Darwin Arevalo & Grace Zuñiga: Prima Materia

January 19, 2019 - March 2, 2019
Recurring weekly on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
The Union HTX
2315 Union Street | Houston, TX 77007
Admission: FREE
Area of Town: Memorial Park/Washington Corridor
Free Admission: Yes

The Union is pleased to announce "Prima Materia," a two-person exhibition featuring artworks from Houston artists Darwin Arevalo and Grace Zuñiga. Prima Materia will open with a public reception on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 7 - 9 pm, and is complemented by an artists’ talk on February 16, 2019, from 2 - 4 pm.

"Prima Materia," whose meaning refers to a formless primeval substance regarded as the original material of the universe essential to alchemical processes, shares recent works from process-driven artists, Arevalo and Zuñiga, whose scope, subject-matter, and content in art-making include personal investigations around ideas of memory, migration, and mortality, among others, via the transformation of matter and material.

By establishing the creative genus from which these artist contemporaries come, this exhibition juxtaposes visual parallels and experimental material processes to question creative impetus, the subconscious nature of the creative act, and the fundamental, invisual qualities with which both artists imbue their artwork.

Artworks from Darwin Arevalo presented in Prima Materia are products of the artist's deeply exploratory and process driven art-making practice. The results of Arevalo’s artistic experimentation are rooted in material exploration and applied processes that exploit the unpredictable intersections of materiality and form as each of his artworks, in the first place, are reactions unto themselves. His impulse in constructing, combining, and reconstituting found and industrial materials determine the outcome of each piece. Detectable in this body of work, through the lens of an intense study of the formal advancements in painting throughout art history, is the heavy influence of the nuanced socio-political Latin American experience that color the artist’s life.

Through her creative process, Grace Zuñiga explores the embodiment of memory, narrative, and intention through the methodical manipulation and interweaving of artificial substances with raw materials. By creating powerfully emotive yet minimalistic compositions, she superimposes a visual cosmology upon her artworks and in doing so, defines for herself what is sacred in objects and establishes personal geographies and a sense of time. Zuñiga finds inspiration in natural processes and attempts to emulate nature through the concerted manipulation of material. Each of her compositions conjure the visceral and evoke a palpable sense of the sacred, offering viewers a moment to immerse themselves in an act of reflection, meditation, and devotion.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Darwin Arevalo was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and migrated to Texas at the age of four. He received a BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and has since exhibited in numerous venues in the Texas region and nation-wide.

Grace Zuñiga was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and in 2007 received her BFA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, with a focus in photography. In 2010, she studied printmaking and papermaking in the UGA Cortona Program in Cortona, Italy, and in 2012, she received her MFA in studio art, with a focus in printmaking, from the University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, Georgia. Zuñiga has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In May of 2014, she completed a nine-month residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and currently works at Sawyer Yards as the Creative Director.

ABOUT THE CURATOR
Theresa Escobedo is a multi-disciplinary artist and curator living and working in Houston, Texas. As the manager of The Union and the active Director of Main Street Projects, she curates, coordinates, and executes programs and projects designed to activate public spaces and to give artists the opportunity to impact neighborhood experiences through creative place-making and social inquiry. Prima Materia marks the second exhibition presented at The Union under her leadership.

ABOUT THE UNION
The Union is a newly launched exhibitions and events venue in Houston’s Old Sixth Ward which hosts community programs in an effort to showcase the work of local and regional artists. Housed in a restored Victorian bungalow, this fresh addition to Arts District Houston endeavors to activate community engagement and to provide a forum through which creatives can engage with the thriving arts community in Houston.

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