Breckenridge Texan

New BFAC exhibit features mixed media art of Filipino artist Ellen Carmona-Kochoa

New BFAC exhibit features mixed media art of Filipino artist Ellen Carmona-Kochoa
January 08
11:18 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

A collection of mixed media paintings by Filipino artist Ellen Carmona-Kochoa is adding a splash of color — and some black and white — to the walls of the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center’s Main Gallery this month.

The exhibit, titled “Introspections: A Collection of Unspoken Poetries,” will be on display through Feb 4.

“On Children” by Ellen Carmona-Kochoa

The works of art feature mostly women, couples or mothers and children. “Her work has big, bold colors with strong lines, but there’s also a softness to it, and that’s not easy to achieve,” said BFAC Director Shalon Wilson.

Many of Carmona-Kochoa’s work is inspired by or based on poetry. For example, her black and white “On Children” is based on the Kahlil Gibran poem by the same name. “Every painting is a poem,” Wilson says about the exhibit.

“As a visual artist with an inclination to sociology and human psychology, I find the paradoxes of human relationships, the dynamics of human nature and the passive-aggressiveness in human dealings very intriguing,” Carmona-Kochoa’s Artist Statement explains. “It is with these thoughts in mind that I attempt to render glimpses of how we interact with each other. I often depict images having two sides, I believe that this is reflective of how ambiguous we are as humans. My works embrace and celebrate the similarities-differences, love-hate, light-dark, gladness-sadness among the relations between friends, lovers, family, neighbors, co-workers, society in general and even within one’s self. These works capture pinches of reality and the silver-lining that can pass as mere fragments immortalized on two-dimensional frames.”

Many of the works feature added elements, such as fabric or jewels, and many of the paintings include intricate patterns that combine to create the overall picture.

“My artworks play with vibrant colors, playful patterns, strokes for textures and mostly rendered in mixed media,” she said in the statement. “My inspirations are the naïveté and rawness of Henri Rousseau’s elements and elegant, eclectic manner of Gustav Klimt’s masterpieces. My recent works epitomize these characteristics while considering the sense of identity and individuality of my own strokes as a unique and independent form in itself.”

“A Promise of Forever” by Ellen Carmona-Kochoa

According to her Artist Statement, Carmona-Kochoa showed artistic talent as a child and her parents enrolled her in art classes, provided her with art materials and had her enter contests. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a master’s degree in public management.

She was an Assistant Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod, Philippines, teaching courses on Humanities and Social Sciences.

Her master’s degree further deepened her interest and curiosity toward societal behaviors and inter/intra-human relations. “My unquenched interest in the combination of arts and the social sciences manifest themselves in most of my works,” Carmona-Kochoa said in the statement. “I am an artist in a constant quest to further unfold the subliminal and raw human emotions.”

In 2016, Carmona-Kochoa moved to Texas with her husband and children for his job. They live in Eastland.

“Marriage and raising my children brought me to a temporary hiatus from actively participating in the art world. This period enabled me to channel my energy in nurturing creativity among my children,” she said. “Just like a new blank canvas, I am ready for a new chapter in my art career. 2020 was my turning point (as probably with everybody else), I issued my Artist Manifesto, declaring that I am officially coming back to the Art Scene.”

Wilson said she met Carmona-Kochoa when she came into the BFAC inquiring about artistic opportunities for her children. During their talk, Carmona-Kochoa mentioned that she is an artist and showed Wilson pictures of some of her work. “I knew right then that we needed an exhibit of her paintings,” Wilson said.

The Breckenridge Fine Arts Center is located at 207 N. Breckenridge Ave. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 254-559-6602 or visit the website or the BFAC’s Facebook page.


Cutline, top photo: “Introspections: A Collection of Unspoken Poetries,” featuring the artwork of Ellen Carmona-Kochoa, will be on display at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center through Feb 4. Pictured at the top of the page is her painting “The Forest Nymph.” (Photos by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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