Current and Past Exhibitions and Events

In the House of Your Tomorrows: New Work by Alvin P. Gregorio

Exhibition Dates: November 6–December 12, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, November 20, 2009, 6-9pm (The artist will be present)

Alvin P. Gregorio collaborates with guest artists Mike Bernhardt, Amber Britton, Donald Fodness, and Anna Harber Freeman to create an environment that lies somewhere between the Villa Villa Kula of Pippi Longstocking (the place Where the Wild Things are) and indigenous bamboo hut villages of Gregorio’s Filipino ancestry. These artists have created visual expressions revolving around family history, the complexities of parenthood, and the cyclical nature of karma.

About the Artist

Alvin Pagdanganan Gregorio was born in 1974 in Los Angeles to immigrants from the Philippine Islands. He received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2000, and soon after conducted cultural research in the Philippines on a Fulbright Fellowship. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Artist's Statement

In the House of Your Tomorrows
By Alvin P. Gregorio

Because I said so!” I cannot even begin to count the times he used this reason for not allowing us to do something. What the f@ck does that phrase mean anyway? As a younger person, it seemed rude, and thoughtless, and just plain mean. Now, as I am a new father...I get it. I actually get it.

No matter how much I am refusing to agree with that way of thinking, I actually understand. It’s not that he didn’t have a legitimate reason; it is just that sometimes parents don’t have the energy to go into why we worry. It is often irrational and a bit paranoid. Although, I’m starting to realize that the wall many of us have built around our emotions as a protective barrier or defense mechanism doesn’t just instantly end with the borders of our own physical bodies. That metaphoric wall somehow, someway encapsulates our offspring. How could it not? We are together for better or for worse.

My father has seen and experienced more than one person should have. I will spare you with the details, but when I say that my father has seen and experienced more than one person should have IT IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. And so did his father, and so did his mother, and so did my own mother and so did my own sister, and so did I. So did I.

I am learning more and more how we inherit our familial trauma; it is passed down through our own actions, and energies, and through stories, and memories. If we do not resolve our painful memories, we gift them to our offspring. The protective wall that was formed to protect us now is the very culprit that suffocates and strangles our offspring. This sounds a lot like how I understand karma.

So what do we do? What can I do to protect my child from the pain and suffering that is his birthright? Can I overcome generations of unresolved sorrow? How do I create a door within my protective wall so that hand in hand, my son and I can turn that knob and push open the door within that wall that will inevitably destroy us both? How can I resolve the inherited trauma, as well as my own? I cannot do this alone; I need his help.

He is less than two years old. How can he help? I am hoping that his smiles, and his cries, and his tears, and his laughter will nourish me when I no longer have the strength to fight this battle. I want to need to build him a House for his Tomorrows. Where he can be freed of the burden that has plagued my beloved family. Where he can live with his own family, away from the yesterdays.

Press Coverage

The Denver Post first listed this exhibition as a Visual Art "Best Bet", then followed it with a longer review by Denver Post Fine Arts Critic, Kyle MacMillan. Listen to an interview with the artist as the featured guest on The Untitled Art Show.

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