Tucked away in Boise State’s Student Union Building (SUB) lies Veiko Valencia’s installation, “Institutionalization of Identity.”
Brought to the SUB by Boise State’s fine arts program, Valencia’s work explores controversial issues and culture. His work is influenced by Latin American culture and how that in turn blends with American style.
Valencia is a recent graduate of Boise State with a bachelor of fine arts. Starting his schooling at a traditional art school named Art Superior School Carlos Baca Flor, he came to America to get a new perspective. His recent works reflect the mixture of that schooling, and can be found on display on the second floor of the SUB in the Student Union Gallery.
The works can be viewed free of charge and are loaded with Valencia’s own experiences and his adaptations to American culture.
Valencia is an immigrant from Arequipa City in Peru, now residing in the United States, gaining U.S. citizenship in 2011. So, it’s no surprise his work focuses on cultures and how they blend.
“My emphasis on this exhibition is centered on the relationship of identity and institutions,” Valencia wrote in his artist statement, on display with his work in the SUB. “My personal experience with an institution influencing a collective identity was in Peru. The strong presence of Catholicism spread the idea that being white is better because Jesus Christ was white.”
Many students agree that having fine works of art on display for the school isn’t a bad idea.
“I think it’s wonderful that they’re sharing art with us,” Kati Blair, junior history major, said.
Students are exposed to different ideas and ways of thinking when these artists’ works are brought to them. It’s not every day a college student gets to walk around fine art.
“It’s good. I guess, if anything, it’s nice for students to come see art on their off time or for students to show their art and let other people see it. It’s a way for artists to express themselves and be able to get their art out there for others to see,” Treyton LeDoux, a junior English major, said.
These art showings allow Boise State to show off local talent and inspire the students who view them. Valencia’s work, especially, is used to create awareness.
In his artist statement, Valencia wrote, “I am creating categories of different issues trying to understand any indication of what might people like or what might identify them. Creating artwork that is desperate to arbitrarily identify people and categorize them.”
Veiko Valencia’s “Institutionalization of Identity” will be on display in the Student Union Gallery until Nov. 7, 2013. For more information on this exhibit and others like it, visit