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Using HVAC Skills Brings Art

Updated: May 29

(This article was written by Steven Hughes and appeared in the June 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)

Harlingen Art Night has been that space for Rio Grande Valley (RGV) creatives for over a decade, Explore Harlingen reported in its December 2023 issue.

Enrique and Maria Del Angel. Photo courtesy of Bill DeBrooke.

Thanks to the event, metal artist Enrique Del Angel took a chance on a new venture in the 956 creative scene. His work shines the evening colors of art night as many other artists also seek event goers’ attention. From small objects to detailed works depicting creatures, his work stems from his experiences working with air conditioners (ACs).

After completing his education at Texas Southmost College and Texas State Technical College, he performed AC work for 30 years. However, his work in the life-saving service of ensuring RGV folks wouldn’t melt during the summer started with 13-year-old Del Angel holding a flashlight while his father worked on ACs.

With Del Angel’s work with machines, it was natural for scrap metal to surround him. He also managed to purchase welding tools. These pieces led to Del Angel making a hat-coat rack combo from car parts, shown behind Del Angel in use during the interview, covered with coats.

That was the start of Del Angel’s creative efforts, eventually making a Valentine's Day gift for his wife that garnered traction on social media.

Now, he, his wife, and two sons operate Del Angel Garage: Metal Art. His works are in and out of the United States, a piece of R2-D2 in Liverpool, England, and France.

“I think the best thing that someone told me was, ‘I want to be you when I grow up,’” he recalled on that Harlingen Market Day. “This was a six or seven-year-old, and he almost made me cry.”

For more information about Del Angel Garage: Metal Art, email See the coupon page in this issue for 15% off your next Del Angel Garage: Metal Art purchase.


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