For his “Glorifico: Omnia Vanitas” exhibit at the Fontana Art Depot Gallery, Joshua Valencia wanted to create something beautiful. He started by going to the source, the famed deity Venus, but he finished by challenging people’s conceptions of what true beauty really entails. “What you see before you in the gallery is a confrontation to the concept of traditional beauty equating good art,” says Valencia. “I have painted people who are facially disfigured and thusly deemed not to be beautiful by society’s standards . . . as part of my intention to glorify these people in a holy light.” “Glorifico: Omnia Vanitas” works include the Whore of Babylon with bursting blue rays painted over pages from the Bible, the mixed media Stained Face Santito and the more traditional Rendered Red oil on canvas. The 22-year-old L.A. native got his bachelor’s of arts degree at CSU San Bernardino. As the space’s current quarterly artist, Valencia will host Family Art Day at the Art Depot Gallery on Aug. 7. This free evening event encourages interaction with the artist, who will be doing live demonstrations and helping with participants’ hands-on art activities. The event will also feature food, live music and a positive message about thinking more than skin deep. “Beauty is not just the physical appearance we possess,” the artist concludes, “but also the endless struggle to live as a comfortable being in our own ‘flawful’ skin.”
Family Art Day Friday with Joshua Valencia at the Art Depot Gallery, 16822 Spring St., Fontana, (909) 356-7185, www.fontanarecreation.org. Friday, Aug. 7, 6-9PM. Free.