The Art of Storytelling: SAMFA Exhibits "Para La Familia"


Thursday night marked the opening of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art's new exhibit Para La Familia: Paintings by Ricardo Hernandez and Fidencio Duran.

The two featured artists consider themselves more than painters; they are storytellers. 

“When I was a student there was a lot of abstract, conceptual work and not a lot of narrative within my peers or even amongst my professors,” Duran said of his studies at the University of Texas. 

It was his father, an immigrant farmer from Mexico, that led him to pursue art as a narrative medium. 

“He always told us stories. He would tell stories of what he thought was important, like when they came over [from Mexico] and how they came over. So I am just trying to pass that on through my art,” Duran said. 

Coming from a family with nine other siblings he says it is this immediate culture that has had the most impact on his work. 

When Duran was still in high school he met fellow artist Ricardo Hernandez. 

“I met him and he was kind of shy, but it was obvious he was smart and real talented,” Hernandez said of his first encounter with the young Duran. 

Hernandez had planned on attending graduate school but instead got a job with the Texas Commission for the Arts. In 1977 they gave Hernandez a residency  in Lockhart, TX where Duran was attending high school. 

During his residency, Hernandez was given the sole task of helping Duran with his art.

“He never did classes with me or anything like that. We kind of just hung out more like we were friends,” Hernandez said of how Duran worked under him.

Of his influence on Duran, Hernandez says, “I think all of us [artists] learn from each other, even when Fidencio was a kid I was still learning from him.”

Thirty-six years after meeting each other, Hernandez and Duran are now telling their stories together. Their art will be exhibited in the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts until November 10th. 


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