Accomplished artist speaks at DMC

Catarina Murphy



Del Mar College’s Wolfe Recital Hall welcome guest speaker Carlos Llerena Aguirre on Feb. 2. Aguirre will serve as judge for this year’s 51’s annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture show.

Aguirre has represented Peru and the U.S. with his woodcuts in several international shows. During the presentation, he told the auduence about the beginning of his roots and how he has come to this point in his life. Born around an area with volcanos and mountains, he began his art as a realist artist, drawing what he saw in front of him. He then moved to New York to begin his education, and that’s where he began learning to incorperate more icons and symbols into his art.

Since then, he has published drawings, illustrations and woodcuts in international journals, books, magazines, several children’s books and newspapers. He has received awards from Graphis, Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators and the Art Director’s Club. His work has been featured in Communications Arts Magazine, Print, Syracuse Scholar, Upper and Lower Case and newspaper art reviews.

Throughout the presentation we see how his personality and activism are really embedded into the art. He knows how to laugh at himself and see the world in a different light than most.

“Being an activist is mostly wanting to make some change for people to become conscious,” Aguirre said.

He said much of his art is inspired by world events, or disasters and revolutions, and monumental moments in history for those countries or religious beliefs.

Aguirre showed many of his videos where he is working, sometimes by himself on large prints and woodworks that normally are a three-person job.

“I wasn’t aware of how much work went into the print making process,” said Andrea Labrador, an art major at DMC.

Aguirre has taught many schools including the School of Visual Arts, Philadelphia University of the Arts, Syracuse University, California College of Arts and Crafts, University of California at Berkeley, Ringling School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He is a tenured professor at the University of Miami.

Aguirre ended his lecture on a motivational note for all those interested in art.

“You need to have persistence on the work of the business,” Aguirre said. “Don’t be a turtle that lives in a cardboard box.”

He encouraged all to submit their best art work online or to competitions, to apply to everything possible and to not be afraid to travel and take a risk to be known and have their artwork seen.

The National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show attracts works by contemporary artists across the country. This year’s show opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 and runs through May 5. For more information contact the Art and Drama Department at 698-1216.

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