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TWU student displays art in Fort Worth

Unique exhibit titled “Between Death and Dying” conveys artists feelings about mortality

Heather Hines, Reporter

Bernardo Vallerino
Bernardo Vallerino

Death. Not something average college students with their unwavering health and optimistic predictions about the future spend much time thinking about, let alone creating art exhibits for. Graduate Fine Arts student and sculptor Bernardo Vallarino has done just that with his exhibit “Between Death and Dying,” on display now until March 20 at the Artes de la Rosa Art Gallery. 

Vallarino earned his Bachelors in Fine Arts at Texas Christian University, teaches 3D Design at TWU as a graduate teaching assistant and will graduate this spring. Realizing his passion for sculpting, after taking a course at TCU, Vallarino changed his original major of Radio-Television-Film to Fine Arts.

Vallarino explained: “I’ve always been inclined to different artistic things, but it never really clicked to be an artist as a career until I was in college. I had never really thought about being a visual artist. I knew I was good at it, but it never really clicked.”

This mix-media sculpture created by Bernardo Vallerino is on display at the Artes de la Rosa Art Gallery along with other selections of his work.
This mix-media sculpture created by Bernardo Vallerino is on display at the Artes de la Rosa Art Gallery along with other selections of his work.

Finding inspiration in his move from Colombia to the United States, Vallarino has used his art to express his thoughts about cultural opinions of death. 

Vallarino shares his ideas spurred by the introduction to a country with a government who involves themselves with other nations sometimes in a confrontational manner: “I come from a country where the military is used very differently. Coming to the United States to live and study with the military used in a very different kind of way, where it’s expansive and outside the country. A lot of that has made me question the value of life.”

After being approached from a curator from the Artes de la Rosa Art Gallery, Vallarino selected some of his favorite and most powerful pieces and created new pieces for the exhibit, “Between Death and Dying.” Vallarino uses many techniques, but most uniquely, he uses insects to compare the way humans mindlessly kill bugs to the way we make decisions regarding other people’s lives. This conveys the exhibit’s theme – the devaluing of human life.   

Vallarino states: “I tend to call out hypocrisy. There are several pieces in regard to the military. We talk about life being precious, yet we destroy life by sending our own [soldiers] out. That dislocation, how we’re sending out our own men into very dangerous situations and, at the same time, we are eliminating and killing.” 

Vallarino explains what he wants his art work to convey: “I want people to open their eyes to others, to [make] their thoughts broader in a neutral way. I want them to look at something that’s going on and kind of open their mind and ask questions.”

To learn more about Vallarino and his art you can visit his website at http://www.bernardovallarinoart.com/home

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