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140905_SDG209541 The Artist

Gaspar Enriquez grew up in the projects of El Paso, Texas, in El Segundo Barrio where Latino artists were few and far between. Fortunately for Gaspar, an artist lived next door and taught at his elementary school, Mel Casas. Gaspar would catch rides to school from the artist/teacher and on occasion, Mel Casas would show him his work. These experiences were his first introduction into the arts — a career path that very few from the Barrio considered an option. Unfortunately, when Gaspar was a junior at Jefferson High School, Mel Casas left El Paso for greater opportunities in San Antonio, Texas. During that time, Latin@ and Chican@ artists were vastly underrepresented and none seemed to be achieving recognition or making any money, so there weren’t many role models for students like Gaspar to look up to. After seeing how difficult it was to succeed as a Chicano artist and once Mel Casas left, Gaspar let go of the idea of a career in the arts. He moved to Los Angeles, California after graduation for greater work opportunities. A few years and a few jobs later, he began working as a machinist at a United States military defense plant. There he witnessed men who had been working for 20 years get fired before retirement and lose all their benefits, so he resolved to pursue a higher education so as not to suffer the same fate. While taking part-time math classes at East L.A. Junior College, his interest in the arts was kept alive through visits to museums and galleries in LA. Later in life, once he became an established Chicano artist, he would learn that many of his art contemporaries had attended LA Jr. College while he was taking math classes.

Gaspar and his late wife, Anne Garcia-Enriquez, moved to Denton, Texas in support of her education while he continued work as a machinist. His final decision to pursue a career in the arts was after Anne gifted him a chest of oil paints to motivate him toward his passion. She helped him realize that to be a successful artist, he would have to go seek a higher degree in the Fine Arts. So he did, and he went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in metals in 1971 from the University of Texas at El Paso and Master of Fine Arts in 1985 from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

La Gaby in Green

Gaby, like many of the subject matters in his work, was a student of his who he chose her in particular because of her attitude. He noticed that his students held a certain attitude that they developed in order to survive growing up in the barrio. It is a kind of defiant, self-righteous defense mechanism that emerges from coping with life in a rough neighborhood.

Gaspar grew up in the same barrio as his students, and even then they embodied the same type of defiant attitude. Upon returning after 10 years to teach in his hometown, he found that these kids, his students, were encountering the same difficult choices and hardships as he had: violence, drugs, gangs and dysfunctional families. After 10 years, the community hadn’t changed at all. He wanted to record their experiences because they reminded him of his upbringing. The images are not meant to romanticize this lifestyle, they are meant to portray these kids as something other than a stereotype, but as individuals themselves. After 10 years, the community hadn’t changed at all. He wanted to record their experiences because they reminded him of his upbringing. The images are not meant to romanticize this lifestyle, they are meant to portray these kids as something other than a stereotype, but as individuals themselves.

140905_SDG209464When he began teaching, Gaspar hadn’t thought of himself as a role model. He just wanted to do the best he could to teach these young students art. He knew that while many of them would not become artists, he still wanted to instill the drive and possibility that they had the option of being the best and excel in whatever field they wanted to pursue.

As it turns out, a number of his students chose to pursue a career in the arts. This past year, 5 of his former students created a mural in his honor for his exhibition at the Rubins Center at the Universit of Texas at El Paso.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
February 25th, 2015

For more information on Gaspar Enriquez, visit gasparenriquez.com or watch him speak of his life and work through his Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:

The Serie Project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Art Works.

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The Artist

Alma Lopez is a Mexican-born Chicana: she was born in Mexico and raised in the United States. Her family moved from Los Mochis, Mexico to Los Angeles when she was young, and they would make frequent trips back to Mexico. Like many Latinos, Lopez’s childhood traversed the US/Mexico border and exposed her to the rich and complex imagery of both cultures, Mexican and Chicana(o). As a result, she became very influenced by Latina(o)/Chicana(o) muralists, specifically by Chicana feminist artists.

Alma Lopez had been creating art throughout her childhood and didn’t stop creating when she graduated high school. In college, the decision to follow the path to become an artist was difficult because like many first generation college students, she felt an impulse to be profitable and useful for herself, her family and her community. From this perspective, a career in the fine arts did not seem like the most sensible choice for giving back.

When I looked around I thought, I don’t know if this art thing is going to be the best choice…perhaps I should be a doctor or a lawyer, but I know that I just had a, it wasn’t just like a want, it was more like a desire and a need to do art and create images… and so I remember speaking with my mom about it…and my mom never had the opportunity to go on to university or anything like that…so her advice was…”Mija, you know, do whatever you want because it’s your life…but you need to take care of yourself” – Alma Lopez

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Inherent in the need to be an artist lies the need to see, visualize and Inherent in the need to be an artist lies the need to see, visualize and express oneself as a part of one’s community. According to Alma Lopez, artists hold a responsibility to learn about who they are, the culture they come from and how those ideas can be positioned and expressed in contemporary culture. Her need to create and “do” stems from this desire to know herself and her community. For this reason Alma Lopez chose to be an artist: to represent her culture.

AlmaLopez

La Briosa y La Medusa

La Briosa y La Medusa

Alma Lopez, like many Chicanas, grew up watching Lucha Libre with iconic, masked wrestlers like El Blue Demon and El Santo. She noticed early on that while men have ruled over sports throughout history, women have had a presence of their own, even in Lucha Libre. Inspired, Lopez began researching into the Mexican female masked wrestlers of the 1970s and 1980s. La Briosa y La Medusa is intended to mimic a traditional 1970s wrestling event poster with a focus on one of these female masked wrestlers, La Medusa. La Medusa was a woman born in 1958 in Coahuila de Zaragoza, her name was Alicia Muñoz Alvarado. At 17, Alvarado’s mother introduced her to live Lucha Libre matches after her family moved to Monterrey, Nuevo León. After witnessing a match between Chabela Romero and Toña La Tapatia vs. Irma Gonzalez and Lupita Lara, Alvarado was inspired to become a Luchadora herself. Without her parent’s permission, she began training with Bulldog Villegas. Wanting to keep her identity a secret during fights, she created her own Lucha mask, La Medusa, for her first match in 1977. On May 27th, 1979, Alicia Muñoz Alvarado lost her mask to La Briosa.

La Briosa y La Medusa is inspired by the Luchadora story of Alicia Muñoz Alvarado: upon witnessing another individual like herself flourish by following her dream, Alvarado became inspired to take a chance to follow her own. Alma Lopez chose to place a “selfie” of her nieces in the background of La Briosa y La Medusa because their gaze brought to mind that experience that was fundamental to Alicia Muñoz Alvarado’s success. Watching a person succeed is essential to the growth of a young person because they witness the possibility of pursuing a passion that might not have been considered a possibility before.

According to Alma Lopez, there is still a great lack of proper education for young people in the contemporary world, 140829_SDG208817especially regarding the inclusion of women in the greatest movements in history. Women have been present throughout every revolution and have played crucial roles as revolutionaries and activists. Like Lucha Libre matches, the public is often unaware of women’s participation in these “masculine” events and activities. Alma Lopez believes it is important to highlight this information to young women, and even to young boys so they are aware that they have counterparts who have been historically influential in effecting change as well. By educating, inspiring and encouraging children to discover and pursue their own passions, we can realize a more creative and diverse world for future generations.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
February 10th, 2015

For more information on Alma Lopez, visit almalopez.net or watch her speak of her life and work through her Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:

The Serie Project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Art Works.

supporters

Beili Liu

Beili Liu

Beili Liu recalls her childhood world growing up in Jilin, China as an entire reality that was vast and three-dimensional. She was always passionate about drawing and writing, and saw the practice and skill of these creative outlets as satisfying and pleasurable. As an adult, after spending some time in a design-oriented, two-dimensional world, she harkened back to those days as a child in that space that felt so vast and exciting. About 15 years ago, Liu made the switch from working in two-dimensions to installation. Through this medium, she could revisit that childhood excitement by discovering the freedom of working in three-dimensions, which opened the doors to more advanced experimentations.

Beili Liu sees herself and other artists as messengers who have the unique opportunity to articulate their visions through creating visual experiences. Liu believes that artists have a particular sensitivity to the world around them and can utilize their insights into cultural concerns in their work. After practicing installations in a three-dimensional world, Beili Liu moved to working in two-dimensions with a new concept to capture and record moments of chance on paper. This direction caused her to look at issues broader than subject, like the processes of change, destruction, creation, and chance. This way of thinking in two-dimensions is what inspired a series of 2D works that focused on process and experimentation, including her Serie Print, Airseed Mono #1. 

 

Beili Liu

Airseed Mono #1

Airseed Mono #1

Airseed Mono #1 is a process drawing that explores the art of capturing a fleeting moment. It was an experiment with materials and process. She finds potential for projects by spending time experimenting with different materials until something surprising happens. Airseed Mono #1 was discovered by experimenting with Sumi Ink on Yupo paper, which created an array of fleeting and temporal bubbles. The overhead lamp Beili Liu was using began to bake the bubbles along their edges onto the paper, thereby capturing their temporal nature directly onto the Yupo paper. Discovering a new image and process was tedious but exciting. There was a lot of limitation in creating the drawings because the bubbles could only be so large. However, through serigraphy Beili Liu had the means to enlarge the image onto a fine art print. Being new to the process of creating hand-pulled serigraphs, Beili Liu found it exciting to experiment with the unique process of combining colors and layers to create one complete image.

Having always been interested in different techniques and the surprises that emerge from different experimentations, Beili Liu found practicing and learning the art of serigraphy to be exciting. The entire process involves both physical layers and layers of color, so in a way serigraphy has a three-dimensional nature of its own which, according to Beili Liu, is similar to installation. Each layer becomes a new drawing.

Written by: Natalie Villarreal
January 20th, 2015

For more information on Beili Liu, visit beililiu.com or watch her speak of her life and work through her Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:

The Serie Project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Art Works.

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Throughout the summer of 2014, the Serie Project produced a series of special, limited edition prints for our 2014 Residency. For 20 years, we have upheld the mission of the Serie Project by continuously collaborating with both established and emerging artists from all backgrounds and mediums to help them achieve their individual aspirations through the art of serigraphy. This season, we continued our mission by welcoming back a few of the great artists we have had the pleasure of collaborating with, and added a new artist to our Project, Beili Liu. In this blog post you can find more information on each participating artist and a little about their print. Click on the images below for more information on their print and click on the artist’s name to view their website!


Airseed Mono #1, 2014

Beili Liu

Beili Liu was born in Jilin, China, and currently lives and works in Austin, TX as an associate professor at the University of Texas. Liu received her MFA in Mixed Media from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2003 and BA in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Liu is “a multidisciplinary artist whose time and process based installations explore subjects of cultural specificity and overlaps, transient or persistent energy, and conflicting and confluent forces. Thread, paper, incense, wood, salt, water, these simple materials and compounds are the vehicles by which Beili Liu hand crafts microcosms of fragility and poignancy. By working with these everyday materials, Liu manipulates their intrinsic and bare qualities to extrapolate much more complex cultural narratives. Janet Koplos reviewed her works as being ‘materially simple but metaphorically rich’” (Art in America Review, April 2009).

 


La Briosa y La Medusa, 2014

Alma Lopez

Alma Lopez was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles. She received her BA from UC Santa Barbara in 1988 and MFA from UC Irvine in 1996. Her work spans many categories from serigraphs, paintings, and photo-based digital prints to public murals and videos. She is dedicated to issues of representation and social justice, and takes as her subject the daily lives, mythologies, and dreams of people of color. Through visual scholarship, she deconstructs and re-figures cultural icons, including La Virgen de Guadalupe, and allows them to exist in radically new ways. Since the 1992 Los Angeles uprisings, Lopez has been engaged in collaborative public art making that helps to bridge black and brown communities. Lopez currently lives in Los Angeles, where she helped co-found three organizations: L.A. Coyotas, Tongues, and Homegirl Productions.


La Gaby in Green, 2014

Gaspar Enriquez

 

Gaspar Enriquez was born in 1942 in El Paso, TX. He received a BA from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1970 and an MA in metals from New Mexico State University in 1985. A lifetime spent mostly in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio has given Enriquez uncommon insight into those he chooses to represent in portraits. From pachucos to cholos, his work immortalizes “a lifestyle of attitudes…defined by mannerism” that is part of his daily life in a two-culture environment. His artwork serves as a record of his experiences, ideas, and feelings about the suppression of Chicano culture. Enriquez is retired from teaching and now works full-time as an artist in San Elizario, TX. Enriquez’s latest work employs airbrush as his primary artistic medium, but he is also well versed in metalwork. His current project involves restoring an ancient adobe building to studio spaces in the 400-year-old presidio of San Elizario in El Paso’s Mission Valley.


La Marcha de Ernesto Che Lincoln, 2014

 Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1958 and grew up between his birthplace and Denver, Colorado. He received a MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Regis University. Ortega received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1999 and the Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts in 1998. His work is about presenting the Latino experience through individual slices of life of the community, family and many other sectors of present-day society, both urban and rural. Each artwork is part of a total picture, the Latino experience: not as an isolated phenomenon but as an active, integral part of American society. The artwork illustrates the changing environment of the United States.


Vincent Valdez

Round 10, 2003

Vincent Valdez

Vincent Valdez was born on the south side of San Antonio, TX in 1977 and began drawing at an early age. His first artistic influences were the canvases of his late great grandfather, Jose Maria Valdez, who was an artist and muralist from Spain. He began painting at age ten painting murals. Upon graduating high school in 1996, he accepted a full scholarship to the International Fine Arts College in Miami, Florida. In the fall of 1997, Valdez accepted a scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his BFA in illustration in June 2000. Vincent currently resides and works in a restored 1928 firestation in San Antonio, TX. A few exhibition venues that have held his work include: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Snite Museum of Art, The Frye Museum, The Mexican Museum of National Art in Chicago, The Parsons Museum in Paris, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, OSDE Buenos Aires, The Laguna Art Museum, The Bell Gallery at Brown University and others.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
November 3rd, 2014


This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

Consejo GráficoIn honor of the late Sam Z. Coronado, Consejo Gráfico, an independent network of print workshops that was formed to advance the legacy and viability of Latino printmaking in the United States, has put together a special collaborative portfolio titled El Corazón. 

As a Chicano artist, educator and activist, Coronado impacted many lives and artists throughout his lifetime. After his passing in November 2013, the participating artists of this portfolio wished to pay tribute to this cultural icon by creating a print, in their respective techniques, as a reflection of the impact Coronado had on them personally and artistically. The heart, a symbol Coronado experimented with in his own art, is the common theme threading the prints of this portfolio together – porque Sam fue todo corazón (because Sam was all heart).

-from El Corazón

El Corazón features work by the following artists: Rene Arceo, Diógenes Ballester, Melanie Cervantes, Pepe Coronado, Marcos Dimas, Sandra C. Fernández, Juan R. Fuentes,Scherezade García, Poli Marichal, Malaquias Montoya, Laurie S. Rousseau, Marianne Sadowski, Fernando Salicrup, Juan Sanchez, and Nitza Tufiño.


On July 11th, 2014, La Peña, in collaboration with the Serie Project, presented the prints from El Corazón in an exhibition titled the Sam Z. Coronado Homenaje Portfolio Exhibition. An abundance of friends and family joined us for the Opening Reception where we celebrated the life of Sam Z. Coronado. Heart-felt speeches, laughter, and anecdotes relating to SamIMG_4161 were heard all night long, and the reception continued for some time after closing. A band comprised of dear friends of Sam, Grupo Grüvo, contributed spirited tunes to accompany the reception, and patrons contributed refreshments, sustenance, and entertainments. All donations and portfolio sales were passed on to support the Serie Project.

The event proved to be a touching and memorable affair, and the presented portfolio, El Corazón, served to secure the life of Sam Z. Coronado in our hearts forever. 

The portfolio exhibition would not be possible without the help of Scherezade García, Dolores García, Sandra C. Fernandez, Libby and Cynthia Perez from La Peña, Jill Ramirez, and Leonard Hebert. From all of us at the Serie Project, we would also like to express our gratitude toward Consejo Gráfico and the participating artists for their contribution of artwork for this portfolio, as well as toward our patrons for their continued support.

Visit our Facebook Homenaje album for more photos from the event!

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
August 6th, 2014


El Corazón is currently for sale through the Serie Project, and patrons may purchase the portfolio as a whole or as individual prints. There are limited quantities, and the prices increase as they sell out. If you would like to purchase the portfolio or a print from the collection and secure your position, contact serie@serieproject.org or call 512.385.3591.

See below for images of the prints included in El Corazón.


This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

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This summer, the Serie Project will be producing a series of special, limited edition prints for our 2014 Residency. For 20 years, we have upheld the mission of the Serie Project by continuously collaborating with both established and emerging artists from all backgrounds and mediums to help them achieve their individual aspirations through the art of serigraphy. This summer, we continue our mission by welcoming back a few of the great artists we have had the pleasure of collaborating with, and look forward to adding a new artist to our Project, Beili Liu- who will kick start our printing season this month. In this blog post you can find more information on each participating artist. Click on the images below for more information on those prints and on the artist’s name to view their website!


panel1 panel2Beili Liu

Beili Liu was born in Jilin, China, and currently lives and works in Austin, TX as an associate professor at the University of Texas. Liu received her MFA in Mixed Media from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2003 and BA in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Liu is “a multidisciplinary artist whose time and process based installations explore subjects of cultural specificity and overlaps, transient or persistent energy, and conflicting and confluent forces. Thread, paper, incense, wood, salt, water, these simple materials and compounds are the vehicles by which Beili Liu hand crafts microcosms of fragility and poignancy. By working with these everyday materials, Liu manipulates their intrinsic and bare qualities to extrapolate much more complex cultural narratives. Janet Koplos reviewed her works as being ‘materially simple but metaphorically rich’” (Art in America Review, April 2009).

 


Alma-Lopez1

La Llorona Desperately Seeking Coyolxauhqui, 2003

Alma Lopez

Alma Lopez was born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles. She received her BA from UC Santa Barbara in 1988 and MFA from UC Irvine in 1996. Her work spans many categories from serigraphs, paintings, and photo-based digital prints to public murals and videos. She is dedicated to issues of representation and social justice, and takes as her subject the daily lives, mythologies, and dreams of people of color. Through visual scholarship, she deconstructs and re-figures cultural icons, including La Virgen de Guadalupe, and allows them to exist in radically new ways. Since the 1992 Los Angeles uprisings, Lopez has been engaged in collaborative public art making that helps to bridge black and brown communities. Lopez currently lives in Los Angeles, where she helped co-found three organizations: L.A. Coyotas, Tongues, and Homegirl Productions.


Gaspar Enriquez

Gaspar Enriquez

Q-Vo-Way, 1998

Gaspar Enriquez was born in 1942 in El Paso, TX. He received a BA from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1970 and an MA in metals from New Mexico State University in 1985. A lifetime spent mostly in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio has given Enriquez uncommon insight into those he chooses to represent in portraits. From pachucos to cholos, his work immortalizes “a lifestyle of attitudes…defined by mannerism” that is part of his daily life in a two-culture environment. His artwork serves as a record of his experiences, ideas, and feelings about the suppression of Chicano culture. Enriquez is retired from teaching and now works full-time as an artist in San Elizario, TX. Enriquez’s latest work employs airbrush as his primary artistic medium, but he is also well versed in metalwork. His current project involves restoring an ancient adobe building to studio spaces in the 400-year-old presidio of San Elizario in El Paso’s Mission Valley.


Tony Ortega

La Marcha de los Desvalidos, 2010

 Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1958 and grew up between his birthplace and Denver, Colorado. He received a MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Regis University. Ortega received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1999 and the Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts in 1998. His work is about presenting the Latino experience through individual slices of life of the community, family and many other sectors of present-day society, both urban and rural. Each artwork is part of a total picture, the Latino experience: not as an isolated phenomenon but as an active, integral part of American society. The artwork illustrates the changing environment of the United States.


Vincent Valdez

Round 10, 2003

Vincent Valdez

Vincent Valdez was born on the south side of San Antonio, TX in 1977 and began drawing at an early age. His first artistic influences were the canvases of his late great grandfather, Jose Maria Valdez, who was an artist and muralist from Spain. He began painting at age ten painting murals. Upon graduating high school in 1996, he accepted a full scholarship to the International Fine Arts College in Miami, Florida. In the fall of 1997, Valdez accepted a scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his BFA in illustration in June 2000. Vincent currently resides and works in a restored 1928 firestation in San Antonio, TX. A few exhibition venues that have held his work include: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Snite Museum of Art, The Frye Museum, The Mexican Museum of National Art in Chicago, The Parsons Museum in Paris, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, OSDE Buenos Aires, The Laguna Art Museum, The Bell Gallery at Brown University and others.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
June 11th, 2014


This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

Brian PhillipsThe Man

I started painting 20 years ago and will paint until my dying day – Phillips

Brian Phillips was born an Ohio Buckeye in Greenville, Ohio. In 1995 he moved to Indianapolis where he lived for 15 years before moving to his current residence in Austin, TX. Phillips was always drawing as a child, and according to his mother, the only thing that kept his attention then was a pack of crayons and a drawing pad. As a 12-year-old kid, Phillips loved going to wrestling matches and drawing portraits of the fighters. One day, the daughter of a promoter discovered his portraits and had them printed in the wrestling programs for matches. 66118_10152485550935066_236562425_nThis acknowledgment of his work meant a great deal to him. The young Phillips was let in to matches for free and even had his portraits signed by the wrestlers themselves. However, as the years passed on he lost touch with his passion for drawing and only practiced through high school art classes. During his 20’s, Phillips underwent a depression that changed his life. As a form of treatment, therapists advised him to take up a hobby. The choice was simple as he looked to what always inspired in him a sense of happiness and tranquility: Art. The making of his work became therapeutic for Phillips as he felt it was a way for him to lose track of time and let go. Today, twenty years after his re-discovery of art, Phillips has developed his own philosophy; art should bring smiles into one’s life and provoke thought. He sees his art as mood lightening since that is what it is for him. He likes to have fun and wants his viewers to have fun with him.575541_10152485551620066_409683640_n

I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it. Art is my afterlife. Hopefully it will be around to live on for me, long after I’m gone – Phillips

The Work

Brian Phillips is unique. He makes his work out of anything and everything salvageable that he can find and works them into his aesthetic. He utilizes everything from old chairs to restaurant chopsticks to salvaged wood pieces from 100 year-old houses; his only condition is that the pieces contain some sort of character, texture, and/or color about them. His favorite salvaged pieces are those from the 100 year-old homes:

…just the thought that, you know, this piece of wood stood in a house for a hundred years and the stories it probably could tell, you know, like some farm, ranch in Texas….For me it’s just a way to show that we live in a very wasteful society and you can create something from something that someone else has discarded, and to think that I have made a living off of that for two years…it makes me proud – Phillips

The act of using reclaimed wood is very important to Phillips and he would like for other people to try and enjoy it with him. Salvaged objects hold a certain history that blank canvasses do not carry, and it brings him joy when persons enjoy his work as he has.

Beg, Borrow, Steal
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Beg, Steal, Borrow and the Serie Project

Phillips has always been drawn to faces and bodies. At the time of this print, he was going through a period that many artists go through: the wonder of whether enough money can ever be made to stop worrying about money. It is a necessary evil, and the bills still have to get paid. Beg, Steal, Borrow began as a painting on Plexiglas that had been used as a painter’s pallet. True to Phillip’s style, at once he noticed the wonderful textures and colors the pallet displayed and used these organic elements to create the painting, Beg, Steal, Borrow.

Phillips has worked in screen printing for 20 years and was used to printing on textiles using vector and computer art, so the Serie Project process of doing everything by hand was completely new to him. His work already had that folksy, handcrafted feel to it, and learning to make prints in this hands-on way suited his aesthetic well. With the help of master printers, Phillip’s learned more and more through each color about the process of adding textures and layers to screen prints.

Phillips medium is stuff: Stuff that is found, stuff that is given, and stuff that is left behind. He repurposes this stuff to give it a new life and bring himself and others happiness. Art should be enjoyable, and Phillips strives to make it so.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
May 15th, 2014


For more information on Brian Phillips, visit artbybrianphillips.com or watch him speak of his life and work through Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:

 

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

130605_SDG164925

Oscar Magallanes

Oscar Magallanes was born in Duarte, CA and was raised a few miles away in the Azusa Barrio. Growing up in this area, Magallanes became heavily influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. Despite his limited interaction with art, save for a few public art pieces around the neighborhood, Magallanes always knew he wanted to be an artist.

The first art I saw were murals of Zapata and Mexica glyphs from the Chicano movement. These were juxtaposed next to homeboy role calls and Old English writing. I didn’t see a gallery or museum until I was 15 – Magallanes

Magallanes’ hometown neighborhood was saturated with violence, gangs, drugs, prejudice, etc…, which led to his growing up as a troubled youth and his being expelled from high school at the age of 15. After his expulsion, the young Magallanes came to the realization that the choices he was making were affecting his life negatively. He understood that he needed to take responsibility for his owns actions if he ever wanted something greater for himself, and that the environment he grew up in was not to blame. With the help of a dear friend, he was accepted into the Ryman Arts program where 15 students (200 in most recent years) are given the opportunity to take university-level art programs at no cost to them. It was here that he was encouraged and inspired to pursue a career in art. Later in life he would serve 3 years as the Chair of the Ryman Arts Alumni Association and Alumni Representative on the Board of Directors. Since then, Magallanes has dedicated much of his time to help various creative organizations. He served for 4 years as a board member for Self Help Graphics & Art, an internationally recognized center for Chicana/o and Latina/o arts that develops and nurtures artists and printmaking. Magallanes is also a member of the Inner-City Arts Young Professionals advisory board. Inner-City Arts is considered one of the finest arts education programs in the nation, providing elementary, middle, and high school students (many living in Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods) with tools and skills that help them achieve academically. These programs are just a portion of the amount of the organizations and projects that Magallanes has been involved in.

10. Flores Para Juares, Serie XX

Flores para Juarez
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Flores Para Juarez

Flores Para Juarez pays homage to the women in Juarez, Mexico. The female figure in the image is a friend of Magallanes who had witnessed a lot of abuse growing up in Juarez, and emerged from her experience a very strong woman. Magallanes believes that happiness is not about denying one’s own struggles in one’s pursuit of it; happiness is about embracing that struggle, finding beauty in it, and emerging from that struggle as a strong individual. In his eyes, this friend of his proved resilient in the face of her struggles, and he wanted to display the result of her experience, a very strong female figure. The halo behind the woman reads, “Have you grown weary of your servants? Are you angry with your servants, o giver of life?” The quote is a poem taken from The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. When the city of Tenochtitlan was destroyed, the Aztecs begged that question of their gods; what have we done to deserve this, are you angry with us? In Juarez, many women work at the maquiladoras, or factories, on the border. These multinational companies run the world and possess the power to change laws and constitutions. In a way, they act like corporate gods themselves, and the women are serving them. In their environment, the women are brutalized, intimidated, and sometimes even murdered. Magallanes imagines that these women must be asking questions similar to those of the Aztecs, of the corporate entities that control them, ‘why are we meeting the ends that we are meeting, why do you treat us this way?’ Magallanes made Flores Para Juarez to pay tribute to the hardships that these women endure.

 

The Process

Magallanes primarily uses reclaimed wood in his pieces, he likes the warmth and distressed look that the surface provides, and only works on canvas out of necessity. His strong background in graphic design prompts his paintings, prints, and sculptures to appear graphic in nature, and his work is heavily influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing:130605_SDG164853

By introducing paintings with pre-Columbian imagery that often mirror Western iconography the viewer is visually confronted with facing the dominance of western culture over indigenous cultures allowing for conversation of the subtle injustices and micro-aggressions which are prevalent on a daily basis – taken from oscarmagallanes.com

Magallanes uses struggle as his drive. Recently, he found himself very happy with the success of his work and comfortable in his life, and this unnerved him. Happiness breeds complacency, and Magallanes did not want to feel that he was at an end. He wants to always be striving for something greater by questioning life to find out what he doesn’t know. For this reason, he applied and was accepted to the University of California arts program which he sees as the next challenge to overcome. Since childhood, Magallanes has been influenced by the inevitability of death. When he was young, the thought of one day passing away and leaving this world forever crossed his mind. He grew up in a world immersed in violence, where one never knew how long he/she would be on this earth, and Magallanes used this as a drive forward. He declares that he will strive to create as much as he can before he passes. This philosophy is not a sad one, it is just a fact of life, and he plans to live life to its fullest.

Written by: Natalie Villarreal
April 9th, 2014

For more information on Oscar Magallanes, visit oscarmagallanes.com or watch him speak of his life and work through Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:

 

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

We have all been there. Christmas is a mere week away and we have still not gotten that mother/sibling/best friend/boss/partner a gift. I get it, some people are just hard to shop for, whether they be hard-to-please or the kind of person who has everything. When it comes down to these last-minute decisions, I have always found an original work of art to be the perfect solution. The great and unique characteristic of artwork is that it is timeless. Below we have assembled a collection of prints that would suit even the most hard to please mother/sibling/best friend/boss/partner. Simply click on the name of the artist to be redirected to the page of the print shown!

1. George Yepes, 2013

2. Rigoberto Gonazales, 2013

3. Alma Lopez, 2008

4. Candace Briseno, 2008

5. Carlos Donjuan, 2012

6. Farley Bookout, 2013

7. Patricia Tinajero, 2013

8. Stephanie Mercado, 2013

9. Jaime Arredondo, 2002

10. Oscar Magallanes, 2013

11. Adriana Corral, 2012

12. Robbie Ortiz, 2011

13. Lacey Richter, 2011

14. Roland Briseno, 2008

Written by: Natalie Villarreal
December 18th, 2013

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD

 

Serie XX copy

 

From October 19th to November 30th, we showcased our final Artist in Residency Program for the Serie Project, titled Serie XX. The exhibit was co-curated by our own Kelly Grajeda and Paloma Mayorga to occupy a new unconventional gallery space within Medical Arts Square near the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas. Also on display was a selection of works by Sam Z. Coronado, artist and founder of the Serie Project. The exhibit featured a compilation of his works focused on a particular theme, titled “Mujeres”.

 

 

Serie XX People

The space held an intimacy that only an unfinished office could provide. Beams of wood stood as dividers where a maze of walls would normally be. This skeleton setup allowed for the small space to breathe and the viewer to see through each room and into the next. Small panels, painted in a dark gray and nailed to the beams, served as walls to hold the prints of our final Serie resident artists, along with the work of Sam Coronado. Marigolds lined the perimeter of the halls to serve as homage to the day of the dead, and a space was reserved for the serigraphs of the participants in Coronado Studio’s Día de los Muertos Screen Printing Workshop.

 

 

Yepes Viewer

Following the private viewing at 5pm, the crowd really began to pour in. By 7:30 pm, the house was packed. DJ Chorizofunk provided colorful and upbeat tunes to complement the variety of works inside. All night the house was filled with people admiring the new works and reminiscing on past prints and events that they have been involved with, and all who attended the show felt at home and with family. Over the years, our project has involved a web of dozens of people in a variety of ways, all from different backgrounds. Whether they were the artists themselves, longtime supporters, or family and friends, we were very excited to see so many familiar and new faces at the opening.

 

 

This event served as the perfect close to our long residency venture. Our mission at Serie Project is to bring diversity to the fine art of serigraphy by promoting and exhibiting prints created by established and emerging artists. Our master printers have trained and worked with over 250 artists over the years, and the Serie XX exhibit served as a good example of the diversity that exists within the art world today.

Serie XX Panorama

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logan and sam copyIn addition to the Serie XX exhibit, an assortment of works by Serie Project’s founder, Sam Coronado, titled “Mujeres,” were on display in their own space. The small exhibit showcased a singular approach to the collection of his works, and featured the Mujeres of his prints and paintings. After working with Coronado and his prints, co-curator Mayorga remarked on an interesting power that women hold across his work, and worked to bring this power into a more refined light.

 

The following are a few words from Sam Z. Coronado on his exhibit, “Mujeres”.

 Women have always been an important influence in my life. These women have shown strength courage and compassion. These are also traits that a mother must posses in order to nurture children.

The women in this exhibit pose these traits and more. They represent love and altruism. They are women that I have known, read about or have met. Some are images that become part of my past and present and are aligned with what I feel demonstrate those special traits.

The guerrillera and the housewife that exist simultaneously in a world that knows little distinction of their role from one day to the next. The activist that wears urban camouflage and carries a picket sign marching for justice and equality in a society where greed is a powerful foe with no remorse. The young soldier whose purpose is to serve and protect others in combat. Unsung and persistent, they are our past and our future

                                                                                                                                          – Sam Z. Coronado

Mujeres Panorama

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We want to thank everyone who worked together to make this event possible. Namely our sponsors, Dr. Robert E. Cantu and the Center for Mexican American Studies; the master printers at Coronado Studio, Jonathan Rebolloso and Logan Hill, who worked with the Serie XX residents to create high quality prints; as well as all those who have supported the Serie Project over the years to make it into the success it is today.

 
Written by: Natalie Villarreal
December 10th, 2013

The Serie Project, Inc is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

 TCACAD