School of Art

Alejandro Macias, assistant professor at the School of Art, currently has his work showcased in four exhibitions in time for Hispanic Heritage Month all in Texas.

Macias grew up in Brownsville, Texas, along the U.S./Mexico border. His work focuses on what it means to identify with more than one culture and how that can affect an artist’s view on the socio-political climate.

“As a figurative painter, I use the figure to discuss identity along with the conflicting feelings that I struggle with,” Macias explained. Alejandro Macias, The Space Between, 2020. Acrylic and graphite on cut panel. 21.5 x 16 in. Courtesy of the artist.

“My work has been driven by my Mexican-American identity and the current social-political climate,” he said. “Raised in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), my body of work addresses themes of heritage, immigration and ethnicity, which are set in contrast to a critical engagement with the assimilation and acculturation process often referred to as “Americanization.”

Third Coast Biennial National Juried Exhibition
The Third Coast National Biennial is a juried exhibition of new works of art from all over the USA. The competition averages 180-200 entrants who submit up to 650 works; 15-20% of the artists who enter are accepted.
>> K Space Contemporary
Corpus Christi, Texas
Sept. 4 – Oct. 2

Emerging Latinx Artists 25 | Intersection: Shock & Relief Exhibition
Celebrating the 25 years of emerging Latinx exhibitions, this exhibition aims to discover shared life experiences, a mashup or crash (choque) at intersecting lanes of similarities and divergences as expressed in diverse artworks.
>> Mexic-Arte Museum
Austin, Texas
Sept. 25 – Nov. 22

Sacred Americanx
“Both Garza and Macias re-contextualize religious, political, and pop culture icons as a means of exploring Hispanic culture unique to South Texas. These motifs define what it means to identify with more than one culture and how that affects the artists’ views of the current socio-political climate.”
>> Rockport Center for the Arts
Rockport, Texas
Sept. 11 – Oct. 17

Between Two Worlds
This exhibition points to the space between two worlds (Spanish and English), highlighting the bilingual aesthetics employed by 12 artists whose identities and artistic practices have been shaped by life in the border region spanning South Texas and Northern Mexico.
>> University of Texas Austin Visual Arts Center
Sept. 25 – Nov. 20

“I’m obviously incredibly happy to showcase my work but also a little overwhelmed as all four exhibitions are occurring almost simultaneously,” said Macias. “I didn’t expect to be so busy during a pandemic, but I’m very grateful.”

He is also featured in the University of Arizona Museum of Art’s Picturing 2020: A Community Reflects and featured in Artillery Magazine’s The Democracy Project 2020  curated by fellow Arizona Art Professor Lawrence Gipe.

Having spent most of his professional life in Texas, his transition to teaching in Southern Arizona was difficult at first, however, the “faculty have been great at making me feel welcome and embraced,” said Macias. “Since the University of Arizona is a Hispanic serving institution, I believe I was brought in to bring a different perspective. Students of color can definitely identify with how I feel and the work I make, and that has been incredibly rewarding.”