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posted: 7/29/2013 8:07 AM

Artist's paintings celebrate the wonder of creation

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  • "Desert Heat," a 72-by-36-inch 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-by-36-inch 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.
    Courtesy of city of West Chicago

  • "Queen Bee," a 48-by-36-inch mixed media panel, represents a piece of a bee's body. Artist Alberto Paniaya's inspiration for the painting is that although a bee is very small, it plays an important role in the environment by pollinating plants.

      "Queen Bee," a 48-by-36-inch mixed media panel, represents a piece of a bee's body. Artist Alberto Paniaya's inspiration for the painting is that although a bee is very small, it plays an important role in the environment by pollinating plants.
    Courtesy of city of West Chicago

  • "Swamp," a 24-by-48-inch mixed media panel by Alberto Paniaya, represents a fragment of a swamp where insects live.

      "Swamp," a 24-by-48-inch mixed media panel by Alberto Paniaya, represents a fragment of a swamp where insects live.
    Courtesy of city of West Chicago

 
By Krista Coltrin
City of West Chicago

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 microorganisms that evoke a sense of mystery and fragility related to life itself.

His exhibit, "Elements Time Line," will be on display Thursday, Aug. 1, to Sunday, Aug. 31, at Gallery 200, 200 Main St., West Chicago. An opening reception will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

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 said his talent is a gift from God and his paintings are testimony to the beauty that surrounds him. He uses his 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, 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 with his family in 1998.

Today, he resides in Joliet and works full-time as a painter. His works include sculptures and portraits, as well as mixed media paintings. He particularly enjoys using acrylic paints mixed with oils to create a final texture that resembles oil when shaken with water.

"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 said.

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.

In addition to the opening reception on Friday, Paniaya will be available at the Gallery during West Chicago's Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 15.

Gallery 200 is open noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, contact (630) 293-9550 or gallery200.org.

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