Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paul Valadez exhibit features "Fragments" of every day life

Ben Bailey Art Gallery - 09/16/11 - 09/30/11
Contact: Julie Navejar or 361-593-2590
Paul Valadez, full-time lecturer in the art department at University of Texas-Pan American, will show his art work in an exhibit entitled Fragments at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The exhibit begins Friday, Sept. 16, and continues through Friday, Sept. 30. Valadez will be honored at a reception Wednesday, Sept. 28. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Valadez is a figurative artist who works in mixed media paintings and works on papers. Fragments is made up of over 450 paintings made out of acrylic and different materials including menudo spices, chili powder, instant coffee, bathroom cleanser and dirt. These are painted on found pieces of wood, particle board, paper and metal.

“The subject matter is a collection of text fragments that I have found while living in the Rio Grande Valley. Over the last five years, my research for this installation includes regional scavenging and documentation,” Valadez said. “When I would come across a text fragment whether it was a sign for a business - sometimes defunct - or a scrap of paper with what I considered interesting writing/words on it, I would document my ‘find’ and write it down in a notebook for future reference.

“A key element in the process of this collection is the emphasis that I continue to practice and that is the ‘aging process’ depicted on this and many of my other works of art. I believe it gives us a sense of familiarity and links me to my childhood,” Valadez said. “At one time my father aspired to be a sign painter, so art and graphic sources were and are still an element my Dad and I bond over.”
Valadez grew up in Stockton, California and moved to San Francisco to pursue an art career. He earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary art from the San Francisco Art Institute and his master’s in studio art from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he was awarded a Weiss Fellowship for Urban Livability.

“My artwork is somewhat regional in nature and has a lot to do with where I am living at the time,” Valadez said. “I previously lived and worked in the bay area in California where my work dealt with consumerism, and when I lived in the Research Triangle in North Carolina, my work was dealing primarily with my identity. Today, I am living in the Rio Grande Valley in Deep South Texas on the US/Mexico border -- a place I have called home for the past five years. My current work is autobiographical in nature with a somewhat satirical social commentary, quite a blend of what I am experiencing in my life. I find that it is a reflection of my childhood memories and growing up in a bi-cultural household in the Central Valley in California.”
For more information, call 361-593-3401.