Capturing the elements of nature that are sometimes missed in everyday life, Alberto Paniaya’s paintings celebrate the wonder of creation. They will be displayed in August at Gallery 200 in West Chicago, where a free opening reception is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.
The artist's works focus on the earth, sky and micro-organisms that evoke a sense of mystery and fragility related to life itself. His exhibit, “Elements Time Line,” will be on display Aug. 1 to 31 at 200 Main St.
Viewing his work as a microscopic fragment of what he considers God’s perfect creation, Paniaya finds inspiration for his paintings by reflecting on the beauty of the planet and giving honor to the Creator. He explained that his talent is a gift from God, and his paintings are testimony to the beauty that surrounds him. He uses these talents to help those in need by donating the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to the church he attends.
Paniaya began painting as a youth in Mexico City, where he attended art classes in the public schools and participated in cultural diversity programs at the library. He continued his art education at the Colegio de Bachilleres, a secondary school offering college preparatory and art education classes in Mexico City, prior to immigrating to Aurora with his family in 1998.
Today, he resides in Joliet, and works full-time as a painter. His works include sculpture and portraiture, as well as mixed-media paintings, particularly using acrylic paints mixed with oils to create a final texture that resembles oil when shaken with water.
“I try to capture the physical sensations of nature, such as hot or cold, or the visual sensation of seeing all of the vibrantly colored fruit on display at a street market in Mexico City," Paniaya said.
He became a member of Gallery 200 in 2011, after visiting friends in the area. He noticed the gallery while walking through the downtown district.
“What inspires me most about Gallery 200 is the diversity of the art available and the range of age in the member artists,” he said.
Refreshments will be served and the artist will be available to discuss his exhibit. He also will be available at the gallery during West Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Gallery 200 is a cultural initiative supported by the city of West Chicago and the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission. Gallery 200 is open noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, including a complete list of current art classes, call 630-293-9550 or visit www.gallery200.org.