Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Ruben Sanchez exhibit opens at UC Merced


UC Merced’s La Galeria has opened its latest exhibition, “Cosechando Suenos” (Harvesting Dreams), which compiles a large collection of phenomenal and inspirational art by valley artist Ruben A. Sanchez. The exhibit was celebrated with an opening reception on Feb. 7, featuring the artist himself accompanied by family, friends, and loved ones.

The exhibit will be available for viewing through March 15, Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., located at the UCM El Portal Building, Room 120.

“I have been a third generation campesino since the 1950s,” Sanchez said. “As the years went by, I started to notice the campesino subculture of the San Joaquin Valley — from the morning sun and the shadows that we casted throughout each day, reflections of our hard labor, and from the seeds we planted, to the produce we harvested through the years. This is our life’s journey. The campesinos’ lives became my life’s work in my art.

“I am just one story of hundreds, whether it’s the tomato pickers or the vegetables from Salinas, or up North with the big red apples — each has their own technique, each fruit or vegetable has its own way of picking, harvesting, and its own story.”

La Galeria curator, Grace Garcinia, provided this beautiful statement about the campesinos and Sanchez’s art: “The campesino (farm worker) is an encompassing term for rural agricultural workers who work to cultivate and harvest the land or fields (campos). In Sanchez’s art, the term takes on a broader cultural and social significance — representing not only a profession but a way of life, a community, and a subculture that embodies a connection with the earth. ‘I asked myself, why do I return to painting the campesino?’ Sanchez’s answer to the question he has asked himself many times in his lifelong artistic career lies in the unseen struggles of the hardworking individuals who rarely receive the credit they deserve. His dedication to his subject matter is not just a personal narrative but a recognition of the countless untold stories of fruit pickers, vegetable harvesters, and laborers across diverse agricultural landscapes.”

“Influenced by his own dreams, stories, and imagination, Sanchez captures not only the tangible aspects of agricultural life but also the intangible essence that resides within the creative spirit. Cosechando Sueños is a testament to the resilience, dedication, and creativity of the Campesino shown beyond the confines of realism.”

You might also like