Horacio Rodriguez is an artist and educator originally from Houston, Texas. After spending the summers in high school wandering the streets of Houston's Museum district and taking classes at the Glassell School of Art, he dedicated himself to a career in the arts by majoring first in photography and finally finding his true passion: ceramics and sculpture.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Redlands in 1997, he spent time travelling throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; immersing himself in the culture, language, and food of his ancestors. The following decade was spent teaching art, digital graphics and ceramics at Chavez High School on the East side of Houston; working primarily with the immigrant communities that had inspired him during his travels.
In 2010, a travel fellowship studying Ceramics in Japan changed the trajectory of his life and art. With a renewed passion, he began creating a new body of work fusing digitally manipulated imagery and text with clay. In 2013, He began working on his Masters of Fine Arts and teaching at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. After graduating from Montana State University with an MFA in Ceramics in 2016, he received the Morales Teaching Fellowship from the University of Utah and moved to Salt Lake City to teach and further expand his studio practice.
Horacio says about his work, "My work is about the many borders I have crossed in my life. I carry many of these borders with me in my memories and produce work about these physical and psychological borders. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, my art is used as a vehicle to explore the creation of my personal narrative within the hybrid cultures of the borderlands". Horacio has shown his work extensively; He recently won best of show in the international exhibition, Clay on the Wall, sponsored by Texas Tech University and displayed at the LH Underwood Center for the Arts. He was also recently included in Contemporary Clay which was displayed at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, as well as Site Lines, The University of Utah’s Art Department faculty show at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
Currently, Horacio is busy preparing for his upcoming show entitled, (Un)Invited Collaborations with my Ancestors, which will open April, 19th 2019 at Finch-Lane Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also completing his third year of the Morales Fellowship, and recently joined the Board of Directors for Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA) as their secretary. Horacio is passionate about contributing to Salt Lake City’s Art community, and is looking forward to his upcoming artist’s residency at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Arts which begins in August of 2019.
My work is about the many borders I have crossed in my life. I carry many of these with me in my memories, and produce work about these physical and psychological borders. As a product of multiple cultures and identities, my art is used as a vehicle to explore the creation of my personal narrative.
The process of creating my work happens over consecutive firings as I build up multiple layers on the surface of my clay work. I seek to transform and infuse new meaning into objects and symbols synonymous with my pre-Hispanic and Mestizo culture, as well as the seductive visual language of Western dominant culture. This creates a hybrid work which mimics my own layered identity.
Although clay is my passion, I have let my ideas and the conceptual framework within which I work, dictate the materials and processes that I engage with while creating my art. Projected imagery and photography coexist with slip-cast ceramic pieces infused with original and appropriated imagery. This hybrid mix of media and techniques approximates the unique, often contradictory spirit of the border aesthetic I am seeking to create.
My Latest body of work is entitled (Un)Invited Collaborations with my Ancestors. This collaborative exploration utilizes parts of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Pre-Columbian Art collection, the latest in 3d scanning, modeling and printing technologies, coupled with traditional ceramic techniques, to create a series of slip-cast canvases that will explore issues such as immigration and migration, cultural appropriation, identity and revolution.