California State University, Fullerton

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Grad Curates ‘Open Your Eyes’ at the Muck

Sept. 4, 2012


Lozano’s 1999 mixed-media piece "Grandfather's Hat/Family Tree” is among artwork on exhibit.

Nearing the end of the opening reception last Thursday night for the new exhibition at Fullerton’s Muckenthaler Cultural Center, “Open Your Eyes/ Abre Los Ojos,” guest curator José Lozano made a discovery about one of the paintings he had selected for the show of works by Mexican and Chicano artists.
A hinged door built into the painting had been opened, revealing another aspect of the piece. Noticing the open door from across the room, he went over to examine the painting more closely. “It changes everything,” he said, admiring the artist’s work anew.
Discovery is something Lozano lives for and hopes others find in the world of art.
“Just enjoy … drink it up,” he urged attendees during brief remarks at the reception. He said he hopes the show “sparks your imagination.”
Many of the works are by artists he admires and are pieces he has acquired. “I am a collector,” he said proudly, between hugs and greetings from well-wishers. “I’m a big supporter of people learning art.”
Appreciative of the emphasis on art in his early school years — from papier-mâché to drawing and painting — he noted that “art was always a big part of the curriculum” and wishes that were still the case today. Lozano was born in Los Angeles and raised in Jaurez, Mexico, and in Southern California. He is a longtime Fullerton resident. 
At Cal State Fullerton, he pursued his own passion for art, emerging with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1980s. Reflecting on “the whole college experience,” Lozano said: “I set out to be a learned, educated person, and Cal State Fullerton gave me that. There’s nothing like being in college ... there’s so much possibility.”
Among his favorite art professors were two who have since passed away, Robert Partin and Leo Robinson, as well as Kim Abeles, a former faculty member. “She changed the way I made art,” he said.
Lozano included a few pieces of his own artwork in the Muckenthaler exhibition. Among them are a self-portrait and a hat his grandfather used to wear that Lozano later used as a canvas.
“It’s important for every human being in the world to know where they came from … to express themselves and be creative,” he said.
A retrospective of Lozano’s artwork was featured at the Muckenthaler in 2010, and Lozano now teaches a narrative drawing workshop at the center. His six-week workshops are offered on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. New fall sessions begin Sept. 24 and Nov. 5, and more are scheduled for 2013. Details are available online or by phone at 714-738-6595.

His “Curator’s Walk Through” of “Open Your Eyes/ Abre Los Ojos” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is about four miles from campus at 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton.

Gallery hours are noon-4 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday, with additional hours on Thursdays of 5-9 p.m.

By: Paula Selleck, 657-278-4856

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