ABOUT CARMEN NAVAR
Carmen Navar is an award winning multi-media artist whose mission statement is to ‘create a place of peace and beauty’ in a stressed filled world.Born to a very creative mother she was the oldest of 8 siblings.Her first art school was the sandbox, learning to sew, create inventions in the kitchen and lots of coloring books to keep her creatively busy.
Navar’s stylistic and diverse work, finds meaning through artistic inquiry and observation, embraces stylistic diversity. She draws from her combined knowledge of Mexican-American, Spanish roots and religious traditions. This cultural mixing, used to express her art, creates and weaves a distinctive combination of imagery and enigmatic compositions, creating a personal expression of a woman straddling contemporary culture in a global transnational world. Constantly experimenting and re-inventing herself, she draws from myriad wells of imagination. She uses historical content, symbols and mythology, to abstract imagery from the Primitive and Classical Arts to Expressionism, Abstract Surrealism, Modernism, the decorative arts, design, childhood symbolism and memory. These images help to create her eccentric iconography, which borders on the realm of emotion, abstraction and figuration. This work and investigation of the psyche, creates a psychological space that bridges her Reality with Imagination and her Vision of life. Her focus often uses the face and figure as her iconic and content laden idea of artistic exploration and meaning. Of her work she says,” my work is an understanding of myself through my work, the paradox being that sometimes I do not understand myself, I leave that to the viewer, to create his/her own fantasy. The work only comes through me. Art answers the question for me, where am I in this time-space existence?”
Central to her work and practice, is the idea of engagement with the physicality of doing the work, communication with the viewer, collaboration with process, and identity with mixed media and mark making. She believes this process of building up of the materials, pushes the subtlety, nuances and levels of life that represent experience and give meaning to life. This conversation, which is all happening simultaneously, becomes it’s own subject and narrative, using the power of composition, line, form and color to communicate emotion and feeling.
She has won many awards. She was Valedictorian of her Design Class at The Southwest Institute of Design, won Best of Show at the Westside Guild Art Show, was awarded the Seed Award for the Diocese of El Paso, won first Place at the Annual Lady of Guadalupe Show, was in the show ‘Inquisitive Eyes’ at the El Paso Museum of Art, won “ Most Creative Art Prize” at the Rio Grande Art fundraiser for Cancer. She has been in various solo, juried and non-juried art shows in El Paso, Mexico, Latin America and at the UTEP Glass Gallery. Most recently she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in Drawing at the University of Texas at El Paso.
In 2015, she was accepted to the Las Cruces Biennial held in the Las Cruces Museum of Art, and the Juried Farmington Museum Show, “Gateway to Imagination”.
She has also shown her work in group shows at Fort Sill, the Pentagon, and the El PASO Chamizal Museum, showcasing the Arts as a way to help heal the returning soldiers from the war in Afghanistan.
In January 2016, she held a One Woman Show, ‘Faces, ETC. at the Big Picture Gallery in Las Cruces, and was one of the invited guests to participate in the ‘Women’s Month’ showcase of art at El Paso Community College.
Her work can be found in Europe, Mexico, Latin America, Canada, and the United States.
She is currently getting a second degree at UTEP in painting, to keep honing her skills, developing workshops that use the arts as a way to heal emotion and teaching at her home studio.