Director’s Cut: Ginsburg Gallery opens January show through collaborative effort
Creative Center kicks off January show with art by and under the direction of Arts Consortium Director Ampelio Mejia Perez
By Nancy Vigran Reporter for the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA – The January showing at the Jon Ginsburg Gallery kicks off in a unique way on Friday, Jan. 4. From 5 to 8 p.m., Ampelio Mejia Perez will be working with Creative Center students in a collaborative effort to be raffled off at the end of the evening.
During the first two hours, Creative Center artists will start and finish their own pieces using various mediums such as paint, colored pencil, and Artstix. During the last hour, Perez will create a 3-foot by 2-foot collaborative collage with assistance by the artists participating.
This opens the gallery’s presentation of Perez’ work, “At the Same Time,” which will be on display in the gallery through Jan. 24. Perez, who happens to be director of the Arts Consortium, will exhibit a variety of two-dimensional works from mixed media greeting cards with handmade envelopes to acrylic paintings on canvas or panels, he said. He had not intended on displaying any of his work while director of the Consortium, but couldn’t turn down the offer from Stevi Daniels, art marketing coordinator for the Creative Center.
“Ampelio has been very supportive of the Creative Center through his work at the Arts Consortium,” Daniels said. “He works tirelessly to promote artists in the community, including those from the Creative Center. His support of the arts and his genuine understanding of art coincide perfectly with our mission and vision here at the Creative Center.
“However, Visalia rarely gets to see his personal artwork. Ampelio has a very strong body of work – both technically and conceptually. It’s a harmonious balance of chaos and order, uppity concept and reliability, seriousness and humor. People are naturally drawn to his work, both intellectually and viscerally.”
Perez was born in the high desert of Central Mexico.
“He wondered what might lie beyond those valley hills. Once far removed from his native village, he wondered about the goings-on there and the innumerable things he may never see or experience,” according to a press release from the Creative Center.
“This persistent wonderment initiated his study of time, matter, religion, and their relationship to each other. Though he does not claim the title of ‘scientist’ or ‘theologian,’ Ampelio’s work hints at such disciplines by comparing the ‘very large’ and the ‘very small.’ His work is characterized by overlapping, transparent elements which suggest that all things are connected, however separate they may seem.
“Ampelio does not limit himself in medium or style, yet his work is consistently rhythmic and textural. It is infused with humanity and is sometimes humorous.”
Perez obtained his bachelor’s degree in studio art from CSU, Chico. He has worked at the Arts Consortium for two-and-a-half years, the past one year as director. All of the artwork displayed at the Gallery will be offered for sale.
“I wanted this to be more than a gallery show,” Perez said. “I wanted to make sure to include and showcase the hard work that the instructors and the students at the Creative Center dedicate toward personal growth through the arts.
“If nothing else, I would like to raise some funds for and awareness about such a long-standing and resilient arts center.”
Perez has created similar projects to the one planned on opening night.
“Since approximately 2004, I have led collaborations like this many times before with groups as young as kindergarten,” he said.
Daniels is delighted to have had Perez agree to the showing.
“I am so pleased to have him in our gallery,” Daniels said of Perez. “His reputation as an artist and art-supporter benefit the repute of my gallery. Also, my artists are exposed to fresh ideas & inspiration they may otherwise never experience. Likewise, he gains exposure for his personal work and has fun doing it!”
Perez is appreciative of the opportunity.
“I have not worked with Creative Center students before, but I am a big fan of their visual as well as their performing arts abilities,” Perez said. “I am very much looking forward to seeing what develops on the evening of Jan. 4.”
The opening night reception and live art collaboration take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4. Attendance is free and refreshments will be served. Raffle tickets for the collaboration art piece are $10 each. Proceeds directly benefit The Creative Center and the guest artist.
The John Ginsburg Gallery is located on the Creative Center campus, 606 N. Bridge St. in Visalia. For more information on the Gallery of the Center, call 559-733-9329.