DeKALB – At this Thursday’s meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League, the guest demonstrator will be noted watercolor artist Tony Armendariz. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the corner of North Fourth and Locust streets in DeKalb.
Armendariz was born and raised in Chicago in a graphic arts family. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago where he had the opportunity to study watercolor under renowned instructor Irving Shapiro. He got his first job as a graphic artist in advertising while still a student at the academy.
After receiving his associate's degree in graphic art, he continued to develop his skills by working as an illustrator, color proofing technician, graphic artist and web designer in a variety of industries. Aside from his many travels throughout the U.S., Armendariz has developed themes featuring subject matter he found in Europe and Cuba, some of which make their presence known in his paintings.
Armendariz paints exclusively on paper in the pure transparent tradition. Many of his paintings can be viewed on his website, www.armendarizart.com. He belongs to many artistic organizations across the country, including the Illinois Watercolor Society, of which he is the executive director. He teaches watercolor classes at Mainstreet Art Center in Lake Zurich, at Oak Park Art League in Oak Park, and at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
Armendariz paints in a representational style intended to convey a variety of stories told over the years of use and abuse in the timeworn structures and objects in the urban landscape. Through the use of high contrasts, intense sunlight and desolate settings, a pensive mood is evoked in the work. By placing the viewer up close to the subject, he prompts them to establish a personal connection to its story.
“Some of the subjects’ stories are simple, and yet some are dramatic and profound," he said. "The aging man-made structures I depict are often decaying, but my goal is to present them with dignity.”
After the demonstration, refreshments will be served. Everyone with an interest in the arts is invited. KVAL is a nonprofit organization that meets the first Thursday of each month except January. There is no admission charge, nor is there any membership obligation to attend. The Art League also sponsors The Northern Illinois Art Show on the DeKalb County Courthouse Lawn the first weekend in June.