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STN & Practical Art October Featured Artists

In honor of Hispanic and Latin Heritage Month, October’s STN and Practical Art highlight local Latin, Indigenous and Hispanic artists.

 Diana Calderon

Diana Calderon, an interdisciplinary artist and former educator, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in El Paso, Texas. She relocated to the Valley in the early 2000s to attend Arizona State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2008. While in college, Calderon had the opportunity to study abroad in Cortona, Italy, where she studied the arts of bookmaking and printmaking.

Calderon’s artwork is an interesting blend of old and new, from relief printmaking to sculptural installations. Her pieces often draw from archaeological and architectural patterns, connecting her audience with her heritage and her artistic background in printing.

For more information on Diana’s work visit her website or follow her on Instagram @dianaacalderon1

Gennaro Garcia

Born and raised in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, Gennero Garcia migrated to the United States in his early twenties with the hope of turning his passion for the arts into a lifelong career.

Garcia employs Italian artistic techniques using oils, acrylics, and plaster, alongside a unique Mexican color palette inspired by his childhood. This distinctive combination results in a style that captures a genuine Latino immigrant perspective. His work graces some of Arizona’s most magnificent homes. More recently, Garcia has embarked on collaborations with local restaurateurs, contributing to the design of several trendy local eateries, including multiple Barrio Queen locations, Ghost Ranch in Tempe, and Salt Tacos y Tequila in North Phoenix.

Earlier this year, Garcia opened his own gallery in the Grand Avenue Arts District. The gallery provides him the opportunity to exhibit and sell his paintings, as well as his most recent passion, Talavera pottery. Garcia began studying this unique pottery after traveling to Puebla, Mexico, to learn ancient techniques from the country’s oldest Talavera pottery house. The gallery is located near 11th Avenue and Grand Ave and houses many of Garcia’s paintings and Talavera pottery. Garcia’s gallery also offers prints, t-shirts, and a variety of other pieces featuring Gennaro Garcia’s distinctive designs.

For more information on Gennaro’s gallery and work visit his website or follow him on Instagram @artegennaro.

Joe Ray 

Using a palette of rich, vibrant colors, artist Joe Ray’s work draws you into pieces infused with personal history and brimming with stories that span from Mexico, northward along the western border of Arizona, where the Colorado River separates Arizona and California.

Ray was born in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, and was raised on the Colorado River Tribes Reservation in Poston, Arizona. He began drawing at a young age and developed a fascination for comic books and Lucha Libre wrestlers. The fusion of art and storytelling ignited a creative spark in Ray’s young mind, and the influences of these interests are unmistakably evident in his work.

Growing up in an agricultural area, also home to four different tribes, significantly shaped Ray’s artistic influences and kindled his early ambition to become a professional artist. However, he was unsure of how to pursue this path. In high school, Ray found a mentor in his art teacher, Claude Thorne, who helped him realize that college would be his stepping stone to a career in art. 

Today, Ray serves as the Creative Director at Maximo Branding and actively contributes as an artist member of Xico Arte y Cultural, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting LatinX and Indigenous artists.”

For more information on Ray’s work visit his website.

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