I visited Artspace Bridges tonight during the gallerystroll to see the show of a friend, Jimmy Lucero. Gallerystroll is an effort to open art galleries across Salt Lake City to visitors, allowing them to meet the artists and experience their art. Fortunately, the arts here in Salt Lake City are vibrant, allowing for an atmosphere of exploration of a shocking number and types of media representing everything from traditional paints and charcoals to sculpture and computationally derived art that is unfortunately lacking in many other cities.
I met Jimmy years ago through his wife, Mary who served on my Ph.D. committee. Jimmy is now an instructor here at the University of Utah and also at Westminster College, but Jimmy’s representative art in acrylics began with studies of tin toys placed in humorous circumstances and environments, but eventually, the toys began to evolve into representations of his life experiences combined with ideas from the libraries of master painters. His latest doby of work, LaMigra is a series of 16 acrylic paintings that takes a more political perspective by examining the proposed border wall in-between the United States and Mexico.
It was a good turnout and at times throughout the evening it was barely standing room only as people crowded in to the various galleries. Of course, this sort of representation of people in support of the arts is encouraging, especially these days where art and science funding is getting harder to come by.
My favorite painting of the exhibit, Chavez Crossing the Rio (Chavez que Cruza la Rio), grabbed me as soon as I walked in, not just because it was such a departure for Jimmy, but also because of the historical context, leveraging Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.
Below are a selection of my favorites from the show and are all in latex acrylics on boards.
Bush and Rumsfeld Greencard Teasing (Bush y Rumsfels Utilizan una Tarjeta Verde para Embromarnos)
Guadalupe Light the Crossing (Guadalupe Enciende la Travesía)
No Borders for Aztlan (Ningunas Fronteras para Aztlan)
Moses Parting the Rio (Moses que Divide El Rio)
Draining Migrant’s Life Blood (Drenaje la Sangre y la Vida del Immigrante)
The Minute Klan (El Klan Minuta)
What would Lincoln Say? (Qué Lincoln Diría?)