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 René Hugo Arceo, painter and multiartist


Bestiary and Nahuales 2

Introduction

  I have been organizing international collaborations with printmakers since 2003.
The first project "Bajo un mismo cielo" involved twelve artists, six from Mexico and six from the United States. We addressed a theme of commonality: all artists were from the state of Michoacan while six of us lived in the USA and six artists in Michoacan.
We created prints on how our experiences were similar and targeted culturally unifying elements. The second portfolio "Mnemonic: To Aid the memory" included the participation of 19 artists from several cities in Mexico and the USA. Artists interpreted mnemonic strategies that help us remember things in our daily lives. The year 2007 has seen the birth of two more print portfolios Bestiario & Nahuals One and Two. Each portfolio includes the participation of 20 artists from various countries including Spain, France, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

  My interest in creating this type of international project is three-folded. First, it has to do with my interest in seeking an opportunity for artists, from different cities and countries, to collaborate under a common theme. Through my travels and many artists, most often printmakers, and wonder about how to bring them together in some form of collaboration. I also wonder how artists from different cultures, experiences and backgrounds would respond to a specific theme utilizing their preferred media of expression. How does this collaboration enrich the given theme? What diversity of media and styles comes about with this type of collaboration? I purposely select mature and knowledgeable printmakers with expertise alongside young promising artists who can benefit with this type of project. Each collaboration has been enormously gratifying and in some instances, illuminating.

  Secondly, this type of collaboration links artists in the international arena. Often times, additional projects come about as a direct consequence of the connections and common interest artists realize they have. This translates into solo and/or group exhibitions as well as art exchanges. For example, I had the opportunity to present a solo exhibition in Paris during October of 2006. There I met several printmakers from a collective whom I invited to participate in one of the portfolios. In some other instances artists from Montreal have been invited to exhibit individually and collectively in the Chicago area.

  Thirdly, I am interested in utilizing these print portfolios as a vehicle to gain exhibition opportunities in other countries. It is very expensive to send an art exhibition of one’s own art work for exhibition to another country on your own. If you as an artist do not have professional gallery representation or a museum interested in promoting your work, you would have limited exposure. By creating works on paper, specifically prints, artists have the possibility of more easily mailing prints to potential exhibiting venues abroad. Part of these print collaborations is for each participating artist to promote an exhibition of a portfolio in their own country and city.

  Through the support of the sponsors, such as Quad/Graphics, I am able to take care of all logistics for all participants including purchasing and shipping paper, contracting the design and production of the portfolio covers, sorting all prints in their covers and shipping two portfolios to each participating artist. Each artist then has to worry about creating their image, of a specified size, on the media they choose, and pulling the full edition.

  Finally, the themes of the previous and current portfolios have come out the meetings and discussions with Chicago based artists and after submitting them for consideration to the rest of the artists. I am particularly interested in themes that could have many possible artists' interpretations and visualizations while being humanistic and/or culturally meaningful. Themes that search and explore some level of new meaning and bring about a new level of understanding for each artist. While "Bestiary" is a more universal theme that all artists are familiar now-a-days, "Nahuales" is a new term but the meaning is not necessarily new. That is "Nahuales" is an Aztec term that refers to the souls of animals who act as protectors of human beings. A kind of "guardian angel" if you will, but without the triviality or superficiality we place today in this globalize world to this term. "Nahuales" on the other hand is evocative of the forces and power of nature and it is loaded with history placed upon it by indigenous people of the Americas over the centuries. Civilizations in other part of the world have their own equivalent such are Slavic people of Eastern Europe, the people of Africa and Asia. What is offer in these two print portfolios is each individual artist’s interpretation on this subject, as they understood it or as they decided to represent it.

René Hugo Arceo
Project Director/Printmaker
Arceo Press, Chicago



2007, October 1-28, Casa Michoacan Gallery, 1638 S. Blues Island Avenue

This exhibition is comprised of two print portfolios, each with the works of 21 artists,
addressing the theme of Bestiary (beasts) and Nahuales (guardian animal spirits).
This is an international collaboration presented by Arceo Press.

BESTIARIO & NAHUALES 2 - ARTISTS * ARTISTAS

Meiko Ando (Toronto, Canada)
René Hugo Arceo (Chicago, USA)
Michael Barnes (DeKalb, USA)
Catherine Cajandig (Chicago, USA)
Antonio 'Pepe' Coronado (Hastings on Hudson, USA)
Nicolás De Jesús (Chilpancingo, México)
Judith Jaidinger (Chicago, USA)
Thomas Lucas (Chicago, USA
Juan Pablo Luna (Morelia, México)
Dolores Mercado (Chicago, USA)
Oscar Moya (Chicago, USA)
Ginette Piché (St-Jérôme, Canada)
Jacquelyn Ruttinger (Kalamazoo, USA)
Reynaldo I. Santiago (Erinburg, USA)
Janet Schill (Riverside, USA)
Ouida Touchón (Las Cruces, USA)
Gabriel Rodríguez Trinidad (Chilpancingo, México)
Paul Valadez (Erinburg, USA)
Benjamín Varela (Erinburg, USA)
Claude Aimée Villeneuve (Montreal, Canada)

Special thanks to the sponsors and supporters of this project::
Alfredo Arreguin - Seattle, WA
Bill DeBrooke - Harllingen, TX
Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. - Villa Park, IL
Gary Keller /Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ
Patricia Macias - Chicago, IL
Quad/Graphics - West Allis, WI
ARCEO PRESS
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA
JULY 2007

 
 Judith Jaidinger 
 Female of the Species 
 (wood engraving)

Judith Jaidinger, Female of the Species (wood engraving)
 
 Juan Pablo Luna, Animal Inferno (woodcut)

Juan Pablo Luna, Animal Inferno (woodcut)

 Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Cha Cha Chá (linocut)

Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Cha Cha Chá (linocut)
 
 Antonio 'Pepe' Coronado, Felino=Felino (serigraph)

Antonio 'Pepe' Coronado, Felino=Felino
(serigraph)

 Michael Barnes, Bestiary (lithograph)

Michael Barnes, Bestiary
(lithograph)
 
 Oscar Moya, Fracture in Dream Time (intaglio)

Oscar Moya, Fracture in Dream Time (intaglio)

 Janet Schill, Come to Me (serigraph)

Janet Schill, Come to Me (serigraph)
 
 Reynaldo I. Santiago, Ibex Postmoderne (linocut)

Reynaldo I. Santiago, Ibex Postmoderne (linocut)

 René Hugo Arceo, Nahual (linocut)

René Hugo Arceo, Nahual (linocut)
 
 Gabriel Rodríguez Trinidad, Nahuales (etching & aquatint)

Gabriel Rodríguez Trinidad, Nahuales
(etching & aquatint)

 Nicolás de Jesús, Nahualtepec (etching & aquatint)

Nicolás de Jesús, Nahualtepec
(etching & aquatint)
 
 Thomas Lucas, Oso (serigraph)

Thomas Lucas, Oso
(serigraph)

 Ginette Piché, View in an Animal Mystic Garden (etching)

Ginette Piché, View in an Animal Mystic Garden
(etching)
 
 Dolores Mercado, Puerta Abierta (linocut)

Dolores Mercado, Puerta Abierta
(linocut)

 Jacquelyn Ruttinger, Path of the Nahual (woodcut)

Jacquelyn Ruttinger, Path of the Nahual
(woodcut)
 
 Ouida Touchon, Xochitl Sophina (linocut and emboss)

Ouida Touchón, Xochitl Sophina
(linocut and emboss)

 Catherine Cajandig, Signs of my Time (linocut)

Catherine Cajandig, Signs of my Time
(linocut)
 
 Meiko Ando, Usuba (linocut)

Meiko Ando, Usuba (linocut)

 Paul Valadez, Untitled (woodcut)

Paul Valadez, Untitled (woodcut)
 
 Benjamín Varela, The Heart is at Home (linocut)

Benjamín Varela, The Heart is at Home (linocut)
 
Check also presentation on The University of Texas-Pan American website:
www.utpa.edu




Santitos (2011)
 
Dia de los Muertos - Common Ground (2008)
 
Bestiary and Nahuales 1 (2007)
 
Mnemonic: to aid the memory (2005)
 
Bajo un mismo cielo - Introduction (2003)


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