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Meet the artist and see a solo exhibition of surrealist painting and sculpture by Ignacio Montano.  Reception is open to the public.  Food and drinks served.

Montano’s work examines the relationship between the physical and meta-physical world, and also explores themes of human perception and intuition.

“When I paint, I’m completely blind,” Montano said. “I believe that everything we do involves perception and intuition. The good doctor, the true engineer, the artist, it’s that process. It’s a subconscious level.

Montano was born in southern California but was reared in Mexico. He was one of eleven children, and describes both of his parents as artistic. His mother painted, and his father wrote poems. When Montano was four, his father wrote a poem predicting that his son would one day become an artist.

However, Montano originally followed a different path. He pursued veterinary studies and attended medical school for two years before switching to his university’s art school.  Dissatisfied with the school’s teaching methods, Montano started painting on his own at age 21. Jane Michalski, committee member for the Hairpin Arts Center, said Montano “is, for the most part, self-taught.”

Montano said he experienced his first “artistic epiphany” when he saw the Viking spacecraft land on Mars in 1976. He decided to focus his work on the “endless human and artistic possibilities the Cosmos offered.”

Further inspired by the extraterrestrial landscape of northern Mexico on a visit in 2002, Montano continues to examine the interplay between humans and the cosmos in his most recent work.

Montano’s paintings have been featured internationally, and his work appears in numerous publications on contemporary art. His most recent awards include the “Premio Lucrezia Borgia” award for “Traces of Memory,” and the Curator’s Choice award at Chicago’s Fall Art Festival in 2008 for “Around the Coyote.” His paintings were most recently exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA.  Montano’s work has also been exhibited locally at the Greenleaf Art Center.

Exhibition runs from from January 28 through February 22.  Expanded gallery hours for I. Montano: Sculpture and Painting are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 – 7:00 pm; Fridays, 4:30 – 6:30 pm; and Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.