As an artist, Michael Villarreal finds beauty in what some might consider the mundane. He takes his inspiration and influence from personal photos, or even from the house his parents built themselves. His works have traveled the entire country and have landed in several major publications.
Villarreal will share his talents and introspect in an exhibition titled “Upkeep: New Works by Michael Villarreal” taking place at the Angelina Center for the Arts Gallery on the Angelina College campus beginning Sept. 19 and running through Oct. 28. An artist’s reception will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 in the AC foyer.
Villarreal said in an issued statement that “using a combination of painting, sculpture, and installation, my work makes connections between materiality and the recollection and re-interpretation of past and present experiences.
“I capture ephemeral moments that are often overlooked.”
For example, the artist often uses everyday materials used in the construction of houses, “such as 2 by 4s and drywall.” Villarreal also states, “My paintings act as framed windows, revealing mundane scenes of outdoor remnants like a large stack of chopped wood or patches of grass filling in an area of residual growth.”
Michael Villarreal is a visual artist based in Lytton Springs, TX. In 2013, Villarreal received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX and a Master of Fine Arts in 2017 at the University of Nebraska. He has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Art Palace Contemporary Art Gallery in Houston, TX; Project Project in Omaha, NE; Doane University in Crete, NE; and Spellerberg Projects, Lockhart, TX. He’s been in numerous group exhibitions which include The International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE; Real Shapes at DATELINE in Denver, CO; Going My Way at Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX; Nebraska Rising at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE, and Excessivist Initiative at LA Artcore: Brewery Annex Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
In addition, His work has been featured in several publications such as Huffington Post, New American Paintings, and Art Maze Magazine. In 2019, he was a recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.
Villarreal currently teaches at Texas State University.
Admission to the reception and gallery is free and open to the public.
Below is the full artist’s statement:
“Influenced from personal photos, old and new, my current work is a repository of memory, time, place, and self. I grew up on a property that has been a constant project my whole life. Through decades of constant additions and renovations, from the house built by the hands of my parents to a yard in need of continual care, I capture ephemeral moments that are often overlooked. Using a combination of painting, sculpture, and installation, my work makes connections between materiality and the recollection and re-interpretation of past and present experiences.
“I use materials that are common for the construction of houses, such as 2 by 4s and dry wall. These materials are configured as structures bearing a resemblance to the in-progress walls of a home. Each structure builds along the walls of the gallery with no intended end point. In addition, my paintings act as framed windows, revealing mundane scenes of outdoor remnants like a large stack of chopped wood or patches of grass filling in an area of residual growth. All my paintings are created within a week, allowing for alla prima and impasto techniques to produce abstract moments that, at times, never really feel finished.
“The construction of walls and excessive layering of paint both interpret an environment that transcends its original purpose, fostering a new narrative while maintaining a basic visual familiarity.”
For further information, contact curator Le’Anne Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.