Bio and Statement

oli 2016 Daniel shoot

Oliverio Balcells is a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter and musician.

“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.”

In 2017 Oliverio presented a multimedia performance at Pueblo Grande Museum, entitled “The Unknown Symbols” and 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 recently participated in an interactive workshop called the “Eagle Sun in Motion” with Vision Gallery, Xico Arte y Cultura and ASU West.

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




  • 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.
  • Picasso Gallery. Guadalajara, Mexico, 1996.
  • 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.



    • 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.
    • Honorable Mention in the Salon Octubre of the state of Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico 1998.



  • 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.


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