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Matthew Villarreal

Artist, advocate, educator, and El Paso native Matthew Villarreal was selected as the Border Art Resident for Spring/Summer 2023. Villarreal, an assistant professor at the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York, just started his residency here. It will run through August 31, 2023.

Villarreal is an assistant professor of art, design, and social justice and an assistant dean for art and design education. He is also an American Alliance of Museums Museum Education Fellow and a fellow of the AICAD BIPOC Academic Leadership Institute.

Villarreal spent most of his early life in the borderland. He was born in El Paso, attended Bethel Christian School and went on to attend University of Texas at El Paso, where he graduated with a BFA in Painting, Drawing, and Creative Writing. He then taught for 10 years in the El Paso Independent School District.

Villarreal’s background comes to life in his art. His work often uses tactile materials associated with the body and the earth to explore subtleties in language, politics, and psychology. His work utilizes desert motifs, often exaggerated, to challenge conceptions of otherness. His creative practice explores how materials tell stories. 

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