The following item was sent to me by Kellen :Please save these dates!
New Work on Paper and Canvas by A Mutt Cubist
Jan. 10-Feb. 7, 2009
@ Bihl Haus Arts
Opening Reception: Sat., Jan. 10, 6:00-9:00 pmReading by John Phillip Santos
& Artist's Talk: Tues., Jan. 20, 6:30 pm
Dear Friends of Bihl Haus Arts,
Please plan to join us at the opening reception for Norman Avila: New Work on Paper and Canvas by a Mutt Cubist on Saturday, January 10, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
The exhibit features Norman’s new series of refined yet exuberant drawings in colored inks and permanent markers on common manila envelopes. The warm orangey tones of this manila ground, which vary from envelope to envelope depending upon the brand, illumine the drawings from within. Repeating elements—the teardrop, especially—remain fresh from drawing to drawing due to Norman’s brilliant maneuvering of multiple marking tools. Each tool produces different kinds of marks, and Norman exploits this to the fullest, noting, for example, “the happy accident when a marker is almost spent, it creates a texture that is only obtainable when it is in this stage of drying out.”
Norman began the manila series accidentally. Like many of us, he had accumulated cups of pencils, pens, and markers at work and at home. He dumped them out on his desk and checked to see which ones still had life in them by just scribbling on scraps of paper. The scribbles became intentional drawings that migrated to manila envelopes, the move stimulated by a fond childhood memory of drawing with a simple #2 pencil on a newsprint pad. The artist describes the process: “Some drawings were instantly successful, others were not. Some of the manila drawings were completed in a single day, others I came back to over and over again until they felt ‘right.’” The exhibit also features a series of drawings on postcards that can be mailed—called Maleart—several new larger paintings on canvas inspired by the manila drawings.
Norman, known by his friends for his boundless energy, is constantly producing art in various forms—photography, music, sculpture, conceptual, performance, writing, visual. He believes that every region or place has a singularity about it, and this—San Antonio—is depicted in his art. A native San Antonian, Norman graduated from Trinity University with a BA in Art. He taught for 10 years in the Edgewood School District, and has been active in the San Antonio art community all his adult life. The artist has exhibited in group shows and in solo exhibitions across the City, and was a co-founder of the San Antonio Museum of Modern Art, SAMOMA, an experimental art gallery operated as a museum that gave many local artists gallery space at no cost for a month. It lasted 3 years. Norman’s Monticello Park studio is his apartment, where he has lived for 3 decades. This way, he says, “I am close to everything that will facilitate my exploration into what art is and why we make it. It is the reason I am here in this world—I am certain of this.” His studio will be featured in the On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour (www.onandofffred.org
), scheduled for Feb. 14-15, 2009 (this might be a good time, too, to make note of this event, on your calendar).
In conjunction with this exhibit, we've planned a very special gallery talk by Norman on Tuesday, January 20th, at 6:30pm. He will be joined by his good friend, internationally acclaimed author John Phillip Santos, who will read from a recent work. More on this very special evening in my next email.
We hope to see you this Saturday evening (note the change from our usual Friday evening openings), January 10, between 6 and 9 pm.
Bihl Haus Arts, located on the grounds of Primrose at Monticello Park Apartments at 2803 Fredericksburg Rd., is the only non-profit professional art gallery on the premises of senior affordable housing in the U.S. Our mission: To cultivate creativity and artistic expression to motivate community and individual growth. Bihl Haus Arts, open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm, and by appointment, is made possible through the generous support of The Potashnik Family Foundation and Primrose. This program is supported in part by a grant from the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs.
Kellen Kee McIntyre, PhD
Bihl Haus Arts