3rd Thing 2020 Cover Artist | Ink & Graphite Drawings
Cuban-born Juan Alonso-Rodríguez is a self-taught artist whose transition from music to visual arts coincided with his move to Seattle in 1982. Since then, his work has been exhibited throughout the US, Canada and Latin America and is included in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Microsoft, Swedish & Harborview Hospitals, General Mills and has created public works for Century Link Field, Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, King County Housing Authority, Epiphany School, Sound Transit’s Light Rail system, Chief Sealth High School and Renton Technical College, both commissioned by Washington State Arts Commission. His awards include a 2010 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, The Neddy Fellowship, PONCHO Artist of the Year, two Artist Trust GAPs, three 4Culture Individual Artist Grants, ArtSpace’s 2016 Dejunius Hughes Award for Activism, the 2017 Conductive Garboil Grant, a 2019 Artist Trust Fellowship and a 2019 Washington State Governor’s Arts Award: Individual. Juan is a Seattle Arts Commissioner and serves on the Public Art Advisory Committee for the City of Seattle.
The act of creating, particularly painting, is a necessary form of meditation for me. It is the serenity I long for in life.
My work is an on-going exploration of abstraction based on forms both found in nature and those conceived by human ingenuity. Memories of sights and sounds of my Caribbean origins always play an integral part in my creativity. I am influenced by the organized balance, pattern and symmetry found in nature as well as that of architecture that lives in harmony with the natural world.
In recent years I have had the opportunity to create both studio work and public art projects. This has enabled me to challenge preconceived notions about the acceptance of art by the general public and the capability of the solitary studio artist engaging in collaborative ventures. As a believer that art has the ability and artists the responsibility to inspire social well being, I welcome the balance between the introspection necessary to formulate ideas in the solitude of the studio and the gift of sharing some of the benefits with society.