KaleidoLA Guest Artist Speaker Series: George Rodriguez

Born and raised in the border city of El Paso, TX, George Rodriguez’s ceramic sculptures explore the artist’s Latino and Mexican identity through intricate decoration combined with an awareness of our shared humanity. KaleidoLA’s third guest speaker, George Rodriguez, views his practice in clay as a way to employ an ancient material to express his contemporary experience. His ceramic work celebrates the medium’s most traditional sculptural capacity to reveal complex social issues of inclusivity, community and self-reflection.  
 
In one recent series entitled “Sanctuary,” the artist reflects on the importance of having a supportive and diverse community to provide a sense of belonging and inspiration: “In a time of increasing divisiveness, the need of community and togetherness is ever more important… I have found solace in the people who surround me. They are my sanctuary. [This series] explores the interconnection we share as people and how our differences should be a means to unite rather than separate.” The ceramic sculptures in “Sanctuary” include intricately patterned and textured guardian figures, tomb sculptures and shrines, and fittingly, they comprise a collection that synthesizes various cultural traditions. Rodriguez’s work expresses his commitment to the importance of inclusivity and how different cultures have influenced each other’s celebration rituals, objects of worship, and representations of community. The series “Sanctuary” serves as a bridge from the past to the present, looking back to the ancestors of multiple cultures to create a new, hybrid mode of expression in the present.

About the Artist

George Rodriguez earned his MFA from the University of Washington and his BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas, El Paso. He is the current Artist-in-Residence at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia, PA.  He is the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Artist Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and in 2016, he received the MoNA Luminary Award, Patty Warashina Award for Emerging Artist, from the Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA. In 2010, he received a Bonderman Travel Fellowship which allowed him to travel around the world for most of the year; this travel experience continues to have a profound impact on the artist by continuing to facilitate the growth and expansion of his community and art practice. Rodriguez’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Mexican Museum of Art, Chicago, IL;  Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA and Hallie Ford Museum, Salem, OR, and his work has been written about in publications including Ceramics Monthly, The Seattle Times, and Seattle Art & Performance.

Artist’s Website

About KaleidoLA

KaleidoLA is the Department of Art and Art History’s annual guest speaker series and is a featured program of the College of Communication and Fine Arts (CFA). For the past eight years, KaleidoLA has been a vital connection between Loyola Marymount University and the Los Angeles arts community. For fall 2020, in collaboration with LMU’s Laband Art Gallery, KaleidoLA will thematically center artists whose artwork and lived experiences foreground issues of racial, economic and social justice. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, all lectures will be delivered live on Zoom.

For more information about this event, contact Karen Rapp, Director & Curator, Laband Art Gallery, karen.rapp@lmu.edu

Image courtesy of George Rodriguez

Dial-In Information

Presented live online via Zoom.

To register for this event: https://lmula.zoom.us/webinar/register/4215993298530/WN_hlLT6LCpRBe-UupyRapCZg

Friday, October 9 at 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Virtual Event

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