UCPLA Washington Reid Gallery presents, “Happiness”, a two-person exhibition of paintings and drawings. “Happiness” casts the spotlight on dynamic Resident Artists, Mercedes Lily Hernandez, and Manny Rodriguez.

Hernandez opens with the axiom, ‘Home is where the heart is.”  Viewers are invited into the exhibition space to experience the artist’s gentleness and calm through her intentional line work and her focused brushstrokes. Hernandez is an extremely disciplined artist whose every mark is an extension of herself. Highly precise in her art practice, Hernandez’s subjects evoke a sense of ease and unencumbered joy. The selected works in this exhibition are bound by the sublime grace of Hernandez herself.

Manny Rodriguez’s striking style reveals emotional depth through his bold, unique brushstrokes. Rodriguez’s richly colorful paintings present a dichotomy to the viewer. At first glance, the wild and teeming landscape of brushstrokes and lines may appear chaotic, however, a lingering line into the order and purpose of the artist’s many layers. Rodriguez’s paintings unify a spectrum of emotions with prisms of color. Like Cezanne, Rodriguez’s brushstrokes evoke luminescence with intense use of tones, highlights, and resilient intention.

Our Project Space features another duo of artists: Nicolas Canales and Linda Young. As an artist, Canales seems to fade into the details of his work; all of which have a geographical basis. Yet, within the labyrinth of patchwork quilt pencil work and interlocking patterns that comprise his scapes, designs, and illustrations, the methodical artist is revealed. There is a spectrum of wit, wisdom, culture and sweat equity to be found in all of Canales’ work--and it all jives. In an unplanned complement, Linda Young’s intricately woven pieces are equal parts encyclopedic and story-book in their style of illustration and subject matter.  Both Nicholas and Linda share a love of detail and nature, and their mutual interest serves to project messages of peace, akin to Edward Hicks’ “Peaceable Kingdom” series.

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