Arely Morales & Shaun Roberts
May 25-July 13, 2019
Opening reception Saturday, May 25, 6:00-8:00 pm
Artists in attendance
Kirk Hopper Fine Art (3008 Commerce Street) is pleased to present a two person exhibit featuring artists Arely Morales and Shaun Roberts. Morales and Roberts' Displaced is a sweeping exhibition referring to both physical and moral barriers that put it right on society's front burnerthe Mexican-American border, the treatment of migrants, the multifaceted issues of identity. Roberts and Morales go deep into the conflicted territory of class and privilege; they also ponder the traits that make us most human. Taken together, their paintings feel at once like a reverie and an urgent appeal. The portraits and narratives are crystalline and brutal, uplifting and bleak. Like other artists of the moment, Roberts and Morales reimagine the past, think about how the future might unfold and grapple with the present.
Displaced is many thingsmythical or dreamlike dystopian dramas, warm celebrations of family and female powernone of which fully conveys its tenacious grip on our attention. What it is not is speedy and facile. Rather, the narratives move carefully, even gracefully, with bold protagonists so compelling that we take time to examine their texture and import. The elastic compositions push our imaginations in any number of directions, offering expressive allegories for a lineage of powerful Mexican women and mysterious characters whose strength, unleashed, could literally shake the earth.
Born in Mexico, Arely Morales moved to Texas at the age of 14. She received her BFA in painting and photography from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2015 and later received her MFA from the University of Washington in 2017, where she was awarded the De Cillia Graduating with Excellence Award for her research and artwork. Currently she is teaching drawing as an adjunct professor at Stephen F. Austin.
The experience of merging into a new culture and being an immigrant in this country has influenced the subject matter of her work, which focuses on issues of identity, displacement, humanity and the invisibility that immigrant workers face nowadays: class-based exploitation, physical and emotional sufferings, and vulnerability. Her portraits of immigrant laborers offer viewers the opportunity to recognize her subjects' strength and humanity.
Though early in her career, her work has already been in group shows ranging from Florida to Washington, with work in the art collection of the University of Washington's Husky Union Building.
Born in Lufkin, Texas, Shaun Roberts received his BFA in painting and drawing from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2010 and his MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Washington in 2012. Upon graduation from the University of Washington, Shaun was awarded the Joan Mitchel Foundation Grant for graduating MFA students, only 50 awarded nationally. Shaun is currently an associate professor of art at Stephen F. Austin State University and painting area coordinator. Shaun's recent work addresses issues of identity, mortality and the struggles that our generation face today with a future that feels uncertain. The space in which Shaun's characters exist could represent a post-industrial society in which rational thinking has led to atomic disaster and downfall of civilization, or some other universe altogether. The allegorical paintings reference classical baroque and renaissance masters, mythology and Greco-Roman tragedies and parables.
Shaun has been in several group and solo exhibitions spanning over 17 states, including First Street Gallery, NY, Southern Mississippi Museum of Art, Hattiesburg, MS, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, and his most recent solo exhibition, Rebels and Renegades at the Art Museum of South-East Texas, Beaumont, TX.
Also showing in the Viewing Room
In advance of the major publication Roger Winter: Fire And Ice, forthcoming from Texas A&M University Press, KHFA is pleased to present a selection of works from the artist's recent "Construction Site" series. For years, Winter has aimed to condense his painting by reducing it to essentials. Read more and view the paintings here »