By: Brandon Jeffries
Prolific Riverside artist, Pavel Acevedo, will be featured in Riverside Art Museum’s exhibit, “Self Help Graphics: Aztlán, the Permanent Collection, and Beyond,” a group show currently running until January 15th of next year. This exhibit will feature the works of art collective Self Help Graphics, with whom Pavel became involved after coming to the United States in 2010.
Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Pavel was introduced to the lithograph technique as a young man. He spent three years studying various art techniques at multiple talleres (workshops) at Rufino Tamayo Work Studio. Eventually he moved on to the Fine Art School of Oaxaca. Shortly after graduating he moved to Riverside. Pavel said he never planned to leave Oaxaca, where he had already established roots in the local art community. Despite setting out into strange territory, once here, he didn’t waste much time finding artists and galleries in Southern California of which he had been a fan while living in Oaxaca. Among others, these included artists like Salomon Huerta, John Valadez, Grupo Asco and Self Help Graphics, a non-profit visual arts center.
Pavel recalls his first impressions upon coming to California: “…Oaxaca is a place, it’s like, culturally active…and Riverside was slow to me. Even the lifestyle…it was different. I totally was like, ‘damn’. At the same time, you’re in the U.S., you know, everyone wants to be here, California, Los Angeles, but at the same time I have to pull off my work because, you know, that’s what I wanted to do.” No stranger to hard work, Pavel would regularly put in 12 hour days or longer working on art projects during his time at Rufino Tamayo and later while attending art school. So he made a conscious decision to focus on his art. “…there’s no friends around, no more teachers, it’s just like, DO IT.”
Pavel explains that this group show with Self Help Graphics was set into motion when Riverside Art Museum contacted Self Help. They asked about a collection of work designed to bring attention to an infamous incident in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico two years ago, when 43 students went missing on their way to Mexico City. Having gained international attention, many believe these students went missing as a result of government collusion with criminal organizations. “Narc and State goes hand in hand.” Pavel explains.
Not only will Pavel have his work displayed alongside other members of Self Help Graphics, but he will also be leading a workshop at the R.A.M. which will instruct attendants in the chine-collé printmaking technique. This workshop will be on Thursday, September 15th from 5-7:30 p.m. The group show, “Self Help Graphics: Aztlán, the Permanent Collection, and Beyond” will be on display at the museum until January 15th, with the opening reception happening during Riverside Arts Walk on Thursday, October 6th, from 6-8 p.m.