The Others

Balcones Artist in Residence at the Other Art Fair Dallas: Dora Reynosa

The Other Art Fair has partnered with the award-winning Balcones Distilling to celebrate the artistry of whisky-making and the connection between craftsmanship and creativity for its spring 2024 fairs.

At the heart of this collaboration is the “Spirit of Balcones: Artist in Residence Program,” a new initiative to empower artists to transcend traditional studios and create artwork that showcases their interpretation of bold free-thinking, reinvention, and embracing the magnetic sense of possibility that comes from expressing your full self.

Read on to discover the inspiration and experience of Dora Reynosa, the Balcones Artist in Residence at The Other Art Fair Dallas.

Tell us a little more about your journey as an artist:

How did you arrive at this point in your career?

My journey has been profoundly influenced by my incredible support system, who have been there for me through the highs and the lows, making my current position possible. I’ve found that I’m most creative when my mind and spirit are in harmony. Making this a priority has had a significant impact on my work and has influenced my journey. My success in my career has come from my relentless dedication to personal growth since the beginning of my artistic journey. I’ve learned that having a strong mindset is crucial to my success in both art and life. I’ve spent a lot of time developing my emotional intelligence, and my early participation in creative competitions, along with my belief in my abilities, has laid a strong foundation for my artistic journey.

What/who inspired you to get into the art world?

My father instilled in me a love for art from a young age, emphasizing the importance of following a process even when working on something as simple as a coloring book. During this time, he also taught me about developing a resilient mindset and always striving to give my best effort. His champion-like attitude has greatly influenced me, and he often reminds me that I have the spirit of a champion, and champions don’t know the word surrender.

What message(s) are you trying to convey with your work?

My work conveys a powerful message of movement, community, flow, and unity. It goes beyond color, technique, and visual expression. It stands for hope, connection, and the chance to communicate with our inner child.

Congratulations on being selected to be the Balcones artist in Residence at The Other Art Fair Dallas! What made you want to take part in the project?

I am extremely grateful for the chance to be The Balcones Artist in Residence at The Other Art Fair Dallas. This project has given me the opportunity to showcase a new artistic medium that I have recently started exploring. I loved the project’s focus on embracing modern independence and Balcones’ passion for experimentation. I felt a sense of freedom and excitement because the project required a different set of skills than what I typically use. 

You were asked to create an artwork that embodied modern independence, celebrating self-expression and individuality – how did you interpret this?

I happily accepted the challenge of creating an art installation that embodied the essence of modern independence, celebrated the beauty of self-expression, and showcased my individuality. The project featured a colorful mural that beautifully depicted the rich and diverse landscape of Texas with the use of free-flowing, organic shapes. In addition, a series of mixed-media pieces adorned the mural, each mindfully crafted using a unique blend of techniques such as colorful embroidery, braiding of different threads, paper mache, and sowing. I believe I have a unique set of skills, and I’m proud of them. I saw this as an opportunity to showcase them all together. The intention was to create an impactful and immersive experience using all the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years, with the aim of further emphasizing the Balcones’ spirit of self-expression through bold thinking, reinvention, and free thinking.

Can you describe the themes or message behind your artwork and explain why you chose to create this specific piece in response to the residency brief?

The themes behind my artwork were the following:

1. Sustainability
2.
Diversity
3.
Individuality

Sustainability has been a significant influence throughout my life. Growing up in Mexican culture, I was surrounded by recycling, repurposing items, and a mindful approach to the earth. It’s important for me to use items in multiple ways or to repurpose them when they no longer serve their original function, turning them into a form of self-expression. My installation aimed to celebrate the diversity of Texas by using various materials to create the main structure of the piece. As a painter and visual artist who primarily works with paint, this opportunity allowed me to explore new paths for self-innovation. It inspires me to continue finding new ways of working, being open to reinvention, and nurturing my independence.

Can you walk us through your creative process and approach to crafting this artwork?

After brainstorming with the Blacones team, the first step was to design a mural that was impactful, and that represented three things:

1. The diverse and rich Texas landscape
2.
The Balcones Brand
3.
Myself as an artist

I utilized inspiration from my previous work to create the landscape composition. The organic curves and shapes in my art were carefully arranged to create a fluid and harmonious visual experience. Drawing from my previous bodies of work, I carefully selected shapes and color schemes to craft the composition. The next step involved planning a series of pieces to embellish the mural, aiming to offer an engaging and interactive experience for fair attendees. These additional pieces were crafted from repurposed rope and childhood toys such as trompos, yo-yos, maracas, and embroidered rings, all skillfully combined. Most of the materials were repurposed, symbolizing a spirit of reinvention and granting them a new purpose as art. This process empowers us to infuse items with meaning, and I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity.

The Other Art Fair visitors loved your artwork! How was your experience attending the fair and meeting visitors on opening night?

Attending the fair was an incredibly rewarding experience. It was enlightening to interact with the visitors and receive their valuable feedback and diverse perspectives. One of the highlights for me was listening to the workers at the fair express their enthusiasm about this particular piece because it resonated with their Mexican heritage.

What would you say to other artists approached to be a Balcones Artist in Residence?

I would highly encourage working with Balcones as the Artist in Residence. The experience was truly inspiring, and I am sincerely grateful for it. I received exceptional support throughout the planning and execution of this project. The other Art Fair team was a delight to work with, and overall, my experience was absolutely incredible

Tell us why art fairs, like TOAF, are such an important part of the artistic ecosystem and why is it so critical to support independent artists.

Participating in art fairs such as The Other Art Fair (TOAF) can be highly beneficial for artists, gallerists, and collectors, as they facilitate meaningful social interactions. Independent artists, in particular, stand to gain valuable exposure and networking opportunities through these events.

Attending such fairs not only provides a platform for learning but also opens doors to forge connections that can significantly impact an artist’s career trajectory.

Looking back at your younger self just starting out, what would you want to make sure to tell that person?

If I could go back and advise my younger self, I would confidently say that everything I believed about myself was true. To trust and surrender to the wisdom of the universe. I would emphasize the importance of discipline and self-love as essential elements for personal growth and success. Do not limit yourself, and do not allow anyone to limit you. You are limitless, and most importantly do not judge yourself for working a little differently.