Thursday, September 03, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA M.F.A. student Raul Gonzalez says art starts conversation

Jim Crange and Raul Gonzalez

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane (left) and UTSA student Raul Gonzalez

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(May 22, 2013) -- Meet Raul Gonzalez. He's been drawing since he was seven.

First, he used a BIC ballpoint pen -- any old pen he could find -- to reproduce drawings he saw in comic books, in cartoons and on t-shirts. Then, he began to develop his skill through practice, first using acrylic on canvas, then blending painting and drawing. More recently, Raul has dabbled in sculpture, printmaking and performance art. He's currently working on art made from cardboard, duct tape and construction barrels.

"Art lets you create things that start conversations with people," he says. "My art includes hints of folly. It also shows that every experience a person has contributes to making that person wiser and stronger."

Those conversation starters are now reaching the ears of Texas art collectors.

About a month ago, a woman at the 2013 Hunting Art Prize exhibition engaged Raul in conversation about one of his pieces. The prestigious competition received 1,600 submissions. Raul was named one of its 107 finalists for the ballpoint drawing he entered.

When the woman and her husband decided to purchase Raul's drawing, he thought the couple looked familiar. Only after the gentleman handed Raul his business card did the UTSA student realize he'd sold his artwork to Jim Crane, owner of the Houston Astros. It was a dream come true for Raul, a Houstonian and an avid baseball fan.

Raul's artwork also has made its way into the UTSA Art Collection. Last year, President Ricardo Romo was contacted by a friend in Los Angeles about purchasing some new prints. Several art pieces stood out including Raul's work.

"Somehow, I had missed Raul's local shows and now I was buying his art out of a gallery in East Los Angeles," Romo recalls.

Notably, he recalls Raul's piece, "Tampico," which features a local restaurant the university president is sure he's driven by many times. He also has purchased many drawings by Raul featuring Prismacolor markers and ink on paper.

"Raul excels as a draftsman. In his work, you will see a superb selection of color and contrast for both landscapes and structures," said Romo. "He is young, but he is already developing a unique style of expression. I am happy to have found him."

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Do you know a UTSA student with a great story to share? Email us at social@utsa.edu and your submission will be considered for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus


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