Ignacio Font’s art exhibition paints the canvas for self-reflection and healing

Ignacio Font’s solo exhibition “Self Care: Mineral Spirits, Elixirs & other Home Remedies” opened on June 20th at the Green Library on the Second Floor. Isaac Campos | PantherNOW

Isaac Campos | Contributing writer

Ignacio Font’s solo exhibition “Self Care: Mineral Spirits, Elixirs & other Home Remedies” opened on June 20th at the Green Library on the Second Floor. 

Font’s exhibition showcases not only a high level of mixed media art that permutates large form oil painting, grid work, works on paper, collage and a photograph installation but also exhibits a profound amount of personal growth, challenge, pain, and triumph in its presentation. 

Various pieces such as “journal” and “13 steps” took a number of years to complete reflecting on events that affected us nationally(Covid Protests) but also expressing through the work itself a tremendous process of self-discovery through pain, loss, and dedication. 

No single piece of oil, line work, words, or figure is left without meaning in Ignacio’s pieces, the title of the exhibition “Self Care: Mineral Spirits, Elixirs & other Home Remedies” seeks to highlight the significance of the healing process of painting. 

Font speaks about this self-care through painting in his artist talk, “…the topics are all personal–it is something that I’m dealing with in the family or that it’s part of who I am at that moment. And I need to get it somewhere. That is the self-care; painting, making artwork is important for me because it allows me to have a happy and full life the rest of the time, because I’m putting the hurt and the difficulties into the work itself.”

One of the first pieces, “Self-Portrait”, completed in 2017 when Font first began working in his own studio.

It’s a self-portrait of him walking away from this world into the world of painting-found at the entrance of the 2nd floor of the Green Library-portrays the beginning or maybe even commitment of the longer process of all the more personal and profound work you find deeper in the exhibition. 

Font isn’t leaving our world behind for painting–painting is his vehicle, as an artist to express; to find that hurt, pain, the urgency in a national catastrophe and begin a process of extraction and discovery in events that have a deeper weight on his conscious. 

Pictures from the galley. Isaac Campos | PantherNOW

What we see is an artist beginning to have his own space for his expression, the necessary isolation needed for a sacred place for an artist allows him to be able to retreat and return himself again. 

“If I don’t paint for two months I get irritable, I get nasty, unkind, inconsiderate. So, I need this, this is my elixir this is what I did to stay sane,” Font said. 

Part of this exhibition’s purpose is to demonstrate the influence of a studio environment on an artist, Jean Blackwell Font Co-Founder of CollabARTive and Ignacio’s spouse describes the importance of a studio space to an artist. 

“…All of this work [was] made in his studio, where we are now over the past eight years, he has been painting for 30-40 years but this is specifically about the studio time he had”. Part of the exhibition’s message is Font finally having his own sacred space to work, the exhibition is a production from the last 8 years, since 2017, of studio work. 

Both Ignacio and Blackwell Font Co-Founded CollabARTive, an organization dedicated to giving affordable studio space and access to resources for emerging to mid-career artists.

Jean Blackwell Font mentions briefly before introducing Ignacio in the artist talk. 

“A lot of what CollaboARTive is about is having affordable places for artists to do what is important to them, this show is really a manifestation of the years that he has had in the history of space,” Jean said. 

Their mission in CollaboARTive is to remove the struggle from the artist, to create community, and provide opportunity through resources. 

There will always be a world outside of art for an artist but curating the sacred space for art is a necessary painstaking practice–their organization seeks to make that process easier through connection but also their personal experience. 

“Self Care: Mineral Spirits, Elixirs, & other Home Remedies” will be open for viewing at the Green Library on the 2nd floor until July 31st.

A painting featured in Ignacio Font’s gallery. Isaac Campos | PantherNOW

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