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updated: 7/26/2013 10:37 AM

Mexican-American Artist Alberto Paniaya Celebrates Elements in Nature

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  • "Desert Heat," a 72" x 36" mixed media panel by artist Alberto Paniaya, evokes the sensation of a desert, with intensity lines through the light in the middle of the air.

      "Desert Heat," a 72" x 36" mixed media panel by artist Alberto Paniaya, evokes the sensation of a desert, with intensity lines through the light in the middle of the air.
    Painting by Alberto Paniaya

 
Krista Coltrin

Capturing the elements of nature that are sometimes missed in everyday life, Alberto Paniaya's paintings celebrate the wonder of God's creation and focus on the earth, sky and micro-organisms that evoke a sense of mystery and fragility related to life itself. His exhibit, "Elements Time Line," will be on display August 1 -- 31, 2013 at Gallery 200, 200 Main Street, West Chicago.

Viewing his work as a microscopic fragment of what he considers God's perfect creation, Paniaya finds inspiration for his paintings by reflecting on the beauty of the planet and giving honor to the Creator. He explained that his talent is a gift from God and his paintings are testimony to the beauty which surrounds him. He uses these talents to "give back" and help those in need by donating the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to the church he attends.

Paniaya began painting as a youth in Mexico City, Mexico, where he attended art classes in the public schools and participated in cultural diversity programs at the library. He continued his art education at the Colegio de Bachilleres, a secondary school offering college preparatory and art education classes in Mexico City, prior to immigrating to Aurora, Illinois with his family in 1998.

Today, he resides in Joliet, Illinois and works full-time as a painter. His works include sculptures and portraits as well as mixed media paintings, particularly using acrylic paints mixed with oils to create a final texture that resembles oil when shaken with water. Paniaya explained, "I try to capture the physical sensations of nature, such as hot or cold, or the visual sensation of seeing all of the vibrantly colored fruit on display at a street market in Mexico City."

Paniaya became a member of Gallery 200 in 2011 after visiting friends in the area. He noticed the Gallery while walking through the downtown historic district. "What inspires me most about Gallery 200 is the diversity of the art available and the range of age in the member artists," he said.

A free Opening Reception for "Elements Time Line" will be held on Friday, August 2, 2013 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Gallery 200. Refreshments will be served and the artist will be available to discuss his exhibit. Paniaya will also be available at the Gallery during West Chicago's Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday, September 15, 2013.

Gallery 200 is a cultural initiative supported by the City of West Chicago and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, and is one more reason West Chicago was named an Illinois Arts Friendly Community in 2007. Gallery 200 is open Thursday and Friday from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. For more information, including a complete list of current art classes, call (630) 293-9550 or visit www.gallery200.org.

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