Each year, Artown asks local artists to submit their work for consideration and this year a record 19 artists participated in the process. Albitre’s painting serves as the foundation for Artown’s 2012 marketing components that include the annual poster, website and collateral including the Artown calendar, T-shirts and more.
The 26-year-old Albitre is a Reno native and works as a iron worker. Although he has no formal artistic training, Albitre attributes his self-taught art to influences ranging from politics and religion to nature and beyond with a painting technique typical of oil portraiture, using several layers and glazes. He credits his father’s painting with being his earliest artistic influence, though he says that today he finds his inspiration in current events.
For example, in 2006, when the Republican Party lost the House of Representatives, Albitre did a series of paintings of elephants in dunce caps performing in a circus. Right now, he is working on paintings that are a critique of the Catholic church. He also works in ceramic and clay sculpture and last year he did a series of trophy-style busts that are a commentary on hunting. Albitre created the busts to resemble humans, using various recognizable figures as his models, including a semblance of Abraham Lincoln.
His paintings and sculptures have been featured in a number of regional galleries including: Nevada Museum of Art and Holland Show Space in Reno; Northstar California in Truckee, Calif.; Patrick Painter Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif.; Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles; and Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
For Artown, Albitre wanted to create a piece that symbolized the artistic beauty many people keep boxed up inside. He also wanted to do the Artown piece for some good, old-fashioned exposure.
“Not too many shows or events or galleries give as much exposure as Artown does,” he said.
In addition to the Artown commission, Albitre has received honorary awards and recognition including two Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and two awards for editorial cartooning in 2002 and 2003 from the Society of Professional Journalists.
For more information on Artown, visit www.renoisartown.com or call 322-1538.