Sat, Oct 21|
Welcome the harvest season with ceramic work by local artist Abiam Alvarez.
Time & Location
Oct 21, 2023, 3:00 PM – Nov 22, 2023, 5:00 PM
Colibri Gallery, 17505 Monterey Hwy, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, USA
About the Event
Colibri Gallery Presents, Field Spoils, an exhibition exploring a personal perspective on modern-day agriculture told through the ceramic sculptures of Bay Area artist, Abiam Alvarez.
Abiam spent the first nine years of his life in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, before immigrating to the United States and settling in the small farming community of Firebaugh, California. He experienced working in the agricultural industry by spending his summers in the fields and attending school the rest of the year. His roots are closely tied to the Central Valley and he creates artwork that speaks of the labors and political issues surrounding agriculture, consumerism, and immigrant workers.
Coinciding with harvest season, this exhibition pays homage to our agricultural past and present, while also highlighting the people and families that have worked in the agricultural industry. As consumers, we seldom consider our privilege of having fresh produce year-round. What was once referred to as The Valley of Heart's Delight, Santa Clara Valley was dominated by vast orchards. Until the mid-20th century, this area was considered one of the largest producers of agricultural goods in the nation. However, with the growth of the tech industry came the transformation of the landscape resulting in the decline of farming in the area as well as many people's livelihoods.
In this series, Abiam overwhelms the viewer with beautiful and skillfully made reproductions of produce grown in California's fertile valley. Using a medium made from earth, Abiam elevates the crops by the time-intensive process of hand-built ceramics and the careful application of glazes - displaying the finished artworks on pedestals. At first glance, these life-sized sculptures seem ordinary; however, upon closer inspection these works reveal contradictory details. Some sculptures show bountiful amounts of freshly harvested produce and take on a celebratory nature, while others appear to be in the process of decay or feature meager crops on a ground of arid soil. Abiam presents the viewer with subtle hints about the complicated interplay of politics, history, and the people involved in how we get one of our most valuable resources.
About the Artist
Abiam Alvarez is a ceramicist based in Gilroy, California. He spent the first nine years of his life in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico, before migrating to the United States in 1999 and settling in the small California town of Firebaugh, a farming community surrounded by fields of crop. Growing up, Abiam experienced working in the agricultural industry by spending his summers in the fields and attending school the rest of the year. His roots are closely tied to the central valley, where he grew up, and creates artwork that speaks of the labors and political issues surrounding agriculture, consumerism, and immigrant workers.
Abiam is a first-generation college student in his family. He attended California State University, Fresno, where he earned a BA in art and design with an emphasis in ceramics and sculpture. He later returned to earn his single subject teaching credential in art to teach high school art courses. In 2019, Abiam earned his MFA degree at San Jose State University. He currently resides in Gilroy and teaches high school ceramics at Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, CA.