Wilmer Orellana is a visual artist. He uses painting, drawing and sculpture to promote appreciation of cultural diversity and encourage free expression of compositions that enhance social and educational development.
My involvement in folkloric music, theater and research has played a vital role in my everyday life within my country of birth, Ecuador and has been an integral part of my appreciation for the visual arts. My studies in architecture greatly influence the use of geometry, perspective and chromatics within my work, and impact my concept of aesthetic equilibrium. Later, I was employed in a publishing company which led to my involvement in metalwork and silkscreen. I also supervised various multidisciplinary cultural and artistic outreach projects promoted by Cuenca State University which engaged rural communities of peasants and indigenous peoples. While completing my studies in Sociology for which I published a thesis focusing on immigration, I also worked with the local municipality in designing and implementing art workshops for underprivileged youths. With popular culture as an underlying theme, they created murals, ceramic works and music. Currently, I work in various school districts and community organizations as a teaching artist and arts consultant, and hold art workshops for children in the Sleepy Hollow and Westchester area.
Teaching Artist Experience
As part of my ongoing appreciation of and dedication to the visual arts, I continue to accumulate valuable experiences in the teaching field. As a teaching artist, I have had the opportunity to work with various groups of individuals who avidly enjoy combining the creative process with academic standards. From residencies in kindergarten to middle school classrooms, students have created vibrant and dynamic pieces that reflect social and cultural currents while meeting academic standards. These pieces have either become permanent additions to the schools in the form of mounted murals, sculptures and standing panels, or resulted in a well-crafted portfolio for students to keep. At adult centers, participants have been involved in innovative projects that utilize various facets of the visual arts to promote social, emotional and cognitive development. Most recently, through ArtsWestchester, I have completed teaching artist residencies at Westhab Shiloh with seniors, the Westhab School 13 after school program with second and third graders, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy with fourth grade classrooms. I look forward to participating in more teaching experiences and promoting education through the arts.