02 Apr Artist in Residence: Eric García
Ogden Contemporary Arts Announces Eric García as 2023 Artist in Residence
García will live and create in Ogden for two months this Spring, culminating in a summer solo show
Ogden, UT (December 7, 2022): Ogden Contemporary Arts is proud to announce the second installment of its annual Artist-in-Residence program with Eric J. García, a New Mexico artist who uses history and a graphic style to create political art that confronts our understanding of the present. García will arrive in Ogden with his family on March 1st to begin the two-month residency, which will result in a solo exhibition at OCA Center for summer 2023.
OCA’s Artist-in-Residence program was established last year with multimedia artist Ya La’Ford, whose culminating exhibition, Survey: The West, featured painting, sculpture and installation art inspired by the artist’s fresh perspective on our western landscape, culture, and history. “We couldn’t be happier with our first residency cycle with Ya La’Ford,” says OCA Executive Director Venessa Castagnoli. “Not only did she create an exceptional body of work during her stay, she integrated herself into our community and left a lasting impression on our youth. We are equally excited to continue the program with Eric García, who has laid out an impressive plan for local engagement and whose work we feel will resonate with our Ogden community.”
García’s overall studio practice involves sculpture, mixed media installations, murals, printmaking, and controversial political cartoons. His work challenges viewers to question sources of power and the whitewashing of history. He says in his artist statement: “By reexamining forgotten stories in an accessible and visually striking way, my work can be a tool with which to share, learn from, and spark critical dialogue. Specifically, I make art to prevent historical amnesia and cultural erasure.”
For his OCA residency, García’s project will explore ideas around immigration, specifically the term “alien,” as presented in various contexts. “Mixing this idea of “colonial/historical aliens” with popular science fiction imagery for satirical fun, we can start making the connections between conquest and the westward expansion of the Americas, to the exploration of outer space, and the occupation of other people’s spaces,” says the artist. “…With this project, I hope to use popular sci-fi elements as a visual way of drawing people into the gallery space, where a more serious agenda prompts viewers to understand or consider our history’s real-life alien invasions.”
OCA’s mission for the Artist-in-Residence program is to bring national and international artists to Ogden to ignite, inspire and influence our local community, while also providing these promising artists time and resources to develop their personal studio practice. Residents are expected to engage with the Northern Utah community through programming such as artist talks, studio visits, and/or workshops. In addition to 24-hour studio space in OCA Center’s Studio Lofts, the selected resident is awarded a production budget, living stipend, housing, an artist honorarium, and childcare assistance if needed. The program embraces artists with families, collaborating with community partners to ensure it is a positive experience for the artist’s spouse and/or children. OCA also offers professional photography and videography to capture the process and exhibition that the artist can utilize for their portfolio.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Eric J. García uses history and a graphic style to create political art that confronts our understanding of the present. Using sculpture, mixed media installations, murals, printmaking and his controversial political cartoons, he aims to challenge his viewers to question sources of power and the whitewashing of history. After receiving his BFA with a minor in Chicano studies from the University of New Mexico, Eric Garcia went on to complete his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a core member of the printmaking collective, Instituto Gráfico de Chicago, one of the newest members of the Justseeds Cooperative, a part of the emerging Veteran Art Movement, and is a dedicated teaching artist. Garcia has exhibited nationally and his work can be found in the collections of the National Museum of Mexican Art, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
ABOUT OGDEN CONTEMPORARY ARTS AND OCA CENTER
Ogden Contemporary Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates and shares globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advanced arts programing in Ogden, Utah. OCA’s vision is to inspire local and regional artists through active involvement with the international contemporary art community. OCA strives to be viewed as a credible and internationally respected arts organization while empowering artists with the facilities, environment and experience to excel in their medium and enrich their lives.
OCA Center is Ogden Contemporary Arts’ flagship exhibition space located in the historic Monarch building at 455 25 th Street in Ogden. The multi-use space opened in November 2020 after a significant gift from the Dr. Ezekiel R. & Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation. The Center’s main gallery is titled the “Arts Garage,” named after the building’s historic origin as a 1920s industrial parking garage for the neighboring Bigelow Hotel. OCA Center also includes a digital art room, second floor gallery space, and two artist lofts that can be utilized as additional exhibition space or as studios for visiting artists.
OCA would like to thank the following donors for supporting the organization’s general operation and programing, making this exhibit possible: Weber County Ramp, Lucky Slice Pizza, Utah Office of Tourism, George S and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Williamsen Family Foundation and Ogden City Arts.
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Executive Director, Ogden Contemporary Arts