New art gallery opens in Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center

by Hayley Good | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

A new art exhibit opened in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery. From Feb. 16 through March 20, “Loteria: Reflections of Life and Luck,” by Hector Duarte, will be on display.

Gallery Coordinator Mark Ruschman is in charge of finding artists to showcase in the art gallery.

“When putting together exhibitions for the gallery, I am always looking for a variety of imagery and techniques to introduce students to something they may not have seen before,” Ruschman said.

Duarte is best known for his murals, but his exhibit will feature a variety of art pieces.

“He [Duarte] does prints, paintings and mixed-media works as well, but murals are what he is best known for,” Ruschman said.

Ruschman described Durante’s work with several different words.

“His work is narrative, figurative and often deals with the human condition.”

Much of Duarte’s exhibit deals with immigrants traveling from Mexico to the United States. The imagery and content heavily depicts their journeys.

“Duarte uses symbols such as the butterfly, which is a migrating insect. Then you have barbed wire, which is something that the immigrants have to deal with when crossing the borders,” Ruschman said. “In some ways, you could say that his artwork is political, but really it is just full of provocative imagery.”

The process of bringing the artwork to the gallery can be a tough one. Murals can be the size of an entire wall.

“There will be 20 to 25 pieces total for the exhibit, including one mural that takes up an entire wall,” Ruschman said. “All of the artwork will be transported in one trip.”

If an artist is featured in the gallery, the artist is compensated.

“The artists receive a stipend to help with costs of transportation and other things,” Ruschman said.

According to his website, Duarte was born in Caurio, Michoacan, Mexico, in 1952.  He studied mural painting in 1977. He has lived in Chicago since 1985. Duarte is the recipient of numerous awards including a 2008 Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council.

Duarte’s exhibit, “Loteria: Reflections of Life and Luck” will be on display in the art gallery located in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The exhibit runs from Feb. 16 to March 20.

The Opening Reception for “Loteria: Reflections of Life and Luck” was held Monday, Feb. 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the gallery. It featured a 45-minute gallery talk from Duarte. A translator was on-hand to allow Duarte to fully explain his exhibit.

The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. Admission is free to the public.

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