Biography

 

oli 2016 Daniel shoot

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, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”

He has been selected in 2012, 2016, 2019 and 2020 with the City of Tempe for different Public Art Programs. He recently finished the Project PEACE with a mural design for the basketball courts at Escalante Park. Last year he completed a standpipe in Downtown Tempe made with the tile mosaic technique. In 2016 for the In Flux Cycle 6 he painted a mural on Apache Blvd. For the 2012 Public Art Program he painted a utility box on Mill Avenue; the image was then made into a library card for the Tempe Public Library.

This year Oliverio was selected as an artist for “Take a Seat”, a public art program with the City of Glendale to design and paint a bench in downtown Glendale. He was a selected artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail with a design that will be made as mosaic art on the risers’ stairs for one of the stations. In 2017 Oliverio presented a multimedia performance at Pueblo Grande Museum, entitled “The Unknown Symbols” with original music and film recorded in the Valley of the Sun.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts granted him awards to work as an artist-in-residence with South Mountain High School, Chandler Gilbert Community College and Mercury Mine Elementary School in the Paradise Valley School District. He has also worked with Kyrene School District’s Kyrene del Norte elementary school in creating seven murals with students from Kindergarten to 5th grade that were painted in the school hallways. He has done several workshops for CALA’s Community Arts Program, Childsplay, Free Arts of Arizona, Xico Inc, Cultural Coalition, Calaca Cultural Center, City of Chandler’s Vision Gallery, and the Heard Museum. He is constantly doing workshops, composing music, creating films, taking photographs, exhibiting new paintings and traveling for inspiration. He is getting ready to present his latest multimedia project called The Cultural Traveler at the Alwun House.

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.

EDUCATION 

Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

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.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

• 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.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

• The Cultural Traveler – Multimedia Performance & Exhibit, Alwun House, Phoenix, Arizona 2020.

• 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.

TEACHING ARTIST

CALA Crossfade Lab Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Maryvale High school and Tempe High, AZ 2019

Professional Artist Series with Free Arts Arizona

• Duality and Self-portraits based on Teotihuacan Culture Exhibit PHX Art Museum, AZ 2019

Learn the 20 Days of the Ancient Mexican

• Vision Kidz Program at Vison Gallery in handler, AZ 2019

Professional Artist Series with Free Arts Arizona

• Portable mural and Ancient Mexican culture Images, Desiderata High school, AZ 2018

CALA Celia Cruz Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Monte Vista & ASU Preparatory Academy, AZ 2017

Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Murals Artist in Residence Tempe, AZ 2017

CALA Frida Kahlo Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Espiritu, Machan & Encanto School in Phoenix, AZ 2016

The Eagle Sun in Motion Workshop

• Vision Kidz Program at Vison Gallery in Chandler, AZ 2015

Professional Artist Series with Free Arts Arizona

• Mural with Camelback Safe House in Downtown Glendale, AZ 2015

The Eagle Sun in Motion Workshop

• Xico Cultural Arts Workshops in Phoenix, AZ 2015

CALA Frida Kahlo Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Encanto Elementary & Scales School in Tempe, AZ 2015

Professional Artist Series with Free Arts Arizona

• Mural with the Art Club at Challenger Elementary School in Glendale, AZ 2015

The Eagle Sun in Motion Workshop

• Community Arts Gathering in Ajo, AZ 2015

Adventures with Animals from Ancient Mexico

• Vision Kidz Program at Vison Gallery in Chandler, AZ 2015

Flavors, Colors and Images from Ancient Mexico

• Artist in Residence at Mercury Mine Elementary School in Paradise Valley, AZ 2014

CALA Diego Rivera Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ 2014

Jungle Journey

• Summer Fine Arts Program at Scottsdale Artists’ School in Scottsdale, AZ 2014

Childsplay Artist in Residence

• Artist in Residence Scenic/Visual Element at Keystone Montessori, Phoenix, AZ 2013

CALA Diego Rivera Project / Childsplay

• Artist Residence at Sunset Elementary School in Glendale AZ & Encanto Elementary School in

  Phoenix, AZ 2013

Childsplay Artist in Residence

• Artist in Residence at Keystone Montessori, Phoenix, AZ 2012

CALA Diego Rivera Project / Childsplay

• Artist in Residence at Lakeview Elementary, Griffith Elementary School, Alta Vista Elementary,

 Phoenix,  AZ 2011

Xico Cultural Arts Program

• Culture and Painting Techniques, Ecademie School, Phoenix, AZ 2009

• Culture and Painting Techniques, Ecademie, Woods and Neighborhood Mission, Phoenix, AZ 2008

• The Warrior’s Flowered Path, a connection between art & ancient Mexican knowledge, The New Leaf,

  Mesa, AZ 2007

Meet the Artist at Arizona Museum of Youth

• Dia de Muertos hands-on project inspired by the artist’s work, Mesa, AZ 2008

After School Project at Cesar Chavez Community School

• Mind Deep from the Roots, Music, History & Mexican Culture component, Phoenix, AZ 2007


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