In one last hurrah, the McAllen Creative Incubator will host it’s final event today before moving to it’s new home on McAllen Main St. Mission artist Ilea O’Donnell is showcasing her work for her premiere solo art exhibit at the current 1001 South 16th St, McAllen location.
The one-night-only exhibit will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public, featuring mixed media such as watercolor, collage, oil and the combination of spray paint stencil and watercolor. O’Donnell explained that the work is mostly experimental, but is her way of rooting herself back into the Valley community after spending two years in Ohio to finish her undergraduate degree.
“I came back here and I was like, ‘Ok, I don’t know what’s going on in the art scene. I don’t know what people are looking for,’” the 25 year old said. “This is really to try and establish myself as a local artist and get a feel for how people react to my work. More than anything I want to try and bring something different to the table.”
O’Donnell has been working with art since she was a child, but never had any formal training until she entered college. She began her schooling at UTPA fall 2006. Originally a theater major in technical production, she soon switched to graphic design because it was more art related, but realized it also wasn’t for her.
“I didn’t realize how much I hated computers and technology in general until I became a graphic design major, but while there, that was the first art course I had ever taken,” she explained. “Before that I was so adamant that nobody was going to teach me how to do art. I was very stubborn and prideful about it.”
After three years at UTPA, she transferred to the University of Findlay to get a degree in children’s book illustration and returned to the Valley in May of this year. The exhibition has been in the making for four months and O’Donnell is happy her artwork will be shown at the final event at the Creative Incubator before the move.
“At the very least I hope to just get my name out there,” the artist said. “(I want) to further immerse myself in the art community. It can be kind of a slow process especially since the (Valley) art community is still kind of gaining momentum and is still very young. I hope to get found on people’s radar.”
All work will be available for purchase and attendees are asked to not wear torn jeans, t-shirts or sneakers.