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In foreign territory Beyond Arts Gallery in Harlingen opens Alejandro Macias exhibit

UTRGV’s Visual Arts department Lecturer Alejandro Macias showcased his first exhibit May 27, which solely contains abstraction pieces, during the Harlingen Art Night Exhibit at Beyond Arts Gallery.

“I had never done anything that was purely abstraction or nonrepresentational and so this is the body of work that I have done based solely on that,” Macias said.

On display were 23 mixed-media pieces. Macias used spray paint and acrylic markers on paper and on wood panels.

“It really was just fun for me,” he said. “It’s a fun body of work but it’s really, I think, a mature body of work in something that is progressive for me.”

Macias did not title any of his pieces because he wanted to leave it to the viewer’s interpretation of the piece since it’s abstraction and it doesn’t have a clear intent.

“I see that he is trying to expand and go outside of his normal figurative work and I think it’s great,” said Jessica Salazar McBride, director of Beyond Arts Gallery.

The abstraction pieces in the exhibit contain geometric figures and high-contrast colors. One of the paintings has a blue-and-gray background but halfway, the color changes to a vivid red. On top of that color, there are hexagonlike shapes, which are in a sandy green color. At first glance, the piece looks like the lava of a volcano.

“Everything here is amazing,” said Sandra Cancino, an attendee of the event. “I think that everyone that comes and exhibits here does an awesome job and they are very artistic.”

Macias has been working with the university since 2013 but has recently been accepted as an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center in the town of Johnson, where he will be this fall.

“I think you have to turn your mind off a little bit and just enjoy the work for what it is,” he said about his abstract show. “When you really think about it, it’s just paper, spray paint, acrylic marker, color pencil and the fact that all of these things are working together to make a work of art.”

The Beyond Arts Gallery has other works of art on exhibit by artists from the Valley, such as Benjamin Varela, Charles Wallis, Hailey Herrera, Mark Clark and Kirk Clark.

“I think people need to have art in their life,” Salazar McBride said. “It shows them a world that is something beyond the everyday. We have so much going on here in the Valley. Then, we have so many talented artists showing their work. It’s something that we have such a great pleasure in doing.”

Macias’ exhibit will be on display until June 18. The gallery’s hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information, call Beyond Arts Gallery at 230-2859.

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