Oliverio Balcells is a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter and self-taught musician. He is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to Arizona in 1999.
He creates Mexican contemporary art. “I’m interested in social themes like history, human potential development and nature. I use self-expression to inspire people in the present moment. My influences stem from ancient Mexican manifestations, Wixarika (Huichol) art, and the Mexican master muralists.”
In 2016 he was a selected artist for the In Flux Cycle 6 for the City of Tempe to paint a mural on Apache Blvd. In 2012 he was selected by the City of Tempe Public Art Program to design and paint a utility box on Mill Avenue. The image was also made into a library card for the City of Tempe. In 2008 Oliverio was awarded First Place at the Arte Latino en la Ciudad XII at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and in 1999 he was awarded Best Artist in the 7th Annual Plastic Arts Exhibit of Cancun.
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.
He has done several workshops for Xico Inc’s cultural arts program for youth, CALA’s Diego Community Arts Program with Childsplay as an artist in residence in schools throughout Phoenix, 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, Arizona and recently participated in an interactive workshops called the “Eagle Sun in Motion” with the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, Vision Gallery & ASU West.
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.
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 Museum for Youth, 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.
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 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.
Latino Perspective Magazine, May 2007.
El Sol de Hidalgo Newspaper, March 2007.