I was born in Michoacán, México. My family and I left Mexico for the United States when I was 7 years old, seeking a better life. However, adapting to the culture was challenging for me. In school, I would sit in the back of the class and draw. My mother tried to encourage me by enrolling me into an afterschool program known as HOLA. HOLA provided tutoring and art classes. The art classes were the most interesting to me. I took an oil painting class and at the end of the class we had the opportunity to exhibit our final paintings in one of the fancy buildings in Downtown, Los Angeles. At this exhibition, I sold my first painting. I was 13 years old. This was when I realized that painting had an impact on who I was and what I wanted to be.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1997, Austin Gutierrez is a Los Angeles based artist who took up drawing at a very young age and still continues to hone his craft to this very day. What started off as a simple childhood creative outlet has evolved into a full-fledged passion, which includes a wide variety of mediums such as ink, graphite, oil, pastel and printmaking.
My name is Roberto Ortiz and I grew up and still live in Koreatown. I am 29 years old and I enjoy, especially, making reduction prints and acrylic paintings. I started making art at a young age and was inspired to teach art and continue making art when I first met the people who founded Art Division—Dan, Javier and Maria—at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles), an after-school program for school-aged children. They encouraged me to help teach art at HOLA, which lead me to teach 1st graders. I taught printmaking in Florida and also in the desert near Palm Springs. I also helped run a printmaking workshop for a Día de Los Muertos celebration in Ventura, CA.
I am a native of California, though I spend time also in Michoacan, Mexico. My work is more psychological than anything -- I see it as an internal journey moving through space using the materials described above to reflect my inner struggles. It’s an exploration of the moment - in an attempt to find harmony in my surroundings, and to create a balance between man-made objects and nature. Through my work, I also seek to calm the soul to create the condition(s) to understand the needs of my internal world. I strive to make connections with the world and create equilibrium within myself. My goal is to make art that is personal and transformative.
Luis Serrano is an artist and educator who has worked with Art Division since 2014. Serrano earned a BFA and an MFA at Otis Parsons and has gone full circle to be exhibited alongside his mentor Charles White in 2019 at the LACMA auxiliary gallery. For the past twenty years he has focused on a daily practice of drawing and painting from direct observation as a way to portray his perspectives and lived experiences. His plein air work documents his investigation of nature and the subtle changes in light, movement, patterns and how they are realized into a pictorial form.