Rafael Francisco Salas: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

a solo exhibition in two parts.

This new exhibition spans the galleries of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and Portrait Society Gallery, with a special  third venue on opening night!

March 20 – May 16 at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.
March 20 – May 23 at Portrait Society Gallery.

Spring Gallery Night Artist Talk
Friday, April 17, 6pm.
RSVP on our Facebook Event Page.

Artist Rafael Francisco Salas explores allegorical portraiture and personal history in a new solo exhibition spanning two galleries – Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and Portrait Society Gallery. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights exemplifies a journey – traversing between two galleries to experience the multiplicity, tension and whimsy surrounding his own cultural identity and upbringing that bridges a Wisconsin sheep farm and Tejano superstar Freddy Fender.

The centerpiece of the exhibition at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts includes two figurative sculptures – a restful lamb on a pedestal and a debonair Freddy Fender figure made of straw and agricultural material. They face one another, seemingly a dichotomy but creating a narrative in their interaction.

“These works can be seen as a mother and father figure but are also influenced by religious iconography, or objects of devotion. They are also a self-portrait in parts. Freddy Fender quietly serenades the figure of the lamb, connecting the two,” explained Salas. Works surrounding the figures will also signify the exploration of the theme.

The portion at Portrait Society Gallery will present a narrative along the theme as well. An installation will create the atmosphere, symbolisms and items of nostalgia from the Mexican-American restaurant his family owned in rural Wautoma, WI, which continues the dichotomy between the rural Wisconsin and Mexican-American identities.

Wasted Nights card front-2Wasted Days cardThe two galleries will hold opening receptions simultaneously on March 20 between 5–9 pm. A post-reception event will be held at Cielito Lindo (739 S 2nd St) starting at 9:00 pm. Attendees will be given a card validating their attendance at each gallery. Both cards can be brought to the event for a chance to win prizes, which includes a framed artwork by Salas and cuts of lamb from Salas Farm, his family’s grass-fed sheep farm in Burnett, WI. The event, a communal gathering with a “meat raffle” at a Mexican restaurant, brings yet another layer for the attendees to experience the dichotomy and signifiers that prevalently runs throughout the exhibition.

Rafael Francisco Salas is a Wisconsin based painter. Using landscape along with narrative and symbolic elements, Salas creates artwork that investigates the Midwestern landscape, portraiture, architecture, abstraction, the legacy of Byzantine iconography and country music. His work has been exhibited in New York City, San Diego, Boston, as well as many venues in the Midwest including The Neville Public Museum, The Museum of Wisconsin Art, The John Kohler Arts Center, Dean Jensen Gallery, Circa Gallery, Frank Juarez Gallery and Portrait Society Gallery. Salas is also a contributing writer at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Ripon College in Ripon, WI.

Portrait Society Gallery (207 E. Buffalo Street, Marshall Building 5th floor) is a contemporary art gallery dedicated to the issues surrounding the genre of portraiture. Visit Portrait Society’s website: portraitsocietygallery.com.