Native of Alicante (Spain), Rafael Blanco is a contemporary artist fascinated with identity, human expression, and diversity & inclusion as a main focus in his work. Trained as a classical studio painter, Blanco has been, since 2014, transitioning to public art, especially to large scale murals.
He has painted murals across the country from California to Maryland. He has participated in numerous street art festivals and mural competitions, as well as produced commissioned work for cities like Roseville CA, Denver CO, and Frederick MD among others. Blanco continues producing studio work and has shown nationally and internationally in a variety of museums and galleries.
Blanco attended Florida Southern College (2000-02) and graduated with a BA in Studio Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California (2002-04). After receiving his MFA in Painting & Drawing from the University of Nevada, Reno (2010-2013), he worked as the Art Program Coordinator at Feather River College until 2019. Currently, he works as Assistant Professor at Elmhurst University, where he teaches Drawing, Painting, and Art History. Blanco lives in the Chicago area with his family.
This past year has been exceptional for every single person in this planet. One way or another, we all have suffered the implications of a pandemic and have lived through something unprecedented in our lives.
Today, is almost impossible not to think about the pandemic when reading this year’s theme “the resilience of the human spirit”. I want to convey a sense of nostalgia and hope simultaneously through this work.