On Saturday, March 1st, 2014 I attended the opening reception to 'A Tribute To Emigdio Vasquez', From the Artists of OCLAN (Orange County Latino Artist Network) at the Orange County Center For Contemporary Art (OCCCA) in the city of Santa Ana, California. Which will run March 1st-29th 2014.
Emigdio Vasquez - (Left) “Hard Times” 36x46 1973 (Right) “Felix Camp” 30x36 1974
The opening reception took place during the monthly Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk and my focus was on attending the exhibition at OCCCA to view the wonderful artworks by the Latino artists who were participating. Especially Mr. Emigdio Vasquez's artworks that were accumulated for his tribute. Previous to this showcase I had only been able to view his works individually in group shows and examine the murals he has created in the city of Orange, California. So partaking in this exhibit was a priority for me to survey the artist work. Walking into the gallery I first came upon two large majestic artworks by Emigdio. “Hard Times" from his Street Scenes series and "Felix Camp" from the Workers series. Which were impressive pieces to be received in with at the Orange County Center For Contemporary Art (OCCCA) space.
Emigdio Vasquez - “A Sunday Afternoon at the Harmony Park” 20x35 1999
Once in the main gallery at OCCCA I took notice that the weekends precipitation did not keep away people for the 'A Tribute To Emigdio Vasquez' exhibition. Which was healthily attended by supporters of the Chicano masters contributions to the movement. The exhibit did not just consist of Emigdio Vasquez's artworks, other participating exhibiting artists were:
Jess Valenzuela, Abram Moya Jr, Matthew Barrios Southgate, Jose Lozano, Ben Valenzuela, Henry Godines, Rosemary V Tuthill, Gregg Stone, and Guillermo Avalos. Reception festivities included a live performance by the band Manos De Fuego, they covered some classic Santana tunes while I was in attendance and kept the atmosphere upbeat.
Jose Lozano - “The Red Balloon Lounge” 2013
It was also terrific to see my friend Jose Lozano’s artworks that were included in the show, and artist Henry Godines' fascinating, “5:30 PM Going Home" an Oil on masonite painting which had drawn me in with its surreal qualities. I contemplated on its subject matter and his attention to detail for sometime. Prior to leaving I even made a return trip to that specific artwork to bask in Mr. Godines' panel for another moment.
Henry Godines - “5:30 PM Going Home” Oil on masonite panel 20x28 inches
The main gallery at OCCCA housed the majority of Mr. Emigdio Vazquez's artworks in the exhibition. Recollecting, all the works in the A Tribute To Emigdio Vasquez were original paintings, from his many different series he has created through the decades as a professional artist. Walking through the exhibit each of Mr. Vasquez's paintings became more engaging and as a whole narrated a much broader account of his lifes work. My favored Emigdio Vasquez's artworks in the tribute exhibition had to be, “A Sunday Afternoon at the Harmony Park”, in which the artist has depicted the Pachuco culture in celebration, and “Operation Gate Keeper”, where he presents one of the many obstacles the undocumented face while in search of financial stability. In addition, both were prime examples of the artist signature style.
Photo of Manos De Fuego live performance at ‘A Tribute To Emigdio Vasquez’, Orange County Center For Contemporary Art
I would like to thank artists Emigdio Vasquez, Rosemary Vasquez-Tuthill, Jose Lozano, Henry Godines and Stephen Anderson, Executive Director at Orange County Center For Contemporary Art (OCCCA) for the opportunity to share artwork in the exhibition.
For more information on 'A Tribute To Emigdio Vasquez', exhibition visit: www.occca.org
Emigdio Vasquez - “Operation Gate Keeper” 22x55 1994
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