News Column

Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Texas, Slice of Life column

June 27, 2014

By Travis M. Whitehead, Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Texas



June 27--Alexander Comminos is looking forward to introducing his artwork to the Rio Grande Valley.

Tonight during the monthly Harlingen Art Night from 7 p.m. -- 9 p.m. visitors will get to view his work at his new Comminos Studio and Gallery at 214 N. A Street. The Chicago native will be showing not only his ceramic sculpture and paintings but work by his parents, who are also artists.

"This Friday I'm going to be showing some larger abstract paintings of mine," he said. "And I'm also a sculptural ceramic artist, so I'll be showing a mixture of my sculptural ceramic pieces."

Comminos decided to open a gallery here when he came down about two months ago to help Bill FitzGibbons, another sculptor, set up his exhibit at the International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen. At the same time, he went to see his friend Brian Wedgworth, a metal sculptor who has a studio on North Commerce Street. While there, he spotted the building on North A Street.

"I was really inspired by the space and the grandness of the buildings in the downtown Harlingen area," said Comminos, 31.

He was enamored by the building that's now his studio, he said.

Comminos said he's an abstract artist.

"Recently with moving down to the Valley I've been looking at landscapes quite a bit," he said. "I'm basically making sort of unrealist landscapes. They're glazed ceramic objects."

He said he's been looking at different hillsides, isolating forms or objects, and replicating them on a smaller scale.

"Ceramics is a challenging medium, so I enjoy the challenge of it," he said. "It keeps me interested. And I think especially in this day and age there's lots of distractions. Ceramic sculpture is always something that's kind of helped me focus. It's always grabbed my attention."

For painting, he does primarily acrylic and latex, although he sometimes works in oils. Today's show will focus primarily on his acrylics. As a painter, he describes himself as a modern-day American abstract expressionist.

"I'm more or less trying to interact with space and trying to affect the environment in a positive way," he said. "So I'm trying to juxtapose my idea of beauty into what can sometimes be a sterile environment."

Comminos plans to stay here indefinitely and looks forward to showing the work of other artists at his studio. He brings some impressive credentials. He earned his bachelor's of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After finishing his education there, he went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he did some work for Jun Kaneko, a renowned ceramic artist. Working for Kaneko made an impression on his own journey as an artist.

After working with Kaneko, he earned his master's of fine arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He's also taught there, as well as at several other colleges. He's had solo exhibitions in San Antonio, Austin, Omaha and Chicago.

He's just applied for a teaching position at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.

twhitehead@valleystar.com

Submit Slice of Life suggestions to Metro Editor Charlene Vandini at 430-6244 or charlenev@valleystar.com or Ed Asher 956-430-6290 eda@valleystar.com

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Source: Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX)