Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 11, 2016

Apples in a Row - Moises Garcia. Image courtesy of Manchester University Department of Art.

‘Seek No Attention’ Exhibit Attracts Crowds

Stratton Smith

The vivid colors bounce within the walls and around the Link Gallery as Moises “Mo” Garcia’s artwork—on display for the artist’s senior exhibition—fills the 63 year-old building.

A senior Art major from Frankfort, Ind., Garcia  was surrounded by fascination and a curiosity for art and creativity from an early age. "I loved art since I was little,” he said. “It started when I was a kindergartener. It was the only thing that I really liked; I loved going to art class. 

"I realized I was a little better (at art) than most of the other kids at the time,” he continued. “The art teacher would give us projects to do, but I always wanted to bring it up another level."

Garcia took his talents to middle school and then to high school, where he began to thrive even more. "I started taking art seriously after middle school,” he said. Garcia even designed a yearbook cover for Frankfort High School, home of the Hotdogs.

His professional commissions began one summer, when Garcia also designed a mural for a restaurant near his home. "A local Hispanic restaurant approached me to paint a mural on one of their walls,” he said. “I'd come in every day for two weeks for about six hours. I got paid about $600 for that entire piece.” Garcia then added, with a smile: “Another benefit was that I got free food from them.”

Garcia’s senior art exhibition, which ran from Feb. 12 through Mar. 9, invited audiences to attend through unexpected language. "The whole art show is called 'Seek No Attention,' which is a contradiction because that's what everyone wants,” he said. “People seek attention, whether you know it or not."

Though this was Garcia’s first personal show, he has been entering artwork in art shows since he was in middle school. “I put my expectations low (for the success of the show),” Garcia said. He was, however,  was shocked by its success. "I think the show went extremely well,” he said. “I didn't expect that many people to show up—well over 50 people. It was a different vibe than a regular student show."
Garcia even saw his parents and teachers drive over two hours to come see his exhibit. "My parents support my art 100 percent and I'm super happy about that,” he said.

Garcia used several different media in his show. "Technology is advancing, so it's mostly graphic design and Photoshop,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, it's fun using it, but I really like old school style (painting, sketches, etc.). I'm working a lot more with mixed media such as paint, charcoal, pencil, etc. Mixed media is what I use the most."

Culture was also a significant theme within Garcia’s art. "I lean more toward what's going on in our current society, but I also like going back to what happened in our past,” he said. One of his pieces even featured the mythical God, Loki, wrapped within a snake. "I really like mythical history,” Garcia added.

Garcia also finds that he is quieting himself and letting his art speak on its own. "When I create artwork I try not to focus solely on me,” he said. “I create artwork to create a story. You and I don't have to have the same story through one painting."

One story Garcia highlighted in his show was a collection of sketches based on the passing of his grandfather, who remained in Oaxaca, Mexico, after Garcia and his parents moved to the United States. Garcia used his art as a way to grapple with the loss of his grandfather and even drew a story with his grandfather’s right-hand-man, his dog. "He had a dog that was by his side everywhere he went,” Garcia said. “Three days later, after my grandfather passed away, the dog passed away as well and ended up being buried next to my grandfather."

Garcia is already looking ahead to the future after he graduates from Manchester. "I have an interview with a graphic design company (The Wilkinson Brothers Company) in Carmel after graduation,” he said excitedly. “They design children’s books for hospitals, create different kinds of logos and work with motorsport companies."