We had the good fortune of connecting with Hugo Ivan Juarez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hugo Ivan, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career simply because I found joy in doing it. Art then became a gateway for the furthering of my education. In 2020 the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth held a Mark Bradford exhibition. In his artist talk with the museum he mentioned the idea of separating what you do as an artist with what you do to pay the bills. He also said that eventually it is possible to bridge those two ideas, but it is a very slow process. While in Dallas and more specifically during the day I work for my father as a Yardero. The time I have outside of manual labor is spent progressing my career as an artist. I am currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am a first-year graduate student in the Printmedia department, and I am having the time of my life. It is difficult for me to say that in such a dark time in history, but I want to be as present as possible.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My collaborator, Benjamin Muñoz, recently told me that “UNT Hugo is different from SAIC Hugo,” and I realize now that I am currently questioning my motives as an artist. Whereas before I left Dallas my intentions might have been mostly monetary based, at some point while living in Chicago, I had a perspective shift. In graduate school I am learning about artists who work in ecology. I am learning about artists who work with food and the land. I am learning about artists who redefine what it means to make art and who are moving away from object making. I recently bumped into (virtually) the artist Jan Tichy who is leading a project called Remote Pyramids in Dallas with students from Molina high school and Lake Highlands high school. One aspect of the project is to spend a day with two of the Molina teenagers and our hosts at Sweet Pass Sculpture Park to help guide the assemblage and painting of two little libraries designed by the students. The little library will then be installed at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center as part of a six weeklong exhibition. I have been finding more joy working with the next generation than I ever did when my only goal was to sell prints. I do still very much love printmaking though so in that aspect I am happy to announce that Muñoz and I are opening a community-based print shop in Northeast Dallas in what can be considered an “art desert.”

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The best way to experience Dallas is through driving of course! When showing people around Dallas I adapt to that specific visitors interests but it usually involves a food tour of some of my favorite places in the city. As we devour food in some of my favorite spots we would drive around the different areas of the city. I would take them to my favorite view of downtown in southwest Dallas on a hill off I-30 adjacent to Hampton Rd. We would drive from my neighborhood in Northwest Dallas through the Park Cities and back in order to show the reality of the wealth gap. I would also do my best to emphasize the diversity in culture that happens in between that gap. For Mexican food we would eat at Taqueria Tierra Caliente, Torteria Insurgentes and La Salsa Verde. For quintessential Dallas we would go to Burger House, Pecan Lodge and Kellers Drive-in. I love my city.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mom and Dad. Always, Mom and Dad. Without them I am nothing. Without them I would not be American nor know anything about being Mexican.

Website: hugoivanjuarez.com
Instagram: @hugoivanjuarez
Other: https://www.saic.edu/profiles/people/hugo-ivan-juarez https://vimeo.com/user128973468

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