Mexican-style art provides colorful visuals in Moody Learning Center until Dec. 4.
By Hannah Norman
A former art student returned here this semester to promote his first solo exhibition at this college, which includes vibrant, Fiesta-style canvas and graphic prints and paintings of wild animals and people.
“The Works: An Exhibition of Artist and Designer David Peche” runs through Dec. 4 on the third and fourth floors of Moody Learning Center. The exhibition is free to the public 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday.
The exhibition also memorializes one of the college’s most ardent supporters of the arts, Dr. Alice Johnson, library director, who died Aug. 18.
Peche’s 20 pieces are on canvas, metal and wood. He used Fiesta-inspired pastels mixed with metallic colors because reds, blues, oranges, and yellows are his favorite colors to work with. The art provides a stark contrast against the greyish-beige walls of Moody.
“I like to make cool stuff. My life is totally consumed by art, graphics and illustration,” said Peche, who studied in this college’s fine arts department in the 1990s.
For most of his pieces in “The Works,” which opened in August, he started with a wood base and placed a black vinyl stencil on top. He then cut out all the shapes within the stencil and colored them in with lettering enamel or spray paint.
“And then that leaves the design,” he said. “I just work on one at a time because if I work on multiples, then they all end up with the same color scheme.”
“Warpig” is a perfect example of an unrealistic animal concept. The half-boar with a falcon head as its hipbone struts above an inch of space from a 4-by-2-foot vinyl print on sanded wood. Eleven varying colors fill in stencil indentions inside the animal’s body and the lines and triangles are perfectly measured. On average, Peche puts three to four hours a day into each of the large-scale works. It takes him about a week to draw the design and four to five days to paint because he works in layers.
After attending this college from 1990 to 1992, he served in the U.S. Army for five years, returned to study for two semesters in the graphic arts program and then got a job where he traveled and learned digital photography and Photoshop. He wasn’t able to earn an associate degree but he has over 20 years of experience in technical, medical and industrial illustration and computer-aided design.
“The only reason I got those jobs was because of what I learned here at SAC,” he said. “It worked out really well.”
The creative multimedia department, which is located on the sixth floor of Moody, organized the exhibition, said artist-in-residence Joan Fabian.
When Moody Learning Center underwent renovations, the department decided to leave the fourth floor with open space for upcoming exhibitions and showcases.
The department wanted to invite artists from the community so students could view art made outside of the classroom as well as liven up the space.
Fabian contacted Peche earlier this year to discuss a future exhibition. Peche has showcased at the Museo Alameda, Blue Star Arts Complex, The Art Center of Corpus Christi, the High Wire Contemporary Art Gallery and other venues.
He started his own graphics company called Sign Works, which helps San Antonio businesses with visual marketing and graphics.
He is also the founder and director of an organization called Art At The Jalapeno Arts. With his wife, dad and other artists, they curate and host showcases for local artists.
“I see different levels of skill from all kinds of people from art professors, starving artists, to established painters and sculptors,” Peche said.
Like Peche, Johnson was a big supporter of the arts, Fabian said of this college’s former library director, who died the week the exhibit opened.
Johnson had purchased museum-quality hooks for the art pieces, helped organize spaces for artist lectures and provided refreshments for exhibitions.
“She definitely was looking forward to this exhibit,” Fabian said. “She loved bright colors like me, and toward the end she said, ‘I’m gonna make cookies (for the exhibit).’ and I told her, ‘Alice, You’re sick. You can’t make cookies!’”
The exhibit honors Johnson, Fabian said.
Fabian plans to sign a second exhibition with another local artist — most likely a former student — in the spring semester.
For more information, call Fabian at 210-486-1346 or email her at email@example.com.