Current Exhibition

George Rodriguez: Embellished Narratives

June 8 – August 25, 2019

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

Ver en español

Seattle artist George Rodriguez (American, born 1982) creates figurative ceramic sculptures that explore his Chicano heritage, political issues surrounding the US and Mexico border, and the shared humanity of people around the world. 

Organized by curator Jonathan Bucci, this major exhibition presents work created over the past 10 years. Ideas of ceremony, ritual, and cross-cultural mythology all combine in Rodriguez’s bold yet whimsical artwork. Inspired by childhood memories, international travel, border politics, and the history of art, his richly decorated and tactile sculptures draw the viewer in with a mixture of humor and gravity to address concepts of community and identity in our global culture.

Included in the exhibition are works based on quinceañeras dresses; portraits of the artist as various famous Georges, including George W. Bush and Boy George; a twenty foot long mariachi band doubling as the border wall; and a Mexican version of the zodiac featuring animals indigenous to Mexico. In addition, Rodriguez has created a sculpture influenced by Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic, featuring a domestic worker and her farm hand husband, jobs often held by recent immigrants from Mexico.

A Seattle resident since 2007, Rodriguez was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He earned a BFA from University of Texas, El Paso and an MFA from the University of Washington, and his ceramic sculptures are included in public and private collections throughout the United States. 


Related Events

Artist Lecture with George Rodriguez
Saturday, June 8, 2019
5- 6 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law
Free and open to the public

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Members/VIP Opening Reception

Saturday, June 8, 2019, 6 - 8 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Members and museum invited guests only

Please note this is a MUSEUM MEMBER-ONLY and MUSEUM VIP ticketed event. 

New Members: are welcome to join before the event online or by calling 503-370-6855

RSVP ONLINE BY June 3, 2019

Or by phone at 503-370-6855 or by email at museum-art@willamette.edu

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Tuesday Gallery Talk
George Rodriguez: Embellished Narratives
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
12:30 p.m.
Presented by Jonathan Bucci
The tour will commence in the Maribeth Collins Lobby at the museum
Free and open to the public

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Family Activity Day
With artist George Rodriguez
Saturday, June 22, 2019
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Maribeth Collins Lobby and the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery
Hallie Ford Museum of Art

  • 11:00-11:30 a.m. | Tour in Spanish
  • 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | Art Activity
    Seattle artist George Rodriguez will create an altar for the Salem community — visitors are invited to make offerings and other objects out of clay to add to the sculpture
  • Noon - 1 p.m. | Music
    Salem's own father and son duo, Erik and David Rodríguez, will perform songs in Spanish and English.  
  • 2:30-3:00 | Tour in English

Free and open to the public

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Tuesday Gallery Talk
George Rodriguez: Embellished Narratives
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
12:30 p.m.
Presented by Jonathan Bucci
The tour will commence in the Maribeth Collins Lobby at the museum
Free and open to the public


Financial Support

This exhibition has been supported by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

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