A scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter, and musician, Balcells says "I am interested in social themes like history, culture, human potential development, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”
Balcells has multiple public art pieces which can be seen in Tempe, and soon in Phoenix, as a selected 2017 artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail. He draws inspiration not only from Mesoamerican cultures, but also from our desert surroundings here in Arizona. The Unknown Symbols highlights landscapes that people often forget are part of our diverse urban environment, and includes scenes filmed at the Salt River, South Mountain, Papago Park, and downtown Phoenix.
With this multimedia presentation, Balcells shares "This piece can be anybody's story. It is my story. I want to inspire people to recognize their true spirit, reconnect with nature and enjoy the present moment." The short film follows a single character, who is mysteriously covered in symbols, and searching through urban and desert environments to find answers. The symbols, according to Balcells, represent Vibration, Consciousness, Gratitude, Action, Inspiration. And they are there to remind the protagonist and the audience through this "Journey of the mind, to find the self with a purpose, and to be aware of what it means to be alive."
Following the performance, the audience will have the opportunity to meet the artist and discuss the film. This after-hours event is free and open to the public, donations are welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m. and performance begins at 6:30 p.m. with open seating. Light refreshments of hot chocolate, coffee, and desserts will also be available during this performance set under the night sky, on the back patio of Pueblo Grande Museum, framed by the ancient platform mound built by the Hohokam people.
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: Doors at 6 p.m., Performance at 6:30 p.m., Artist Meet & Greet at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, Donations Welcome
Place: Pueblo Grande Museum Back Patio (performance will be moved indoors if weather requires)
Biography and Artist Statement
Oliverio Balcells is a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter and musician.
“I’m interested in social themes like history, culture, human potential development, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”
In 2017 he was a selected artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail. In 2016 he was a selected artist for the In Flux Cycle 6 with the City of Tempe and painted a mural on Apache Blvd. In 2012 he was selected by the City of Tempe’s Public Art Program to design and paint a utility box on Mill Avenue. The image was also made into a library card for the Tempe Public Library. In 2008 Oliverio was awarded First Place at the Arte Latino en la Ciudad XII at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and in 1999 he was awarded Best Artist in the 7th Annual Plastic Arts Exhibit of Cancun.
Oliverio Balcells received his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico.
He currently lives and works in Tempe, Arizona, USA with his wife and two children.