A Constant Vital Commotion gets clarity Oct. 5 when Monica Aissa Martinez’s exhibit opens at CAC’s Visual Arts Gallery

By Mason Gates
Intern, Media & Community Events Office

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Central Arizona College will host an opening reception for Monica Aissa Martinez’s exhibit A Constant Vital Commotion on Tue., Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery on the Signal Peak Campus.

There is no charge to attend the reception which is open to the public. The menu for the complimentary reception will be an evening of Southwest delicacies created by CAC culinary art students. The evening’s menu will include:

• prickly pear barbecue brisket
• roasted sweet potato hash
• citrus and avocado salad
• roasted chili cornbread
• chocolate brownie soufflé
• pecan bars
• punch

Martinez, who will be present for the opening, will display her work in the gallery through Nov. 5.

CAC’s Visual Arts Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday. It is located in the Student Services Building (Building M, Clock Tower) on the Signal Peak Campus at 8470 N. Overfield Road between the cities of Coolidge and Casa Grande.

Martinez’s exhibition will include works of art created over 10 years, allowing an evolutionary feel to the subjects. On her website, she says that her newest showing “includes mixed media works on canvas and on paper. My compositions, through the use of line, shape and color, represent a complex connection between body, mind and spirit.”

Martinez has a keen interest in physiology that is reflected in her art.

“Looking closely at body structure, I realize it is more sophisticated than any system of technology ever created by man,” she explained. “I am also interested in the esoteric concepts of the chakras. A chakra is believed to be a center of activity that receives, assimilates and expresses life force energy. The chakras connect anatomy, emotion and thought pattern. Color is an added element to the teaching that naturally calls my attention.”

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Martinez earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. She finished up her master’s of fine arts at New Mexico State University and has been teaching art since 1989. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at Phoenix College.

Martinez now lives and works in Phoenix where she has had many opportunities to exhibit her work including: Mental Concoctions at the Eric Fischl Gallery, Relationships: The Ebb and Flow at the Eye Lounge and Elan Vital at New Directions Gallery at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. These are just a few of her numerous solo and group showings that have been held across the country.

Her most recent commission, completed in 2008, was a Limited Edition Ink Jet Print for The Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame in partnership with Consejo Nacional de Talleres Graphicas and Segura Publishing.

Martinez’s creations are in over 60 permanent and private collections strewn around the United States. Most notably, her work can be seen at Brigham Young University, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, the Mesa Arts Center, and the Municipal Court House for the city of Phoenix.

Martinez believes that schooling is paramount for artists. Her accomplishments as a creative person could stand on their own, but passing along knowledge is as important to her as the artwork itself.

“I teach (at the college) because I want to,” she said. “I believe in education, art education especially. I realized a few years ago that I had lots to offer in terms of experience and skill, so I took that route. I'll continue doing it as long as it’s a win-win-win - for the students, the school and myself.”

When asked to comment on her approaching show, Martinez said, “I am glad to have been asked to exhibit. I've enjoyed working with Tom Belden. From what I see, he puts together a great art experience for CAC. I am glad to be a part of it in the month of October. In this exhibit you'll get to see my progression, as I'll include some work from years past as well as my most current work.”

To view Martinez’s online gallery, visit her website at www.monicaaissamartinez.com or follow her on her blog at http://monicaaissamartinez.wordpress.com.

For more information on the show or the Visual Arts gallery, please contact Tom Belden by phone at 520-560-2452, or by e-mail at thomas.belden@centralaz.edu.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814