Library
The two norteño musicians were strolling down the main street in the border town of Nuevo Progreso when a woman stopped to talk to them. She was an artist from just across the border, in McAllen, Texas, and she wanted permission to paint their portrait. Her name was Reefka and she had an eye for character in the subjects she spotted along the porous border along the Rio Grande Valley. She would snap pictures and ask questions about their lives, the better to capture their essence in her art. Her husband and creative partner, Steven Schneider, would then write poems or short prose paragraphs about the people they met, inspired by the paintings.