Monday, November 15, 2010

New Art Exhibit at Local College

“Visual Experience and Reflection,” an exhibit featuring artwork by Benjamin P. Varela, will be on display now through Dec. 10, 2010 at South Texas College’s Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery located at 142 FM 3167 in Rio Grande City. Admission is free and open to the public.

Varela was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in a Puerto Rican home. Today, he is prolific artist and educator living and working in the Rio Grande Valley. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of Texas-Pan American and is presently an art instructor at STC. 

He has exhibited his art in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and throughout Texas. His work can be found in numerous public collections, including the Bronx Museum in New York, the Romo Collection of Mexican American Art Prints at UT Austin, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in Austin, and the Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, to name a few.
Varela’s artwork is filled with imagery, stemming from personal memories and experiences, and is simultaneously stimulated by a desire to define his identity in an ever-changing society.

In regard to his work Varela said, “My ideas are mixed into a context of a world bound on realities from life. It is not a documentary, but a reaction to memories from within my consciousness. These images are from my life beginnings, the origin of my identity and cultural context that inspired them. It has components of Anlgo, Spanish, Black, and Indigenous, which serve as the building blocks of imageries. And I feel it will bring about the order of the cosmos here on earth.”

“Varela’s art is filled with intricate imagery, that consist of a plethora of black and white or pearlesence color patterns that create depth through the stippling application of layers of paint,” said Sofia K. Vestweber, STC Library Art Gallery Program associate. “Each time you look at one of Varela’s works, you will most likely see new images and details that you didn’t notice at first glance. This adds to the artworks’ exhilarating mystique and significance.”

 STC’s Library Art Gallery Program exhibits regional, national and international artwork, explores new visions and theories of creativity, and introduces innovative artistic expressions to the South Texas region.

For more information contact Sofia K. Vestweber at 956-872-3488 or at, or visit

Photo caption:
“Mi Corazon,” by Benjamin P. Varela.

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