Artist in Residence: Narsiso Martinez
July 12, 2018 – September 30, 2018
Long Beach-based artist, Narsiso Martinez returns to the Long Beach Museum of Art as the Museum’s Artist in Residence this summer (June – September 2018). Working in the Museum’s Boeing Classroom, Martinez will be devoting this opportunity towards creating work for his forthcoming exhibition at the Museum this fall. Starting in July, the artist will open the studio twice throughout the duration of his residency for Museum patrons to view the work in progress.
Born in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1977, Martinez came to the United States with a ninth-grade education. After completing high school at the age of 29 (2006), Martinez went on to earn an Associate of Arts degree from the Los Angeles City College and then a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cal State Long Beach in 2012. This past spring (May 2018), he received his MA in Fine Arts from the same institution.
Martinez’s work draws influence from his own experiences of working in the agricultural fields, a place where he finds solace and familiarity – as a youngster growing up in Oaxaca he would pick fruit and vegetables in agricultural fields. Although he found solace in the landscapes of the fields and its natural beauty, being immersed in the environment and working alongside other field workers also enabled him to dig deeper into the lives of farmworkers in Southern California, how they live and work, and their struggles. Employing a variety of media, including oil paint, charcoals, and ink wash, Martinez portrays the plight of farmworkers on discarded produce cardboard boxes that he would collect from grocery stores. Martinez’s enduring story of pursuing an education and becoming an artist resonates with the Long Beach community. It embeds many themes, particularly relevant to the younger generation, of immigration, the role of the artist in shining a light on a marginalized population, and the plight of agricultural workers.
Martinez has exhibited at a number of institutions, including CSULB University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA; Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA; Palos Verdes Art Center, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; and the National Immigration Law Center, Los Angeles, CA, among several others.