By: Brandon Jeffries
Prolific Riverside artist, Pavel Acevedo, will be featured in Riverside Art Museum’s exhibit, “Self Help Graphics: Aztlán, the Permanent Collection, and Beyond,” a group show currently running until January 15th of next year. This exhibit will feature the works of art collective Self Help Graphics, with whom Pavel became involved after coming to the United States in 2010.
Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Pavel was introduced to the lithograph technique as a young man. He spent three years studying various art techniques at multiple talleres (workshops) at Rufino Tamayo Work Studio. Eventually he moved on to the Fine Art School of Oaxaca. Shortly after graduating he moved to Riverside. Pavel said he never planned to leave Oaxaca, where he had already established roots in the local art community. Despite setting out into strange territory, once here, he didn’t waste much time finding artists and galleries in Southern California of which he had been a fan while living in Oaxaca. Among others, these included artists like Salomon Huerta, John Valadez, Grupo Asco and Self Help Graphics, a non-profit visual arts center.
Pavel recalls his first impressions upon coming to California: “…Oaxaca is a place, it’s like, culturally active…and Riverside was slow to me. Even the lifestyle…it was different. I totally was like, ‘damn’. At the same time, you’re in the U.S., you know, everyone wants to be here, California, Los Angeles, but at the same time I have to pull off my work because, you know, that’s what I wanted to do.” No stranger to hard work, Pavel would regularly put in 12 hour days or longer working on art projects during his time at Rufino Tamayo and later while attending art school. So he made a conscious decision to focus on his art. “…there’s no friends around, no more teachers, it’s just like, DO IT.”