Bernardo Vallarino wins Meadows’ Moss/Chumley Award

Save Our Souls refugee flag installation



DALLAS (SMU)—May 5, 2020— The Meadows Museum, SMU announces that Bernardo Vallarino has won the 2020 Moss/Chumley North Texas Artist Award. The award is given annually to an outstanding North Texas artist who has exhibited professionally for at least ten years and has established a proven track record as a community advocate for the visual arts. The award brings a $2,500 cash prize.

Vallarino is a mixed-media sculptor and installation artist who explores themes of human suffering, social injustice, and geopolitical conflicts, and correlating responses of apathetic indifference. With the aim of engaging his audience visually, but also morally and philosophically, Vallarino employs formal elements such as repetition, plurality, scale, and anonymity to address topics concerning violence and its resulting victims with the ultimate goals of paying tribute to those who are unfairly affected and of bringing awareness to their plight.

The Moss/Chumley Award was founded not only to recognize talented artists living in North Texas, but also to acknowledge those who have proven track records as community advocates for the arts. Since 2017, Vallarino has been the coordinator of the Fort Worth Art Collective, a cross-disciplinary group of artists who promote the arts and opportunities for artists. For the past two years he’s also served on the board of Art Room, a nonprofit with a mission to educate, inspire, and support underrepresented youth and adult artists in the Fort Worth community through a sustainable, programmatic offering of arts education. Vallarino has also served as a board member and gallery programming chair for Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts, a venue for Latino art and cultural performances, and as a committee member of Nuestro Kimbell, a group of Latino civic and community leaders who, together with Kimbell Art Museum staff, plan and produce dual-language museum resources. He is a 2019 graduate of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s Leadership Institute, an annual arts management program focused on building the capacity of arts professionals through the lens of Latinx arts and cultures.

“It is part of the human experience to avoid pain and humanity prefers to ignore painful truths rather than to confront them. As an artist addressing social issues, I feel a responsibility to create artworks that evoke questions with respect to our own behaviors towards others,” Vallarino said. “I am thrilled and extremely grateful to have been chosen for this honor; recognitions like the Moss/Chumley Award by esteemed institutions such as the Meadows Museum help artists, like myself, validate our trajectories and strengthen the content and message of our work, thank you.”

Carolyn Sortor, past winner of the award and a member of the jury, said, “Vallarino’s work successfully integrates urgent sociopolitical concerns with beautiful and moving aesthetic forms. His works evince sensitivity, complexity, and depth, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to help bring more attention to his work.”

Vallarino’s art has appeared in exhibitions at the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Dishman Art Museum and Gallery at Lamar University, and the Arlington Museum of Art, and is a fixture of the DFW gallery scene, particularly at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Artspace 111, ART7 Gallery, and Ro2 Art. He has also exhibited at several university galleries, including East|West and 010 Gallery at Texas Woman’s University; the Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts at Oklahoma State University; the Carillon Gallery at Tarrant County College; and Gallery West at the University of Texas, Arlington. In 2016 Vallarino was a recipient of the Peripheral Visions Arts Fellowship and Foundations Prize, and in 2017 he was named an Aesthetica Art Prize Longlist Artist. He holds a B.F.A. in sculpture from Texas Christian University and an M.F.A. in the same field from Texas Woman’s University.

Shelley DeMaria, curatorial assistant for the Meadows Museum and chair of the jury stated, “We found Vallarino’s work aesthetically and conceptually impactful and were impressed by the manner in which he addresses relevant and pressing social issues with quietly powerful visuals that draw viewers in, facilitating careful consideration and meaningful conversations.”

The jury for the 2020 Moss/Chumley award included Sortor and DeMaria, as noted above; Leigh Arnold, associate curator, Nasher Sculpture Center; Anne Lenhart, collections manager, Meadows Museum; and David Sedman, interim chair of art department, associate professor of film and media arts, and associate dean, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU.

Moss/Chumley Memorial Fund and Artist Award

The Moss/Chumley Memorial Fund was created in 1989 by Frank Moss and the Meadows Museum as a tribute to Jim Chumley; Moss’s name was added to the fund upon his death in 1991. Moss and Chumley were two Dallas art dealers who made outstanding contributions to the visual arts in North Texas during the 1980s. The pair operated the Nimbus Gallery on Routh Street from 1980 to 1987 and the Moss/Chumley Gallery at the Crescent Court from 1986 to 1989, where they showcased numerous new artists.

Established in 1995, the Moss/Chumley Artist Award is given in their memory. The award—which carries a cash prize of $2,500—is open to artists working in any medium who live in one of the eleven North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise.

Past recipients include Carolyn Sortor, Giovanni Valderas, Sedrick Huckaby, Annette Lawrence, Darryl Lauster, Christopher Blay, Stephen Lapthisophon, Frances Bagley, Isabelle du Toit, Juliette McCullough, David McCullough, Noah Simblist, Catherine Chauvin, Ludwig Schwarz, Janet Tyson, David Dreyer, Marie Van Arsdale, Sherry Owens, Kaleta Doolin, David Hickman, Tracy Hicks, Mary Vernon, Marilyn Waligore, Susan Kae Grant, and Bob Nunn.

About the Meadows Museum

The Meadows Museum is the leading U.S. institution focused on the study and presentation of the art of Spain. In 1962, Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows donated his private collection of Spanish paintings, as well as funds to start a museum, to Southern Methodist University. The museum opened to the public in 1965, marking the first step in fulfilling Meadows’s vision to create “a small Prado for Texas.” Today, the Meadows is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The collection spans from the 10th to the 21st centuries and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters.