Professor Tina Fuentes
School of Art, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Tina Fuentes dreams in color. She touches objects and people, and feels the energy around her. On waking, she tells her husband of the vivid details of her dreams. Fuentes, one of the most well-known Hispanic artists in the country, shared this insight into her creative world during a recent conversation in her office on the Tech campus.
A native of the region, Fuentes was born in San Angelo and raised in Odessa, Texas. She earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees at the University of North Texas in Denton, where she specialized in painting, drawing and printmaking. Fuentes has taught art in Texas public schools, the Waco Art Center, the University of Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico - and of course at Texas Tech, where she has been for 19 years.
"Tech has been very good to me," she said. "I'm getting paid to do what I love to do." Currently serving as Interim Director of the School of Art, Fuentes said she never dreamed she would be in the position where she now finds herself. Her modesty is belied by her resume: Fuentes has been the subject of a PBS documentary("El Arte de Tina Fuentes"), her work has been profiled in almost every major art magazine of the region, and she has had one woman and group exhibitions at numerous museums and galleries. She is represented by the prestigious LewAllen Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.
In talking to Fuentes, one senses an artist who is passionate about color, form, and the very private world that inspires her work. When asked about her "process," she said that she does not start out with a fixed idea, but that she does have certain colors in mind. All of her tools have to be ready weeks in advance and sometimes she may use a particular color that she has not picked up in two years. Once she actually starts the work, she enters another realm. "I can recall moments when I've been in such a euphoric state that I have lost almost total contact with the world around me," she said. "It's like the piece and I are one."