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article imageOp-Ed: San Francisco artist gets his exhibit extended more than thrice Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Feb 24, 2013 in Entertainment
San Francisco - For an artist to have his exhibit extended is an honor. Yet for San Francisco landscape painter Xavier Castellanos this might be a reflection of his talent. And, perhaps a bit of his tenacity to get his works out there.
When this reporter first met Xavier Castellanos more than two years ago, it was easy to see he was ambitious and undeterred by the limitations of the San Francisco art scene. Those limitations are basically, the lack of affordable venues. Like any social circle the established art galleries and studios can seem a bit elite. Yet serious artists will find a way to get their works shown. Case in point is the growth of "Open Studios" the annual event that allows local artists to feature their works at their own home-studio for people to visit.
Still, the need for affordable venues has constituted unlikely collaborations, like the use of the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco which has been featuring art installations as well as festivals, like the one this past Sept. in conjunction with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, over the past two years. The consulate sees it as a way to bring the community together. The staff who organized the events noted that art should be available even in everyday places so that more people can enjoy it and not just the gallery crowds.
So with this approach of art in everyday places, Castellanos has been undaunted in his pursuit of displaying his works. His current display of work at 456 Montgomery Street, in the lobby of a high rise in San Francisco's Financial District, has been extended to continue until March 30. When I asked what he thought about his exhibit being extended, he was pleased. It is important to note that Castellanos has had more than three of his exhibits extended. One most memorable was at the Alliance Francaise, which allowed his works to remain well beyond the customary two to three week period. This reporter had a chance to catch up to Castellanos as he was eager to speak about his work and a little about his life.
Do you remember the first time you thought you might want to be an artist or a painter?
"Not really, I have drawn and painted as far back as I can remember," he said. "I admired artists when I was 10 years old but I never thought that I could "become/ be one.” "Then at 16, noted Castellanos, I was offered to do my first solo show. It was transformative and the public attention within the art circles in Mexico City was humbling."
Courtesy of Xavier Castellanos
How do you feel when you are painting?
"Happy, no worries," he said. "Time flies, I can get a 'painting mood day' that will last 12 hours." "Some other days, though, I get the 'artist’s block' so it's best to do something else," he said.
So, I asked him, what part of your artistry do you credit your training and what part to you credit life experience? "Mostly you are born with it," he said. "Painting is automatic for me. Of course training is good and helps. But my life experience and how my 'sensitivity' responds to the environment around me (social, urban, natural, political, etc.) is responsible for 90 percent of my art," said Castellanos.
Meet the Artist & Art Talk reception will be held on Wed. this March 13, 6:30-7:30pm at 456 Montgomery Street.
No doubt Castellanos is already looking forward to the next exhibit on the horizon which will be this April at the Alliance Francaise. This upcoming exhibit will be Castellano's fourth at the Alliance Francaise located at 1345 Polk Street. If the exhibit gets extended past May, this reporter will certainly make note. For more information about the paintings and works of Xavier Castellanos visit his web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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