Date: March 2, 2007
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, Illinois, March 2, 2007 – The National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago will host an exhibit of artist Javier Chavira’s work from March 15 through July 8. The solo exhibition features Chavira’s acclaimed symbolic portraiture entitled De la Tierra y los Cielos, (Of the Earth and the Sky).
Chavira is currently an assistant professor of art at Governors State University. He was born in Villa Juarez, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. He immigrated to Illinois with his family when he was young and grew up in Joliet. His current exhibition reflects his upbringing with his depiction of different cultures.
“These works are a series of mixed media paintings that are informed by my Catholic upbringing, pop culture, current events, Haitian Voodoo flags, Mexican folk art, kitschy religious iconography, and 15th century Flemish portraiture,” explains Chavira.
His paintings integrate the realistic foreground to the flat unadorned background, forging a balance between the decorative and academic modes of painting.
According to Chavira, “My portraits are socially and politically emblematic. Sacred and not so sacred hearts is a way to describe the individuals I portray in my work. Some have used their lives for the benefit of humanity while others, the not so sacred, are mere facades of perfection promoted by our society.”
Chavira has exhibited widely and won many awards for his work including a 2007 Finalist Award from the Illinois Arts Council. In 2005, Javier was nominated for the Individual Artist Award sponsored by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation of Chicago. Javier is an artist of the public arts organization Friends of Community Public Art of Joliet for whom he has created striking public art and been featured in their book The Great Walls of Joliet. In addition to teaching instruction and inspiring young artists at Governors State University, he is also co-owner of 33 Collective Gallery located in the Chicago. His work is displayed in numerous public and private collections.
The National Mexican Museum of Art is located at 1852 W. 19th Street Chicago. The inaugural ceremony of the exhibition, sponsored by the Kraft Food Gallery, will take place on March 15 between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. The event and exhibit are open to the public.
For information, call (312) 738-1503, or visit www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.