Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: The Art of Raúl Colón Showcase


Wayland Baptist University has a new art exhibit in the Abraham Art Gallery titled “Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: The Art of Raúl Colón”. Colón is showcasing watercolor paintings. Dr. Candace Keller is the University Curator and Director of Art.

“ Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: The Art of Raúl Colón came to us in crates from the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas,” Keller said.  “All the artwork in the show is the work of one illustrator, and 73 of his original works which represent 18 different books are featured in the gallery.”

 Keller explained his process. 

“Colón’s technique begins with a watercolor wash on watercolor paper,” Keller said. “Then he draws on top with colored pencils and finishes with lithographic pencils and etching tools.”

paintings painting of woman

Although this is the first time Colón’s work has been shown here, he is well-known around the art community.

“His work has received Gold and a Silver medal from the New York Society of Illustrators, A Golden Kite Award, and two Pura Belpre’ Awards,” Keller said. “It is also a two-time recipient of The Thomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s award”

paintings on wall paintings

Each piece is based on several books that are shown around the gallery.

“This exhibit showcases artwork from books such as Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburg Pirates, Tomas and the Library Lady, Dona Flor, Angela and the Baby Jesus, and Child of the Civil Rights Movement,” Keller said. “Each book is available in the gallery to read and is exhibited with the art. Some of these books are also available to purchase in the gallery, with proceeds going to the art scholarship fund.”

book with paintings book with paintings

Dr. Candance Keller hand-picks which art is going to the Abraham Art Gallery each year.

“As University Curator, I do research and select exhibitions for the Abraham Gallery and often invite individual artists and organized groups to show their work as well,” Keller said. “I look for originality and relevant content, and for a variety of styles and media as well as historical significance.”

With multiple exhibits a year, Dr. Candance Keller is the one behind them all.

“In the last year, I have been pleased to show the International American Watercolor Society Awards Exhibition and an exhibition of Biblical themed Works by Mark Chagall,” Keller said. “Some exhibitions are invited regional groups such as the Plains Art Association Juried Invitational Show and student groups are also featured such as the annual WBU Senior Art Practicum Exhibition which showcases the works of graduating Wayland Art majors in spring.”

With six to seven exhibitions a year, Dr. Keller mentions how much it takes to bring art to the Abraham Art Gallery.

“Cost is also a factor, and expense for shipping and travel, required insurance coverage, etc. figure in, but quality and excellent content are most important.”

Dr. Keller has curated over 167 shows for the Abraham Art Gallery.

“The Abraham Gallery is a wonderful space for art of all kinds!”

The exhibit will be in the gallery from February 14th to April 8th, 2022.