Prairie State College Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Art Exhibition

Carlos Barberena artwork
Artwork by Carlos Barberena (Image Provided)

CHICAGO HEIGHTS—(ENEWSPF)—September 19, 2017. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Christopher Art Gallery at Prairie State College (PSC) presents La Pasión del Artista, an art exhibition featuring the works of three Hispanic artists. The exhibit will be on display September 25, through October 26, in the gallery, located on the PSC main campus at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.

La Pasión del Artista, which means “Passion of the Artist,” is a representation of works by artists Carlos Barberena, Oscar Martinez and Paul Sierra, all of whom use extremely expressive visual means to convey their ideas, whether it be through exaggerated color, strongly textural brush strokes, large scale or attention to detail.

Barberena is primarily a printmaker, and his woodcuts express pathos in the lives of individuals and also strong reactions to social issues of injustice and poverty. He uses the graphic strength of woodcut, with the extreme contrast of black and white line and shape, to convey the passion of his ideas.

Paul Sierra artwork
Artwork by Paul Sierra (Image Provided)

Sierra, a Puerto Rican artist, creates paintings that generate passion through their dream-like symbolism, exaggerated color and space and their implied narrative. There is a sense of mythic tales, using strong and masterful contrast of lights and darks to create mood.

Martinez was best known in his early career for his background as one of the Chicago community mural artists, but also has created large scale studio paintings that have been widely exhibited. His works are a complex mix of both fascinating imagery of plants and figures, and of interlocking shapes and textures enhanced by intense color relationships. His works celebrate the human figure (primarily female), but these figures are defined by their relationship to their settings, whether landscape or patterned background.

Oscar Martinez artwork
Artwork by Oscar Martinez (Image Provided)

Martinez will be on campus to speak in room 4190 at the main campus from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on October, 4, followed by an artists’ reception from 4:30 to 7 p.m., in the gallery.

“The works exhibited by these talented artists exude passion,” said Gallery Director Beth Shadur, curator of the exhibition. “We are able to connect with them because they reflect the human condition with great sensitivity and ardor. In times of so much sensory overload through a constant barrage of commercial and informational images, it is a pleasure to spend time with works that make us feel and connect deeply.”

The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the gallery, upcoming exhibits or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-7738 or visit