Rick Araluce

Rick Araluce

Fellow: Awarded 2015
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

I have been drawing and making things my entire life. In fact, I can’t recall a time where I was not drawing and making things. Long before I called it art, I was carving little boats from planter bark, cobbling together imagined spacecraft from note paper, glue and toothpicks. I drew dinosaurs, sailing ships, trees, fishes, antique houses, anatomical cross-sections of the human body. And a lot more. Whatever my passion was at the time, I drew it or made it. I built plastic models of tanks and war planes that won prizes, with an attention to detail that bordered on obsessive.

Not a lot has changed.

I’ve been an exhibiting artist for over thirty years. My first exhibited work was paintings. Then paintings with collage and found elements. Then constructed works with found and manufactured objects and painting. Then constructed miniature environments. For the past several years it is miniature environments as well as immersive installation and sculpture. Much of my work has become multidisciplinary in approach, including sound, lighting, mechanical elements, computer automation, more. I am interested in pushing the boundaries of sculpture and object-making. I am intrigued with the possibilities and potential of scale and its effect upon the viewer; whether in miniature form, full-size, or larger-than-life. I want to create an experience for the viewer as much as I want to create an object. I get huge satisfaction from thinking up cool stuff and making it real, then sharing it with the world.

In high school I had the great fortune of being taught by a brilliant and inspiring artist named Ernest Guerrero. This man was a huge influence on my young artist self. After high school I took a few art classes at a local community college in Southern California, as much for a social life as for any artistic training. That’s it for anything resembling “formal” artistic training.

I am essentially self-taught. I have a rapacious curiosity, an iron work-ethic, and am competitive to the core. I am self-motivated and adore a challenge. I am continually trying to grow and widen my vision and practice as an artist. I cannot sit still. I do not want to sit still. I am not swayed by, nor feel the desire to chase after, artistic trends and art fashion–trends come and go; fashion is transitory by definition. I have my own path to follow. However, I am very aware of art history, particularly of the last century.

I was a late starter on the path to grants, awards and fellowships. My first project funding was in 2006, through the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in Seattle. It enabled me to build from scratch an elaborate walk-in environment that transformed an entire gallery space. After the economy crashed in 2008, I redoubled my efforts at achieving arts funding. Since nothing was selling, I decided to pursue projects that were meant for museums and institutions, projects that would widen and deepen my artistic reach. Some key awards are a 2009 Pollock/Krasner Support Grant and a 2010 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Award. And, of course, this distinguished Fellowship I am hugely honored to have received.

As for the future, I will continue to create and produce art until I cannot do it any longer. But that’s a long way off.

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