Art Reception, Opening at TAMIU Sept. 7

Art Reception and Opening
at TAMIU Sept. 7

Mark your calendar to attend the first art exhibit and reception for the Texas A&M International University 2006/2007 school year, “Vincent Valdez: Stations” on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 5:30 - 8 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. It will be on display through Nov. 30.

Gallery hours of operation are from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

“Stations” is a series of large-scale charcoal drawings by the San Antonio native. His series of drawings uses boxing as a metaphor for life and growing up and refers to the Stations of the Cross of Christ's Passion in the tradition of Renaissance artist Giotto and modern and contemporary artists Pablo Picasso and Stanley Spenser.

According to Valdez, the impulse for “Stations” came to him in 2001, a year after he finished art school, when he learned that a close friend had taken her own life. He responded to her death by making “I Swear I've Seen My Own Reflection,” a charcoal drawing of a scrawny, dejected-looking boxer, whose fists seem clenched against insurmountable odds and whose chest bears a tattoo of a broken heart, split by the name “Sofia.”

Two equally somber drawings of the boxer followed. “I was thinking of the concept as a tragic hero,” said Valdez, “a young man who was struggling in every aspect of the world and his life.”

The pastel series, “Made Men” came next. In “Made Men,” four men gaze up to heaven. Three are mortals and the fourth is Christ.

He added, “I never intended it to have anything to do with Christ as a religious image or Christ as an icon.” Unlike other depictions of Christ's Passion, this series has 12 cycles instead of 14.

Valdez studied boxing illustrations, photographs and film footage. He used his younger brother, Daniel, as the basis for the boxer and many of the other characters and scenic details are from his own life.

“Stations” does not focus on victory or glory. It suggests that in life, as much as in boxing and in art, real success lies in confronting life's difficulties and fears, but continuing to grow despite them.

Valdez' work has been on display in San Antonio at the McNay Art Museum and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and as far as Snite Museum of Art in Notre Dame University. His work has also been a part of selected group exhibitions on display in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Denmark, Chicago and Washington D.C.

For more information, please contact Alma Haertlein, assistant professor at almah@tamiu.edu, 326.3041 or visit office in CFPA 208A.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu