Today we’d like to introduce you to Geraldina Interiano Wise.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My first immersion into art was as a ten-year-old on the ravines of the San Salvador Volcano, under the tutelage of Violeta Bonilla, an artist who had worked under Diego Rivera in Mexico, and who was rumored to have been ousted by a jealous Frida Kahlo. For seven years I went every Saturday morning, not without complaining, to what would be one of the most intense understanding of the world of inequality through art. I’m an accidental immigrant: I came to the United States to attend university, first at Vassar College in NY, transferring to Rice University in Houston to study Architecture/ Art/ and History of Art. My goal was to return to El Salvador and bring new models of affordable housing. I had been forever touched by the children in the ravines..and then came the civil war, which would separate our family forever. 40 years later, having been an intern architect in NYC, San Francisco, and San Antonio, and having raised my family in Houston, I’m now even more committed to Houston, and still thinking of the children, many of whom are in the US, as part of a shadow society or just transparent to the larger society. I dreamed of going back to my art, and I did, starting at Glassell School of Art, where the art world opened up to me, and I followed it by learning printmaking at the Rice Print Palace under the mentorship of Master Printmaker and fellow artist and friend, Karin Broker.
I’m an accidental Hispanic: I didn’t even know what the word meant, much less that I would have to check that box for the rest of my life. My identity, barely being formed as I left ES, was being challenged by the constructs of race and culture in the US. I wanted to go back to my art, but only if I had something transcendental, vitally important to say. So I dug deeply into my identity, my multiracial background, the Maya in me. I had a pivotal opportunity while at Rice, to go to Italy on an archeological dig, under Dr. Walter Widrig, which revealed to me the continuum of time, and how connected we are to our ancestors. The deeper I go into the Maya intellectual patrimony, the more answers I find to the issues that surround me: race divisions, the polarization of thoughts, protectionism, greed, shadow society of immigrants.
Please tell us about your art.
My art is about coexistence and connectivity, and ultimately about hope. I follow scientific developments and discoveries, about the universe and genetics. My language is abstract. I use Maya symbols and numerical writing in my paintings, in modern, minimalist and digitized forms. I depict primordial worlds, and future spaces with dynamic and gestural strokes, and the space-time continuum with abstracted spaces. I use materials that connect my art to my concepts, such as rainwater harvested from hurricane Harvey, pigment from an ancient seed source Indigo plant, raw graphite mined intact from the earth. I use large brushes, as well as familiar tools such as dusters, rakes, mops, and brooms. I do art as a message of hope and unity of the human race: we are connected, we come from the earth, we can coexist on earth with more respect and understanding, and we carry the intellectual patrimony of our ancestors.
I’m not an accidental artist: I have always seen the world through a unique prism, and my favorite vocabulary has been color, form, texture, and scale. After having been in a three-woman exhibit at the Kinder Building through the Glassell School of Art, I have participated in many juried shows through the Visual Arts Alliance and other organizations in Houston, as well as the student art show at Rice University Once I acquired and founded Sawyer Gallery and Studios in the Washington Arts District two years ago, the best way to see my entire body of work is coming for a studio visit, as my art lines the walls of the gallery. My studio partner and I are planning pop up show at the gallery, the first of which will be in the fall of 2018, with the AIA, “Art by Architects and Designer.” We envision renting out the gallery for pop up shows, and we are excited to put the concept to work. The most exciting use of my art has been in the new internet opera commissioned and produced by the Houston Grand Opera this spring, the first of the Star-Cross’d series of short internet operas- “Boundless’.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
I’m an opportunistic teacher. I welcome any chance to mentor young people and to teach art to children. I do this not only out of my love for art but because -other than my innate drive and love of producing- what has made the most impact in my art career is having mentors. Find yourself a mentor! I also have found that establishing supportive and honest relationships with fellow artists is not only helpful but beneficial, as sharing information about the art world and opportunities is gold.
Validation by peer artists is an important emotional element in our lives, as most of us do art in solitary environments. I’m a life-long learner, so using and engaging your curiosity to seek master artist talks, gallery talks, seminars, and classes will continue to mold and help you hone your art. I also believe that staying connected to the global art community through social media can help decode the changing landscape of the art world. Lastly, I will take my own advice: don’t be shy about your work, your dreams and your goals, and ask curators and art consultants for a studio visitor a chance to show your portfolio. I’m ready to take studio visits, and am looking for representation! There, I said it!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can see my art from the opening credits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW5xXMHEax0 I’m in the planning of installing the art of the opera with CAM Fort Bend, an exhibition in San Salvador, a group exhibition of Latin American Women artists at the Instituto de Cultura Hispana in Houston in the fall, and the planning of a collaboration with the group Musiqa, a group of world-class musicians who present innovative artistic programs, and with who I will be doing a live painting performance on Jan 12th, 2019 at the Match. I’m active on Instagram: @wise_arts and welcome followers. Instagram has become a real-time survey of the arts, so it’s a great way to follow my career. Studio Visit Magazine, which will come out this summer, will include some of my art, and of course, I can be reached through my website geraldinainterianowise.com to inquire about my art. I’m presently seeking gallery and art consultant representation, as I envision my message of humanity and hope disseminated globally.
Address: 1819 Sawyer St, Houston TX 77007
Phone: 713 703 7999
Photos by Jeff Fitlow