Still Life Meets Outer Space

"Radishes and Squash" in a series by UH artist Araceli Casas.

“Radishes and Squash” in a series by UH artist Araceli Casas.

Update: Casas’ art has been added to the University of Houston Digital Library.

Araceli Casas, a graduate student in the University of Houston Master of Education Curriculum and Instruction – Art Education program, has a series of paintings on display in the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library A2Alcove. The library supports UH student artists by hosting their work in the gallery. All pieces are then digitally captured and included in the UH Digital Library.

The series, Veggies in Outer Space, started in 2007 with an odd sweet potato that Casas found while shopping in the produce section, at a time when her focus was on still life. That sweet potato was the inspiration of her latest project and, as a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, she gave it a background based on popular images of outer space, putting a new spin on still life.

Subsequent paintings included other vegetables with inspiration from famous images of the Hubble telescope and other icons of space exploration.

In addition to the Veggies series, Casas also collaborates with Houston area non-profit organizations to produce and display Christian-themed art, and is working on a new series for other types of venues.

Creative from a young age, Casas received a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Houston, and took applied training at the Glassell School of Art, where she became well-versed in the technical aspects of art. Casas also built her knowledge by the wisdom of her classmates and contemporaries.

“It’s good to learn from artists who came before you so that you have more tools with which to build your own identity as an artist,” Casas said. Her favorites include the baroque artist Caravaggio, Van Gogh, and Cy Twombly, whose art sparked her appreciation of contemporary artists.

"Celery, Carrot, and Squash" in a series by UH artist Araceli Casas.

“Celery, Carrot, and Squash” in a series by UH artist Araceli Casas.

Casas has worked in various teaching positions with elementary school-aged children and, as a teaching artist at Texas Children’s Hospital, she enjoys inspiring children to express their creativity. Her advice to young artists is to keep at it, surround yourself with people who are supportive of your work, and build a space or environment for yourself in which to be creative.

Student artists interested in displaying work at the Architecture and Art Library are encouraged to contact Chris Conway with digital samples.

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Posted on June 18th, 2015 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on Still Life Meets Outer Space