Gallery Artists > Amado Pena Biography :

Amado Pena (b. 1943)  Artworks >>

Amado Pena Jr.'s art focuses on Hispanic and Native American figures and has been described as capturing the essence of the Southwest. Pena, a mestizo of Mexican and Yaqui Indian descent, was born in 1943 and raised in Laredo, Texas. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas and was an art teacher in Texas public schools for sixteen years. Pena is known for his humanitarian efforts, and his fund-raising activities have benefited charities such as the March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Native American Rights Fund and the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund. The Amado and JB Pena "Art Has Heart" Foundation, established in 1994, provides opportunities for low and modest income students in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona to further their education in the arts. According to Pena, "I feel blessed having seen and touched the beautiful things that speak so proudly of who we are. Our gifts to the world are our history, our art." Canyon de Chelley, Monument Valley, Spider Rock, Enchanted Mesa, Acoma, Black Mesa -- these are names that evoke an aura of mystery and hint at the birth of legends. These sites are part of an enduring, rugged landscape that speaks of the ancient heritage of a region now known as Arizona and New Mexico." This land, the people who live there and their native crafts, are the threads in a rich cultural tapestry that is the inspiration for the works of Amado M. Peña, Jr. Using this trilogy of imagery, Peña studies the interrelation and integration of these entities, giving each equal importance. With bold color, form and the dynamics of composition, Peña communicates his vision of a land, a people, and their art. He is a prolific artist with restless, creative energy that keeps him at work in his studios in Santa Fe and Austin. A master printer, his serigraphs are noted for bold color schemes and strong graphic use of lines. His etchings convey quiet elegance in fine lines and soft color. The drama of his paintings is heightened by an intensity of hue and unexpected spatial relationships. Abstractions of the landscape merge with exaggerated human forms; blanket and pottery patterns further echo the shapes of the land. Pena is recognized as an Artisan of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona and is dedicated to furthering the public's knowledge and interest in the Tribe, its art, its history, and its culture. Source

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