Carlos Loarca's colorful and powerful images wowed Avenue 9 Gallery
s guild members as they chose the winner of the groups first-ever Be Our Guest competition. Loarcas creative journey includes a great variety of life experiences and an impressive list of exhibition credits and commissions.
His murals can be seen in Bay Area elementary schools as well as at San Francisco's Mission Cultural Center, General Hospital, and at the San Francisco airport. He has also made murals with homeless children in the garbage dumps of Guatemala City, Honduras, the former USSR, and closer to home, New Mexico. Loarca thrives on showing his work in different places and says he is pleased to show in Chico, a city similar in size and setting to his hometown of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
The exhibit features a compendium of Loarcas works from 1993 to the present with a variety of paintings ranging in size from small to huge. The show ends July 19, 2014.
Loarca came to the United States when he was eighteen years old. During his painting career of over five decades as both a muralist and easel painter, he has often drawn upon Mayan and Guatemalan folklore, especially the myth of el cadejo, a dog-like animal spirit. As a child, family members told Loarca the cadejo myth about a large dog-like spirit that appears at night to protect travelers from harm during their journey. Loarca believed that el cadejo guarded his father who always came home safely from the cantina. As an adult, Loarca sensed that the cadejo spirit was also protecting him. He credits this mythical creature with helping him to break his own alcohol habit the "dog" has been a companion and guide that has grown old with him.