McALLEN - "Sleight of Hand," an exhibit featuring more than 100 paintings by Paul Valadez is currently on view through Sep. 2 at South Texas College's Pecan Campus Library Art Gallery. An artist talk will be held Thursday, June 23 at 11:30 a.m. at the Library Rainbow Room. A reception will take place that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. STC's Pecan Campus Library Art Gallery is located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. Admission to the events is free and open to the public.

The exhibit features a series of nostalgic paintings based on the old, classic pastime of magic tricks. Like the current fascination with the magical world of "Harry Potter" and "Hogwarts," as a child Valadez was fascinated with magic tricks. Throughout "Sleight of Hand," Valadez has interpreted his youthful intrigue through a reminiscent perspective.

In regards to his work, Valadez says, "My desire is to have my paintings function like a trigger or perhaps a Rorschach test. Whatever comes to your mind when viewing my paintings is as important as anything that I would have in my mind when I painted them."

"The works within this exhibition are fancifully fun, yet carry an essence of mysterious ambiguity that may strike a chord with many viewers as there is a ubiquitous sense of history and tradition portrayed through Valadez's paintings that may illicit memorable sentiments of youth and times past," said Sofia K. Vestweber, STC's Library Art Gallery Program associate. "This exhibit is one you will definitely not want to miss."

Valadez earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute and his Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently a lecturer of art at The University of Texas-Pan American.

Among his many accomplishments, Valadez recently completed a prestigious artist in residence program in Austin, Texas at The Serie Project, Serie XVII. Along with this, 26 of his paintings were recently acquired by The University of Southern California's Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles. Valadez's work can also be found in the permanent art collections at the El Paso Museum of Art, The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, El Museo del Barrio New York, and other museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and Mexico City.

STC's Library Art Gallery Program exhibits regional, national and international artwork, explores new visions and theories of creativity, and introduces innovative artistic expressions to the South Texas region.

For more information contact Vestweber at 956-872-3488 or at libraryart@southtexascollege.edu, or visit http://lag.southtexascollege.edu.