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ArtCon 10 Artist Spotlight: Mike Arreaga
by Mashal Noor 13 Nov 2014

Art Con 10 is coming this weekend. In the run up to the big event on Saturday, November 15, the team is helping us introduce some of the participating Conspirators. Martha Belden, tells us more about artist, Mike Arreaga, who was introduced to Art Con in its second year.

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Art Con 10 is coming this weekend. In the run up to the big event on Saturday, November 15, the team is helping us introduce some of the participating Conspirators. Thanks to Martha Belden, for telling us more about today’s artist, Mike Arreaga

Art-ConX-Artist-Profiles_Mike-Arreaga

 

Mike Arreaga is a true force behind all that is Art Conspiracy. The man lives and breathes the organization, and this is on top of a bustling career and social life. Since being introduced to Art Con in its second year, Arreaga has become one of the Conspiracy’s most recognized faces. His behind-the-scenes work as a member of the Executive Team and just general machismo (you should see what this guy can do with some wood, a hammer and some nails… it’s intense) have made Art Con events a sight to see in and of themselves… even before the galleries are set up for auction. “I remember being nervous that first Art Con, not knowing what to expect,” he says. “I’m a screen-printer, so I showed up with my screens, inks and squeegees and did my thing. The energy in the room was overwhelming, with artists everywhere just creating. It was truly inspiring. Nine years later, and I’m still committed.”

Arreaga is no stranger to finding inspiration in unexpected corners. When he was a child, his single mother would take him to work with her on the weekends at a consulting firm. “She would hand me the Sunday comics as entertainment, which turned me into a human Xerox machine as I redrew the comics and showed them off to her,” he explains. “To this day, she is still the main person in my life who I show off to.”

He began screen-printing in the early ’90s while living in Austin, and with two decades under his belt, he says his passion to pull that squeegee will never die. When he’s not Art Con-ing or screen-printing, Arreaga is constructing elaborately themed social and corporate events for Shag Carpet Productions. “Clients come to me and say, ‘Arreaga, I need a speakeasy, Great Gatsby, urban street fair, western, Candy Land… themed event,’ and I come up with ideas, sketch them out and sell it to them,” he says. “Then I go to my team of carpenters and artisans, and we make it all happen.”

Constantly inspired by the people he’s surrounded by, Arreaga has irrefutable respect and admiration for the local artists and creators who he gets to watch, as he puts it, “continuously sharpening their craft. That’s what inspires, me.” And Art Conspiracy has become an integral part of that inspiration. “It’s a positive community with a goal to give back. It’s a conspiracy to bring people together and remind us that we are human, and together as a collective, we can make a difference.”

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