The Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery is a long way from making sculptures on a brother’s dining room table.
But Roberto Oran made that journey, and the gallery’s 2016 Artist in Residence is now showing off his work in the show Microcosmus Marinus, now showing in the gallery through March 17.
“This is my way to give back,” Oran, who is also a Chemeketa graduate, said during a reception Feb. 15.
Oran grew up in a small town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where as a child he had to share pencils with his siblings because his family could not afford otherwise.
“The only way for me to draw was inside my head, with my imagination,” Oran said in his artists statement.
Oran came to the US when he was 16 and was further inspired by ceramics class at West Salem High.
Microcosmus Marinus featured drawings, paintings, and ceramic sculpture pieces focused around aquatic life and the environment. Oran used recycled clay from his pieces, which was tougher to work with.
“Some of my best pieces didn’t make it,” he said.
Oran is working on many projects in the area showcasing the journey of the Latino immigrant community and to give voice to its part in the Willamette Valley’s culture.
“I am honored to represent a people who have worked so hard to accomplish their dreams, and who inspire me to do the same,” he said.
The hours of the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery can be found on its website.