The Latino Cultural Center (2600 Live Oak St.) welcomes artist Giovanni Valderas in his first solo exhibition, Marginal Universe at Latino Cultural Center’s NPR & Main galleries.
Marginal Universe focuses on Valderas’ diverse body of work spanning from 2011 through 2023. These works range from his earlier paper collage pieces to his current sculptural paintings containing elements of wood, duct tape, bamboo, paper-mâché, and tissue paper, referencing traditional pinata objects. In addition, the exhibit shows the progression from his earlier, more anecdotal works about family to the guerrilla outdoor sculptures calling attention to social justice issues in Dallas, such as affordable housing and displacement. Valderas also includes work reflecting his grassroots campaign for Dallas City Council, where he placed a strong second. Valderas’ run for office as an artist was a rewarding experience and an insightful understanding of how power structures congeal and perpetuate constructs that dismiss and devalue marginalized people. In return, Valderas utilizes his practice to address oppressive beliefs and actions considered norms and standards. Most notably, with his Casita Triste (Sad Little House) project, he continues to put forth public discussion on the lack of affordable housing. Last year, in collaboration with Craft in America Center (Los Angeles), he worked with eighty LAUSD students, empowering them to create and place their casitas in their neighborhoods. As a result, these objects of craft become public interruptions and advocacy tools.
A native of Dallas, Giovanni Valderas is an Assistant Professor of Art at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. Previously, he managed programming and exhibitions at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Kirk Hopper Fine Art, and Mountain View College. Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with an MFA. A former member of 500x gallery, one of the oldest co-op galleries in Texas, he has had work featured in the 2013 Texas Biennial; New American Paintings Magazine, issues #108 and #132; Impossible Geometries, Field Projects, New York; and 14x48’s temporary billboard public art project. A recipient of the Moss/Chumley Award and a microgrant from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Valderas has also served as an appointee by the Dallas City Council as Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission. In 2018, he resigned from his reappointment to the Cultural Affairs Commission to run for Dallas City Council to represent the neighborhood he grew up in; he led a grassroots campaign and placed a strong second.
The Latino Cultural Center is located at 2600 Live Oak Street, Dallas, Texas 75204.