El Dorado, AR
“Silent Interludes”, a collection of paintings and drawings by Maria Botti Villegas, are the artist’s impressions of single moments in time and space where people have left a mark, somehow. Most of these works started at a local coffee shop in El Dorado, Arkansas, and from there, it evolved to include other images from different venues. She said, “There’s something captivating in observing people in ordinary circumstances during seconds of their lives, moving around, concentrated in their thoughts about themselves or others… It is fascinating to be in places where people gather to talk, to listen to songs, sometimes unaware of their surroundings…There is always an ephemeral story to document, to witness, to share.”
Villegas added, “During my college years in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I spent countless hours sitting at cafes, contemplating the interaction between people. I studied their attitudes, body language, and reactions to what was happening around them. These cronicas (chronicles) and other series in this show, like Underground Cafes are impressions of the human expression and human relation with time and space.
A professional muralist and multidisciplinary artist, Villegas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a five year degree from Pueyrredon School of Fine Arts in Argentina. Since 1993, she has been an Arkansas Arts Council Artist in Residence. As a working artist, she has participated in numerous exhibits and competitions in Arkansas, Louisiana, and other states. In 2001, Villegas received the Arkansas Committee of the National Women in the Arts (Washington, DC) scholarship. She has painted more than 30 public murals in our area. She became a US citizen in 2004, and has been a teaching artist at SAAC for 21 years.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website