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The Gallery at UTA opens exhibit exploring political resistance

News Release — 21 January 2009


Media contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, (817) 272-3317,

ARLINGTON - An exhibit by artists Vincent Valdez and Michelle Dizon opens at the Gallery at UTA with a reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30. The gallery is in room 169 in the Fine Arts Building, 502 S. Cooper St. The artists will give a brief gallery talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29. 

The two artists met in 2008 and discovered each was dealing with issues of political resistance in their artwork, although they focused on different historical events and geographic subjects. Valdez, who lives and works in both San Antonio and Los Angeles, was completing a painting that dealt with police brutality at the May 1, 2007, protest at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. The painting is titled "Nuthin' to See Here, Keep on Movin'." Dizon, who lives in Los Angeles, had just completed a video installation, "Civil Society I," that dealt with incidents of civil unrest in Paris in 2005 and Los Angeles in 1992. The artists' conversations raised the question of how people resist in the face of oppressive forces and how artists bear witness to this struggle.

The artists' statement said they came to understand their interests were not in the spectacle of violence and victimization, but rather in finding a way to translate the realities that are silenced and the subtle way that power exists in everyday life. The statement says the exhibit signals both the interminability of the struggle of the oppressed, as well as the constant reach of power by the oppressor. It examines the legacy of violence and its cycles throughout history.

Valdez was born and raised in San Antonio. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree form the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. He has had one-person shows at the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame, and the Museo Alameda in San Antonio. He has also exhibited his work at Parson University, Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Smithsonian Institution and the Mexican Museum in Chicago. His work is included in the private collection of Cheech Marin and is part of a traveling exhibition called "Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge." Valdea recently collaborated with Ry Cooder on a commissioned work-he painted a restored Good Humor ice cream truck with a visual narrative about the razing of the communities of Chavez Ravine to make way for the construction of Dodger Stadium.

Dizon, an artist, filmmaker and writer, received a master of fine arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2008 and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, the Eisner Prize in Film and Video and several academic awards and fellowships from both UCLA and UC Berkeley. She has exhibited and participated in film festivals throughout the country, including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Pacific Film Archive, Artist's Television Access, Southern Exposure, Film Arts Foundation and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits, as well as internationally at CineManila, the Philippines, Alu Cine Film Festival in Toronto and the Ctl_Alt_Del Sound Festival in Athens, Greece. 

In association with the exhibition, the artists will discuss their work in an illustrated, hour-long presentation beginning at 12:30 p.m. January 29 in room 148 in room 148, the Fine Arts Auditorium. The exhibit runs through March 7. The exhibit and all events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon until 5 p.m. Saturday. Contact Benito Huerta or Patricia Healy at (817) 272-5658 or visit  for more information. 

The 2008-09 exhibition schedule is made possible by the generous support of Arlington Camera, the Hanley Foundation and Hilton Arlington.


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