Bernadette Esperanza Torres

Aug. 14 - Oct. 22, 2015

In fall 2015, the UHCL Art Gallery presented an exhibition of Bernadette Esperanza Torres's ceramic sculptures. Featuring twenty works on view, the exhibition marked the first Texas showcase for the Mexican-American artist and the world premiere of six never-before-exhibited works from her "Sisters" and "Dream Clusters" series. In what she describes as "autobiographical narratives," floral and avian imagery abound in the artist's work. The daughter of a florist, Torres incorporates organic forms into her sculpture. For her, flowers represent the life cycle. Be it a baby shower, a wedding, or an anniversary, bouquets are always present at major life events. However, there is a bitter irony here. Similar to the explorations of the 17th century Dutch painters of vanitas still-lifes, Torres's flowers have all been cut from their stems at the peak of their existence. Despite the celebration of life for which they are used, the flowers' own death is imminent. Birds in her ceramics serve as symbols of humanity, either facets of herself or of others. As "spirit guides" for Torres, they whispering secrets to both encourage and discourage the artist.Process is an important aspect of the artist's work. Torres's technique includes both throwing on the wheel and hand building. She describes this intimacy with creation as integral for processing emotions and stories into clay. Imbuing the works with such meaning is empowering to Torres as an artist, an educator, and a woman.

Bernadette Esperanza Torres earned her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from the University of Miami. Since 2001, she has taught ceramics, sculpture and drawing at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City, where she also directs the Carter Art Center Gallery. Her sculptures are featured in academic publications published by Lark Crafts. Torres has received grants from the Charlotte Street Foundation (through the Kansas City Artists Coalition) and ArtsKC. Her work is in public collections as well as several private collections across the nation.

 

Contact
  • Art Gallery

    Phone: 281-283-3376
    Email: artgallery@uhcl.edu

    Bayou Building, Atrium I, Level 1
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 94
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Gallery hours:
    Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.