Forest City, Iowa – Waldorf College senior Gabriel Andrew Vasquez will debut his senior art exhibit on Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. featuring aerosol art inspired by the righteousness of God. Vasquez, a humanities major and art minor from El Paso, Texas, has been making art for seven years.
“I’ve really submitted myself to the will of God, and I just allow him to operate through me in this art,” Vasquez said. “It’s so much more than making a pretty picture. It’s all about a message. If you send out the right one then you can influence people to do the right things.”
Vasquez turned to art following a relationship breakup and was able to discern his calling to art through a time of reflection. “When I went to the art room, I felt like that’s where I belong,” Vasquez recalled. “Instead of fighting it, I changed my major from business to humanities and let the art take over.”
His observations in his humanities courses were applied to his artwork, allowing him to grow even further. “Because of what I’ve learned, I can tell a whole story in one picture,” said Vasquez. “I’ve been working a lot with symbolism. I try not to label my work as religious art because I don’t have religion, but I do have faith in God. I guess I just want to give that light to other people.”
After Vasquez began to embrace his art, various departments on campus welcomed him to turn their blank walls into his colorful works of art. “As I started getting better, opportunities just swept through the roof,” Vasquez said. “When I got to Waldorf I didn’t think I’d ever do art, but now I have more walls than I know what to do with.” Aside from the spiritual nature of his art, Vasquez work sets him apart due to his medium. “Spray painting is like a dance,” he said. “You have to use your whole body and sometimes it’s like you’re just directing the wind. If you’re not fluent in motion, your lines aren’t going to be smooth.”
“In addition to the depth of thought Gabe has in his paintings, I’ve been very impressed with his strong use of color,” said Art Gallery Director Dean Swenson. “His use of color alone will make this a very dynamic exhibition.”
The public is invited to view Vasquez’s pieces in the Waldorf College Art Gallery from February 14 to March 6 free of charge. The Artist Reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with Vasquez speaking at 6:30.
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