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Growing up with art

Hillsboro center is home to Forest Grove resident Plata Garza's paintings


HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTOS: DOUG BURKHARDT - Plata Garza, a Forest Grove resident, said he tries to capture a spirit of happiness in his artwork, which will be on display at the Shirley Huffman Auditorium in the Hillsboro Civic Center until mid-June.Like many people, Plata Garza had a passion for art when he was a young boy. But unlike most others, Garza did not drop that interest as he became an adult.

“As a child, I would spend hours drawing and painting, but like so many of us, I did less art as I grew older,” Garza explained. “I was lucky, however, to have the opportunity to travel throughout Mexico in my career, taking in the colors, traditions and history of each region.”

Garza, whose work is currently being exhibited at the Shirley Huffman Auditorium at the Hillsboro Civic Center, grew up in Mexico City, but moved to Oregon about 15 years ago.

“This beautiful area inspired me to return to my childhood passion,” he said. “Now I work in acrylics, oil, watercolor, pastels, pencil and ink, blending my experiences in Mexico with my new country. My imagination inspires me to create what can at some times be very controlled and at other times be an explosion of colors and shapes.”

Garza pointed out that he visualizes the joy he feels to be alive through his use of colors on a canvas.

“In my work, you often see the influence of untamed lines, which come together to compose a simple, well-formed scribble,” he said. “The size and dramatic colors call your attention and may make you question what you are seeing.”

Melissa Moore, community arts program supervisor for the city of Hillsboro, said Garza’s work represents a different approach than most of the artwork that has been featured recently in the rotating displays at the Civic Center auditorium.Last year, Garza was featured at the annual Latino Festival in Hillsboro, where he provided a demonstration of his approach to painting.

“I think Plata’s paintings really enliven the space,” Moore said. “Plata’s work gave a nice switch-up in style.”

Hillsboro City Manager Michael Brown said the artwork wall is proving to be popular with the public.

“We’re really pleased with the reception we’re getting for sharing local artists and what they do,” Brown said.

“It’s also nice because it spotlights some people locally who wouldn’t normally have that spotlight,” added council member Kyle Allen.

Garza’s colorful paintings will be on display at the Civic Center until June 16.

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