WT Student Veterans Artwork Featured in New Exhibition

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, cchandler@wtamu.edu

CANYON, Texas — Graffiti works inspired by veteran-contemporary military art will be on display beginning April 6 at West Texas A&M University.

Joey “Wise” Martinez’s “ONERO” will hang April 6 at 23 in the Dord Fitz Formal Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall. An opening reception will be held at 5 to 7 pm on April 6.

Martinez, a native of Lubbock, began working as a young graffiti artist as a means to promote beauty through vandalism by painting the flock.

“I want people to understand that graffiti is not vandalism,” Martinez said. “Art created all over the world.”

Images: “Lost” by Joey Martinez

Martinez served in the Marine Corps after high school allowing him the opportunity to perform art in Brazil, Nicaragua, the Netherlands and Japan. After his mission, Pantex worked for six years and joined the Army Reserve, where he was wounded in training before being deployed to Afghanistan.

“I had to leave the army, which was tough because I was going to defend my country,” Martinez said. “I felt like I didn’t do my job as an American.”

That sense of personal disappointment and the ongoing effects of PTSD inform his art.

“School is my priority right now. Homework is art for me,” said Martinez, who is pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts at WT. “It keeps me productive and focused on creating new designs and styles.”

This exhibition also shows that Martinez lost her mother in February.

“My work has become more intense,” he said. “My emotions are on the wall.”

It is rare for a professional artist to return to the Graduate School, said Jon Revett, director of the art program, and Doris Alexander, Professor of Fine Arts, in Sybil B. Harrington College of Arts and Humanities .

“Joey has had a career as a mural and graffiti artist for many years. It speaks to his success as an artist and wanting to go back and create a new body of work that’s different than what he’s known for,” Revett said. “The latest work still uses spray paint but goes beyond the traditional graffiti aesthetic. The paintings speak to contemporary social issues while referencing Neolithic cave painting. Using a contemporary approach to some of the oldest forms of painting, Joey’s art has been able to transcend his ancient street designs into something debatable and demonstrates his true skill as an artist.”

Martinez’s work can also be seen on his Instagram story; @wise1978 .

Fitz Gallery hours are 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and by appointment on Friday and Saturday. E-mail jrevett@wtamu.edu .

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key part of the University’s long-term strategy; WT 125: A Panhandle to the World .

This plan is being increased by $125 million one of the West including a fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which officially launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Founded in 1910, the University has been part of the Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, serving as a Hispanic Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of approximately 10,000 and offers more than 40 undergraduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. . The university is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and home to one of the best art collections in the Southwest. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II All-Star Conference and offer 14 men’s and women’s athletic programs.


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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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