The 2014 Arts Alive banner season is off to an impressive start.
With over 300 in attendance at the annual unveiling ceremony, Encinitas mayor Teresa Barth and city council members Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz led the countdown to the unveiling of 103 banners that will soon be on view along Coast Highway 101 from Cardiff through Leucadia. Many enthusiastic participants determined this year’s collection to be the most outstanding of the event’s 15-year history.
“Ad Astra” by Donn Angel Pérez was decidedly one of the exceptional banners featured at the event. New to the Arts Alive banner project this year and relatively new to the San Diego area, Pérez is rapidly making his mark in both art and architect ure in the region.
Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Pérez has a distinctive style that reflects not only his background in architecture but also his years as drummer in a progressive rock band that achieved notoriety in his homeland. Pérez states, “Music has been very influential to me from the beginning and I believe I became a true artist when I learned about syncopation, beat and rhythm. I still use those concepts as guiding principles: fast tempo as it relates to line stroke style, irregular time signatures to architectural art expressions, and marked time signatures as inspiration gathered from life experiences.”
From ages 11 to 13 Pérez studied oil painting, sketching, calligraphy and technical drafting. For the next five years he followed formal courses in art history, analytical geometry and architectural design at the Instituto Antonio Jose de Sucre in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
At age 20 Pérez embraced a new life adventure, relocating to the USA where he enrolled in the school of architecture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2007 Pérez completed his Master of Architecture degree with a minor in graphic design. His experience in music and design later led him to pursue the relationship between art and architecture, developing principles and guidelines collected during his research and personal artistic experimentation.
In 2013, after a life-threatening bout with brain cancer, Pérez and his wife Pam embarked on another adventure that brought them to Cardiff by the Sea. He reflects, “Cancer was a very ‘thriving’ episode in my life. It re-ignited my artist fire — an art of survival, of resiliency and of embracing new and unique creative journeys.”
Today Pérez teaches architecture design and visualization at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego while also working independently as a designer and artist. He continues to expand his art vocation by exhibiting in both the US and Venezuela and by developing exhibitions related to art and architecture.
Finding inspiration in nature, in music and his in Christian faith, Pérez uses acrylic paint combined with modeling paste, graphite and pastels in his paintings and 3-D abstractions. While describing his artwork as “tectonic, thorny and visually alive,” Pérez comments, “I hope to create artwork that reflects conditions of resiliency and adaptation through my vocations of teacher and architect and as a human being.”
He adds, “The art is fluid and occupied with vigorous strokes attempting to exhibit a healing energy inside settings of perpetual activity.” Having personally experienced the healing power of art, Pérez states, “I am looking to bring my creative energy to the homes of art lovers and to healing environments where art works as therapy for the heart, mind and spirit.”
Images of Pérez’s paintings can be seen by visiting Sitiosdesign.com or going to Oniric Architectural Art on Facebook.
Kay Colvin is director of L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, and specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists. Contact her at [email protected]