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Welder Center shows off art from foreign, area artists

By by jessica rodrigo/jrodrigo@vicad.com
April 3, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
Updated April 2, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.

Christoph Haessler, also known as Stohead, painted an original mural at the site of the Cinema Under the Stars event.

Get a glimpse

• WHAT: VTXIFF Art Gallery

• WHEN: Thursday-Sunday

• WHERE: For the duration of the festival art will be shown at the Leo J. Welder Center lobby. The art will continue to be shown at a location yet to be determined.

•  COST: Free to view, but if you're interested in buying any artwork, contact Anthony Pedone at 361-935-8843, or email Boris Castro at bc.greenhunter @googlemail.com.

The Leo J. Welder Center is doing more than just screening films during the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival this weekend. The lobby of the performing arts center will also serve as a temporary exhibit for locally produced art.

Christoph Haessler, a graffiti artist from Berlin who goes by the name Stohead in the art world, came to VTXIFF with one goal - to leave an everlasting impression on Victoria. With a blank wall on the east-facing side of the Aloesoft building next to the Victoria Junior League, he gave it a full facelift from top to bottom.

Perched high atop a ladder, Haessler applied his trademark calligraphy techniques to the wall while working on his tan in the hot Texas sun. He also had a chance to get acquainted to with area artists, including Victoria native Jake Ramirez.

The graffiti artist put his spray paint down for a brief while and was able to partner with Ramirez on a few one-of-a-kind collaborations.

Ramirez started off as a photographer of sorts who branched out to the art of light writing after searching for ways to improve his skills.

"There are a lot of specifics," he said about light writing. Instead of using real brushes to paint, he uses light brushes to create his art and said that film sensitivity, ambient light, shutter speeds and a list of other factors determine what the end product will look like. "You have to balance it. It can be difficult."

Jumping right into it, the 31-year-old photographer handed his light-painting tools to the 39-year-old graffiti artist, and they were able to make art together almost instantly.

"He's a true artist," Ramirez said. "Any artform you give him, he's going to be able to capitalize on it."

When Anthony Pedone caught a glimpse of Ramirez's work, he was nothing less than amazed.

"He's come up with some really crazy pieces," he said. "This kid is freaking amazing."

Pedone was at a loss of words when he tried to describe the art produced by the combination of Haessler and Ramirez.

"Coupling Stohead's writing and the light painting, it's so phenomenal. Just wait till you see it," he said.

Together, Haessler and Ramirez will show both new and old pieces at the Welder Center during the film festival.

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