Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Beyond the Fiscal Cliff exhibit brings frontier of opportunities to artwork

Ben Bailey Art Gallery - 03/07/14 - 04/12/14

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590


The husband and wife team of Benjamin and Anna Varela will bring their Beyond the Fiscal Cliff exhibit to the Ben Bailey Art Gallery at Texas A&M University-Kingsville beginning Thursday, March 13, and continuing through Saturday, April 12. An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 20.

According to Benjamin Varela, “Beyond the fiscal cliff lies a world of uncertainties that drive our will to seek consolation through the arts. The world is not only made up of atoms but also stories that expunge the uncertainties in life.”

The Varelas see opportunities  by turning reality into the economic picture into something positive. They overcome their own faith by turning art in to their vision of rituals done for a confident outcome.

“We see a frontier of opportunities when exhibiting here in South Texas like the sun coming over the horizon. This is one way to show our love for the arts and in turn make the community aware of the visual arts,” Benjamin said.

The couple is overcoming their own fiscal cliff, starting a new chapter in their lives, by creating new works of art. Some of the works are individualized while others are collaborated. Their themes and ideas relate to their genre of South Texas. Benjamin loves to manipulate light to visualize a theme of South Texas, while Anna adds her strong rich colors and humorous thoughts onto the characters. Her canvases depict a folk-like scene of the daily lives of the Mexican-American people in South Texas.

“I call my scenes ‘The Telling Moments’ because they distinguish the social behavior and the facial expressions of the characters that I depict as they go about their daily lives,” Anna said. “Humor is an essential Mexican-American strategy for survival and success is consistent throughout my paintings and sculptures. My family gives me the inspiration I need to create the facial expressions of my characters.”

Benjamin is an art instructor at South Texas College in McAllen and Anna recently retired from her job as a high school art teacher. Both received their master’s degrees in fine arts from University of Texas Pan-American.

The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 361-593-3401.


This page was last updated on: March 21, 2014