Arturo Villaseñor is a man inspired by many things: the art and architecture of his hometown Mexico City, the thoughts and theories of Carl Sagan, and the drafting and designs of Leonardo da Vinci.
Arturo is an artist, a scientist, and a scholar. Through his paintings and art, he combines the pride and beauty of his heritage, his views about the universe, and his mastery of technical drawing.
You may have seen his work. It’s on permanent display at the M&M Marketplace and Centro Cultural in addition to a few private homes.
Arturo has also shown his work at the Walters Cultural Arts Center and the Hillsboro Civic Center. He was a member of the former Influence Art Gallery which was run by Linda Holland.
Linda, who always has a shock of color in her platinum blonde hair, remembers when a lady came into the gallery and fell in love with one of Arturo’s paintings. It was a painting of outer space, and the lady said it spoke to her. The lady was so inspired, she had to buy it.
Years after the gallery, Arturo and Linda collaborated again on “The Frida Project.” The project involved ten local artists contributing to ten different portraits of the beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The 3’x3’ panels were created at the Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market, and they now hang M&M Marketplace in Hillsboro.
Growing up in Mexico City, it was the museums that Arturo loved. There were so many museums all around the city. He remembers the neighborhoods where the museums were located, the other beautiful buildings and museums nearby, and all of the art and murals in between.
“The whole city was a museum,” Arturo recently recalled from his studio office in the garage of his Forest Grove home.
Arturo owns two copies of Carl Sagan’s popular book, Cosmos. One copy is in English. One copy is in Spanish. He also owns a DVD set of Cosmos the mini-series (dubbed in Spanish) which he watched on television in his youth. The show aired on the same channel as the Twilight Zone and Star Trek, two other shows he fondly enjoyed.
And Arturo embodies da Vinci, the Florentine Renaissance man, in his own life and work. Arturo studied chemistry and physics at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico. He went on to work as an engineer, restoring historic buildings in Mexico City.
Arturo has always sketched since he was a child. He painted when he could. Sometimes he had to improvise when he didn’t have supplies. He once made a paint brush from a lock of cat hair. Later, he used part of his college scholarship money to buy paints and art materials.
Since coming to Oregon in 2000, Arturo has taught math, technology, and language (both English and Spanish) for several local organizations including Adelante Mujeres, Centro Cultural, and Washington County Community Action. He’s now the director of Nova Enterprise which offers a variety of translation services, specializing in translating science textbooks from English to Spanish.
And Arturo continues to paint. He collaborated on a second mural at M&M Marketplace. He was also recently commissioned to create a work for Centro Cultural’s Gala de Cultura on March 2, 2018. This is the second commission of his work from Centro.
“Arturo’s talent helps bridge identity and culture, and build a strong narrative for Latino heritage in Oregon,” said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Development Director for Centro Cultural and candidate for the Metro Regional Government Council. “Working with Arturo has been special for us at Centro, and we look forward to partnering with him more in the future.”
Arturo is also a photographer, sculptor, and graphic designer.
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