Two artists native to South Texas, printmaker, Jacqueline Negreros and ceramicist, Debra Chronister currently have exhibitions running at the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) until mid-September. Each artist brings an element unique to South Texas to their works, all available for collection at the Center’s galleries.
El Cariño Nunca Olvida (Love Never Forgets), will be hosted in RCA’s McKelvey Gallery featuring a collection of her colorful and unique prints. Negreros draws upon her parents’ experiences as immigrants to highlight themes of tradition, immigration and assimilation conveyed through memories shared by the artist and her family. She uses food as a metaphorical device to probe cultural attitudes of authenticity and otherness through ingredients that remain traditional and those that have grown with her.
“I am interested in seeking wonder and curiosity within the seemingly mundane,” said Negreros. “The forms in my work are inspired by observations of my environment. Whether watching miso paste dissolve in boiling water, grains of rice puff or taillights disappear into the distance, these personal vignettes instill within me the desire to suspend their form through creative practice.”
Negreros has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She exhibits regionally and nationally and was awarded a scholarship in 2019 to study monoprints at the Glassell Studio School in Houston. She is an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where she teaches foundations, printmaking and art appreciation.
Another remarkable exhibition at RCA is In Drawn to Clay: Birds of Rockport, which showcases raku-fired royal terns, white ibis, wood storks and osprey perched on raku-fired pilings. “Chronister gives the birds a lot of personality and character in their facial expressions and poses,” shared Elena Rodriguez, curator of exhibitions for RCA. In this body of work, Chronister’s mastery of raku, the Japanese process of hand-molded pottery that is fired at a low temperature and rapidly cooled, is on full display. The method leaves behind unique colors and textures on the pottery, as is evident in the black crazing on the surface of the finished pieces.
Chronister has earned multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Christian University with a double major in Secondary Art Education and Studio Art, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently an associate professor of art at Victoria College.
The selection of birds sculpted by Chronister is inspired by her background in birding and bird rehabilitation as well as her observations of the ibis, egrets, wood storks and others at the Welder Wildlife Foundation. Find her works, which were made specifically to fit RCA’s Jeanie & Bill Wyatt Gallery, until Sept. 24 with a reception coinciding with the Hummerbird Celebration on Sept. 14 from 4 – 6 p.m.