Opening Reception: Monday July 23 at 6:30pm
Exhibition continues July 24 through August 9
Gallery Hours: 10:30am to 5pm, Monday through Thursday
Single Admission for all Summer 2007 events: $1.00
George Ruiz Castorena: Mevale
The title of the exhibition, Mevale, evolved from George Castorena ’s interaction with a one of his special education students at Pace High School . He suggested that she employ a particular drawing technique and her response was "Mevale," which mean "whatever I do is what intend to do." Later, she recommended a change to one of George’s color pencil sketch and replied, "Mevale."
George Ruiz Castorena’s art is drawn from his life. He engages memories of the struggles of family and friends from "El Barrio" through his narrative works of art. The artist states:
"I believe the most powerful and profound in aspiration can come from the simplest things in our immediate surroundings. To me, great artists strive to find something extraordinary within the ordinary context of their lives. My images must be powerful enough to grab the viewer’s attention yet make the subtle connections that trigger curiosity about what the artist is doing and why. Once intrigued, they will return repeatedly, attempting to discern the meaning."
The exhibition Mevale features drawings, painting, ceramics and sculpture. Mr. Castorena uses longhorn red clay to create his sculpture. He prefers the interaction of longhorn white with underglaze to achieve the painterly coloristic effects of his tiles. He has recently begun exploring the possibilities of using commercial tile as a base for his work. He says "There are advantages and disadvantages to total glazing. However, I am looking for an outlet that offers self expression."
Of his painting, George Castorena says, "I work spontaneously, using the quick gesture which results in energetic brushwork. Color is an important element in my work, with ambiguous or vague color shaping both figure and space. I am challenging people to think about Chicano art in my paintings or drawings and to decide whether they thought it was right or wrong. It had much to do with raising ethnic consciousness.
My first concern with the relevance of art is the emotional impact that it carries. I wish to reach my audience in a strong and emotional way by the use of color, mood, tone, and subjective composition. My paintings are my statements, by reaching into the past of the Chicano community. The influences and interactions help me give concrete visibility to the Chicano experiences in the southern part of Valley."
George Ruiz Castorena