Manuel Fernando Rios
I tend to think of Manuel as a painter, but I’ve also seen him take on printmaking, sculpture, and public murals. This diversity of practice, along with his bright and bold palette and love of pattern, has always attracted me to his work. His art deftly straddles his own personal story and struggles, and yet also addresses more universal themes, recognizing his own connection and responsibility to the work started by those he studied under, such as members of the Royal Chicano Air Force, but also with an eye on the future of art in this region and beyond. Through his work as a curator, he is helping to form our next chapter, always highlighting a more diverse pool of talent and expression, and bringing important dialogue to spaces generally dominated by white artists. As an educator, I’ve seen students truly lean in with enthusiasm and attention when he is teaching. He uses an engaging mix of humor with his delivery, making his students feel comfortable, curious and encouraged. Manuel has an invaluable influence on our art community, as his efforts, and the efforts of his students, find a way to our eyes, hearts and minds. — Gioia Fonda
Manuel Fernando Rios is a West Sacramento, CA based artist, curator, Axis Gallery member, Verge Center for the Arts board member and is an Associate Professor of Art at Woodland Community College in Woodland, CA. He received his MFA in Painting from University of California, Davis, and a BA and MA in Studio Art from California State University,Sacramento. Manuel has shown in the Museum of the African Diaspora (M.o.A.D.) in San Francisco, and the Museum of Culture and the Environment in Ellensburg and his work resides in the permanent collections of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San Jose State University and American River College.