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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 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

Biographical information

  • Born in Brownsville, Texas in 1955.
  • At ten, committed to a career in art.
  • Studied studio art with George Truan from 1973 to 1979.
  • Currently employed by BISD at Pace High School as a paraprofessional in special education.

Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Texas at Brownsville

  • art education and studio art
  • currently attending Master of Art in Interdisciplinary studies at University of Texas at Brownsville
  • plans to pursue MFA at The University of Texas Pan American at Edinburg, Texas

Exhibitions from 1976 to present

  • 1976 Art Gallery Texas Southmost College at Brownsville "Four Students Shows". Chicano Art Show.
  • 1977 Chicano art show UTB library.
  • 1977 Los Cuatro Artists.
  • 1978 Los 7 Artistas Truan e Su Studientes
  • 1979 Collect Art Show Art Museum of South Texas Corpus Christi, TX (in permanent collection).
  • 1979 Brownsville City Limit Chicano art show at Denton TX, Houston, and Brownsville.
  • 1978 Chicano Video Production Features Six Visual Artists Houston PBS. Station Houston. TX., Video.
  • 1977 Production by Caesar Martinez (artists) Chicano (young) Artists San Antonio, TX.
  • 1977 Mi Barrio Public Television media resources Texas Southmost College at Brownsville Aqui Rogelio Channel 4 Harlingen studio Chicano Art South Texas Harlingen, TX.
  • 1980 Cactus Javelina Student Center, Kingsville.
  • 2006 Senior Exhibit at Art Galley U.T. at Brownsville.
  • 2006 Art in the Park by Amigos Artists.
  • 2006 Day of the Dead Exhibit Calaveras Exhibit by Brownsville Heritage Complex Historical Association Museum.
  • 2006 Small Works Galleria 409 E. 13th Street Brownsville.
  • 2006 Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center.

For further information contact George Castorena at jrcast05@yahoo.com

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