Bio and Statement
Oliverio Balcells is a multimedia artist whose practice includes painting, music, murals, films, photography, being a teaching artist and a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures.
“I’m interested in social themes like history, culture, human potential development, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”
He was selected in 2019 for the City of Tempe Public Art Program for an Standpipe in Downtown Tempe made with Mosaic Art Technique. In 2017 Oliverio presented a multimedia performance at Pueblo Grande Museum, entitled “The Unknown Symbols”. He was an artist-in-residence with Kyrene del Norte elementary school creating seven murals with students from Kindergarten to 5th grade. He was a selected artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail. In 2016 he was a selected artist for the In Flux Cycle 6 with the City of Tempe and painted a mural on Apache Blvd. He was selected by the City of Tempe’s Public Art Program to design and paint a utility box on Mill Avenue; the image was then made into a library card for the Tempe Public Library. He has done several workshops for CALA’s Community Arts Program with Childsplay as an artist-in-residence in schools throughout Phoenix. He created a community garden mural with Free Arts of Arizona and their Professional Artist Series at the Challenger Middle School. He has also been a teaching artist with Arizona Commission on the Arts, creating a portable mural with the students of Mercury Mine Elementary School in Paradise Valley. He is constantly doing workshops, composing music, creating films, taking photographs, exhibiting new paintings and traveling for inspiration.
His work has been featured as a cover for a book from the author Ruth Gomber-Munoz, Ph.D., titled Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Worker, published by the Oxford University Press, Inc. in New York City.
Oliverio Balcells received his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico.
He currently lives and works in Tempe, Arizona, USA with his wife and two children.
His native language is Spanish and English is his second language.
You can find out more about him at www.oliveriobalcells.com.
Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Three Series, ASU Gammage, Tempe Arizona 2019.
There and Back, Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Arizona 2018.
VI Bienal Internacional Indigena, Piura Peru 2016.
Latino/a Americans: 500 Years of History, Idaho State University 2016.
Promega Art Showcase, Madison, Wisconsin 2014.
La Cocina, Museo de las Americas, Denver, Colorado 2013.
Objects d’Art, Herberger Theater and Center, Phoenix 2012.
The New Wave of Mexican Contemporary Art, Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center 2011.
The Sacred &The Living, Herberger Art Gallery at University Club, Phoenix, Arizona 2010.
Visiones of 40 Arizona Latino Artists, Galeria 147, Arizona Latino Arts& Cultural Center 2009.
Conexiones, Contemporary Works by Mexican Artists, Mesa Arts Center. Mesa, Arizona, 2009.
Migration: Immigration, Giving Honor to Cultures and Communities, ASU Phoenix, Arizona, 2009.
Political Persona at ASU Kerr Cultural Center, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2009.
Dia de Muertos, Arizona MuseumforYouth, Mesa, Arizona, 2008.
La Cultura Cura at ASU West, Glendale, Arizona, 2008.
Arte Latino XII en la Ciudad, Phoenix, Arizona, 2008.
First International Congress of the Toltec Culture, Tula Hidalgo Mexico, 2007.
Arte Caliente at Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Arizona, 2004
The Mending Wall Exhibit at ASU West, Glendale Arizona, 2004.
Arizona Room, Mesa Arts Center, Arizona, 2003.
Arte Latino VII en la Ciudad, Phoenix, Arizona, 2002.
Casa de la Cultura de Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1999.
Ferrocarril Gallery, Guadalajara, Mexico, 1998.
Ajolote Gallery of Contemporary Art, Guadalajara, Mexico, 1997.
La Escalera Gallery, Guadalajara, Mexico, 1995.
On Line Gallery. Tucson, Arizona, 1994.
The Unknown Symbols – Multimedia Performance, Pueblo Grande Museum, Phoenix, Arizona 2017.
Stories in Color, Arizona State Univeristy West, Glendale, Arizona 2017.
Spectacular Tones in the Essence of All, Herberger Gallery, Phoenix Arizona 2017.
A 20 Year Retrospective of Art, Medic Clinic of the Sun, Mesa Arizona 2015.
The Next Level, 6th Ave Gallery, Phoenix Arizona 2013.
AWARDS AND GRANTS
Selected artist for PEACE Project Public Art for Tempe Leadership Class, Tempe Arizona 2020.
Selected artist for Take a Sear Public Art Program for the City of Glendale Arizona 2020.
Selected artist for the Public Art Program for the City of Tempe Arizona 2019.
Selected artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail, Phoenix AZ 2017
Selected artist for In Flux Cycle 6 for the City of Tempe Arizona 2016.
Awarded a grant from Arizona Commission on the Arts 2014.
Selected artist for the 2012 Public Art Program for the City of Tempe Arizona 2012.
First Place at the Arte Latino en la Ciudad, Phoenix Arizona 2008.
Best Artist in the 7th Plastic Arts Exhibit of Cancun, traveling exhibit throughout Mexico for the year 2000, sponsored by the state of Quintana Roo and Casa de la Cultura. Cancun, Mexico, 1999.
Portable mural and Ancient Mexican Culture Images Workshops, Free Arts Arizona, Phoenix AZ 2018.
Celia Cruz Project, Artist in Residence at Monte Vista & Prep Academy, CALA Childsplay, Phx AZ 2017.
Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Murals Artist in Residence Tempe, AZ 2017.
Frida Kalo Project, Artist in Residence at Espiritu, Machan & Encanto School CALA Childsplay, AZ 2016.
The Eagle Sun in Motion, Vision Kidz Program at Vison Gallery in Chandler, AZ 2015.
Mural with Camelback Safe House in Downtown Glendale, Free Arts Arizona 2015.
The Eagle Sun in Motion, Xico Cultural Arts Workshops in Phoenix, AZ 2015.
Frida Kalo Project, Artist in Residence at Encanto Elementary & Scales School in Tempe, AZ 2015.
Mural with the Art Club at Challenger Elementary School in Glendale, AZ, Free Arts Arizona, 2015.
The Eagle Sun in Motion, Community Arts Gathering in Ajo, AZ 2015.
Adventures with Animals from Ancient Mexico, Vision Kidz Program at Vison Gallery, Chandler, AZ 2015.
Flavors, Colors and Images from Ancient Mexico, Artist in Residence at Mercury Mine Elementary School in Paradise Valley, AZ 2014
Diego Rivera Project, Artist in Residence at Encanto Elementary School, CALA Childsplay Phx AZ 2014.
Jungle Journey, Summer Fine Arts Program at Scottsdale Artists’ School in Scottsdale, AZ 2014.
Artist in Residence Scenic/Visual Element at Keystone Montessori, Childsplay, Phoenix, AZ 2013.
Diego Rivera Project, Artist Residence at Sunset & Encanto Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ 2013.
Artist in Residence at Keystone Montessori, Childsplay, Phoenix, AZ 2012.
Diego Rivera Project, Residence at Lakeview, Griffith, Alta Vista Elementary School, Phx AZ 2011.
Xico Arts Program, Culture and Painting Techniques, Ecademie School, Phoenix, AZ 2009.
Xico Arts Program, Culture and Painting Techniques, Ecademie, Woods and Neighborhood Mission, Phoenix, AZ 2008.
The Warrior’s Flowered Path workshop, The New Leaf, Mesa, AZ 2007.
Dia de Muertos hands-on project inspired by the artist’s work, Museum of Youth, Mesa, AZ 2008.
Mind Deep from the Roots, Music, History & Mexican Culture component, After School Project at Cesar Chavez Community School Phoenix, AZ 2007.
Design library card for the Tempe Public Library and a utility box painted on Mill Avenue City of Tempe’s Public Art Program 2011 – 2014
1st International Conference of Toltec Culture by Ruben Hernandez,
Latino Perspective Magazine, May 2007.
1st International Congress of Toltec Culture by Agustin Suarez,
El Sol de Hidalgo Newspaper, March 2007.