Giving street cred to art

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By Kirsten Laskey

Art is not limited to impressionism or baroque styles. There’s a whole other style of art that thrives in urban areas. It decorates city buildings, adorns people’s arms and ankles and pops up on TV. Perhaps street art is easy to dismiss because it strays from the mainstream but it does have real credibility. Just look at artist Jesse Hernandez’s work. According to Hernandez’s Web site, the artist is influenced by a combination of styles.  His work draws from traditional indigenous styles and themes with an urban sensibility.


The Web site describes Hernandez’s art as having sharp colors, dynamic imagery and bold line work.

His art covers everything from toys to the cartoon series, “The Nutshack,” which is on The Filipino Channel.  It has been published in “Maxim,” “YRB,” “Giant Robot,” “Clutter,” “Playtimes,” “Dot Dot Dash” and other publications.

There is no need to wonder if there is a local channel for “The Nutshack,” the public can see Hernandez’s work right up the street at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

The art exhibit, “TAG,” will open June 25 at the center. While Hernandez will show his work, the center is looking for other artists to participate.

Ken Nebel, executive director, said this exhibit is not limited to a certain type of art but rather appeals to a broad range. “It’s anything that pays homage to street art,” he said. For instance, partitions will be set up for artists to paint on while another artist will show her busts of heads that are bolded painted and feature fierce expressions.

He added he is really striving for a street carnival flare with this particular exhibit. For instance, he said there are some plans for a break-dance group to perform during the opening reception.

Plus, with Relay for Life occurring and the Los Alamos Summer Concert providing live music just across the street, Nebel said he hopes to make the evening one big party.

Nebel said he became inspired to do this show while looking at an ugly, blank wall in Village Arts, which he co-owns.

While discussing what to do with the wall with a person who models with the Life Drawing group, the individual suggested talking to some artists about doing some sort of art on the wall.

This conversation led Nebel to explore street art.

Additionally, there has not really been a local venue for this artistic style, he said.

And while some people have told Nebel this is a risky venture, he replied that sometimes you have to push things that are important to you.

“I want people to think outside of the box,” Nebel said.

Hopefully, this exhibit will accomplish that in regards to street art.

“It’s to show off what’s is in now – the trend. To show that these are real artisans … this is a chance to have their work displayed as artisans,” Nebel said.

The deadline to submit       entries to the TAG exhibit is June 1. Forms can be picked up at the Fuller Lodge Art Center  as well as download on-line at www.fullerlodgeartcenter.com.

For more information, call the center at 662-1635.

TAG is just one show that the center is preparing for – the other is “Reflections,” which kicks off with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

The exhibit explores the many different sides of reflection, whether it is an image in a mirror or a thought the artist is reflecting upon.

“We came up with a huge variety of mediums … that people have been reflecting on or show reflection,” Nebel said.

He added the exhibit’s theme really got people’s wheels turning.

“I’m really excited about  the show,” Nebel said, “Hopefully it will be something that is a real good reflection of the area.”