Past Exhibition: June 7, 2019 — June 27, 2019
Invisible Fires features the work of Edinburg, Texas artist Gaby Rico, San Antonio Poet Laureate, Octavio Quintanilla, and artist and University of Incarnate Ward art instructor Andy Villarreal. The reception features a reading by Octavio Quintanilla and monologue by Edinburg, Texas actress and performer Wendy Lara.
Born in Harlingen, Texas, Octavio Quintanilla, Ph.D (b. 1983). relocated to San Antonio in the fall of 2013, and was apppointed and serves as the cities fourth Poet Laureate for a two-year term from 2018-2020. Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014). His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere. His visual work has been exhibited at the AllState Almaguer art space in Mission, TX, the Weslaco Museum, Our Lady of the Lake University, and at El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism. Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.
In these tumultuous times in the United States where people are being attacked and discriminated against for speaking Spanish, I consider writing and speaking it to be ways of resisting anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.
Born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, artist Gaby Rico (b. 1979) is now living and working in Edinburg, Texas. A self taught artist who began painting in 2006, Rico has exhibited her artwork in solo and group exhibitions in cities across the Texas Rio Grande Valley, California, Italy, Spain, and Denmark among others. Using a wide array of techniques, mediums and freewheeling approaches Rico creates vibrant works ranging from abstract expressionism to more traditional representational work. Her practice is centered on exploring new materials and creating free-flowing, boundry-free works inspired by her spirtuality, and connection to nature and the cosmos.
I love creating. When I paint, I forget who I am. It is not about me, it is about being what I feel. It is about naturally flowing with the endless universe.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Andy Villarreal (b. 1954) studied at Corpus Christi State University and Arizona State University where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree. An art instructor for over 28 years, Villareal is currently teaching at the University of Incarnate Word, in San Antonio, Texas. A prolific painter Villareal has exhibited his work regionally, nationally and internationaly extensively over the last four decades, including exhibitions in Alaska, New York, Mexico, and Italy. Villareal’s work is informed by Meso-American culture, religion, history, and mythology and characterized by his subjective use of color and expressive brush strokes. Villareal’s work is enriched by his travels across much of North and Central America and abroad and their indigenous populations. Fusing the past and present Villareal’s work crosses cultures, explores the human condition, and cites the injustices, struggles, harmony, and celebrations of life to create new and rich visul narratives.
This body of work is based on my travels to several of the Mayan pyramids and walks I’ve taken around sights in the Yucatan. I find the culture, history, architecture, and the motifs fascinating. These paintings are my imaginative interpretations as a visual artist.