Show Preview | Louis Escobedo

Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Community Arts Center, November 4-12

Louis Escobedo, Sunday Stroll, oil, 26 x 38.

Louis Escobedo, Sunday Stroll, oil, 26 x 38.

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Postcards From the West, the title of Louis Escobedo’s new show, may lead those attending the opening reception—which takes place at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center on Friday, November 4, from 6 to 9 p.m.—to expect a travelogue-style exhibition of familiar sights from a month-long trip the artist and his wife, Yolanda, took last year to Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. And in some respects, Escobedo’s colorist paintings certainly meet those expectations. Even more than vacation scenes in oil, however, these three dozen works might be considered love letters to the American West.

Born in Sweetwater, TX, and educated in advertising art at Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, Escobedo launched his first successful career as an illustrator in Fort Worth back in the 1970s. After transitioning full time into his true calling as a fine artist, he and Yolanda moved to Denver around 1990. They then relocated in 2003, even further from their western roots, to Easton, MD, where they still live and work—Louis at his easel and Yolanda running the business side of things from their 717 Fine Art Gallery, which exclusively represents Escobedo.

“With this show,” sums up Yolanda, “we’re reintroducing Louis’ work to people who may not have seen it in 15 years or longer, which includes a lot of people from Fort Worth. These paintings demonstrate all the things that Louis loves about the West.”

There is a lot to love in Escobedo’s presentation of spirited, beautifully composed, colorful oils: landscapes ranging from vast butte-backed valleys to secluded rural roads and dusky woodlands; nature vignettes like raucous hollyhocks or pomegranate trees laden with plump fruit; images of livestock, including cows grazing in a field and a horse at ease in its paddock; and quirky bits of Americana, like an old drive-in restaurant and a children’s coin-operated galloping steed. All are emotionally evocative and often subtly laced with the good humor evident in the artist’s own down-to-earth personality. “I want people to understand that these aren’t copies of what I saw,” says Escobedo, who completed the paintings back in his studio from sketches he made on the trip. “They’re how I feel about the West.”

Escobedo shares those heartfelt sentiments, along with a lifetime of expertise, during a three-day workshop—entitled Painting From Photos and Still Life—that he is teaching in the Arts Center gallery, surrounded by his work, on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after the opening. The hands-on sessions offer a rare opportunity to learn from an artist who has twice received the Gold Medal at the annual National Juried Exhibition of the prestigious Oil Painters of America. Escobedo is one of only two people to win the award twice, in 1994 and 2014. Yet, he remains humble about such honors and this latest show. Says Yolanda, “This is just a boy from Sweetwater, coming back to where he started.” —Norman Kolpas

contact information
410.241.7020
www.717gallery.com

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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