Spring 2015

Humberto Montano (Art & Art Education)

HUMBERTO MONTANO is an abstract painter who grew up in Wilmington, Calif., in south Los Angeles. He’s inspired by L.A., Arcata’s natural beauty, and the bright patterns, colors and shapes of his Latin American heritage.

GRAFITTI “I started doing street art in middle school. All my friends were doing it and it was just a part of the culture. I’m not going to say it was appreciated, because we were vandalizing. But it was my first experience as an artist. Even to this day, I love the graphic style and vibrant colors.”

DIGGING IN “I’m most passionate about culture and where I come from. My mom is from Guatemala and my dad is from Guadalajara, Mexico. I love to dig in, question, and figure out why I’m doing the things I’m doing.”

SOMETHING DIFFERENT “When I was in high school, I kind of felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. One of my teachers suggested I apply to college. I knew I wanted something different and something opposite from where I grew up. I found it at Humboldt.”

BACKYARD INSPIRATION “The fact that our backyard is the redwood forest makes it easy to be an artist and self-reflect. In the community I grew up in, people are poor and have a lot of problems. It makes it hard to think about anything else. I realize that I have a lot of opportunity here to grow and learn about myself.”

DON’T SETTLE “Last summer, I took part in an intensive urban design program at Harvard University. There were students from around the country and only two of us from California. I can say it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We had deadlines every day and they pushed us to always try and improve our ideas. It really taught me that you shouldn’t settle for less.”

A LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT “I would eventually like to teach students in an area like where I grew up, but I first want to see where my art career takes me. I was that student who got encouragement from my high school art teacher to take A.P. art. One day, I want to be that person for someone else.”