About Me

My Background

Esteban Ismael Duran, a self-taught artist, was born in 1955 and raised in Albuquerque's historic Old Town. Since his mother's family was one the first 12 families to settle there in 1706, his roots in that traditional community have always been important to him and helped shape his work. At a young age, he had a unique opportunity to mingle with Old Town's merchants/gallery owners and observe both the fine and folk art on display there. He also learned from his interactions with artists and artisans whose works were displayed at the nearby Old Town Plaza's many festivals. He decided to earn his living as an artist when he was nine-years old, seeing this as a viable option for him based on his artistic talent and the success of those role-models. Mr. Duran graduated from Albuquerque's Valley High School in 1973. One of his cousins then introduced him to Chinese Martial Arts. He began training in Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Modern Boxing, and Filipino Stick Fighting including Kali, Escrima and Arnis; and made Wing Chun Gung Fu his focus. Esteban learned from a number of instructors including three of Bruce Lee's disciples: Danny Inosanto, Richard Bustillo and Steven Johnson. To this day, he still actively trains as part of his daily routine and to help build his discipline as an artist. From 1980 until 1986, Mr. Duran lived in Hawaii and studied and taught Martial Arts. He resumed his art work on his return to New Mexico. He began formal studies with Frank McCulloch, one of New Mexico's most prolific and successful artists. In 1993, he began incorporating traditional New Mexican Tinwork into his paintings. He studied this discipline with the late Ted Arellanes, a celebrated Tinsmith who learned the craft from his family in southern Colorado. While these studies taught him the traditional techniques of New Mexico Tinsmithing, he also discovered a way to combine Tinwork as an element in creating both functional and artistic contemporary works. One of his earliest honors was earning the Clinton King Memorial Purchase Award through the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. The Museum of New Mexico Foundation purchased his piece, Reflections of a Tin Warrior, which was one of a series of 15 mixed-media works on Masonite with traditional New Mexico Tinwork. Following this, Mr. Duran was invited to participate in a Plate Project of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. He and the other 11 selected artists were required to design and glaze 12 art plates as part of a Gala fundraising event held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, Romantic Modernism: 100 Years, which included works by Wassily Kandinsky, Claude Monet, Frank Stella, Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock. Esteban continued his work in Albuquerque during the mid-1990s and expanded the scope of his work to include Public Art for both the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. In Albuquerque, he and a cousin, PAZ or Patricio Antonio Zamora, had the lead role in the 1995 creation of a series of tile murals along Fourth Street in Barelas. In this role, he also mentored local youth to help design the murals, based on Barelas history. While he had been primarily self-taught as an artist, Mr. Duran then decided to enroll in a two-year program in Graphic Design and Advertising Art at the Art Center College of Design in Albuquerque. After graduating in 1998, he moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Portland, Oregon. Upon that move, he was hired by Michael Curry Design & Sculptural Engineering as an Artist/Craftsman/Sculptor and Composite Technician. There he assisted in building masks/puppets for Disney's Lion King theatrical stage productions, which became part of the performances on Broadway in New York City, and in Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, Berlin and London. It was in the mid-1990s, that Esteban began to work with some recycled materials as he ventured into combining traditional Tinwork with more contemporary media. However, it wasn't until he moved to Chico, California in 2002 that he began to explore the full potential of utilizing repurposed, recycled materials. His return to New Mexico is allowing him to continue his focus on his artistic endeavors. His new works build on his unique ability to blend contemporary and traditional media/design and depend on the use of reused, repurposed and recycled materials, always venturing into unknown strategies and processes. His works always further his overall goal of

"Creating Art for Art's Sake's"

My Medium

I want to give new life to the material that was once part of our living landscape. To recycle, is to rebirth. I’m constantly on the lookout for found objects that are out there in our urban jungle.

My Inspiration

Currently, my wood constructions/sculpture are inspired by NY artist Louise Nevelson , though George Braque is often felt within certain pieces. I’m always searching for the next art chapter, to share and inspire.

Exihibitions

2017

Page Coleman Gallery

Back To Earth

Two-person Abstract Show - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Juried Show

Contemporary Hispanic Market - Santa Fe, New Mexico

2016
Old Disciples , New Worshipers South Broadway Cultural Center - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Solo Exhibition - The Brew - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Honorable Mention Award - Hispanic Art Show - New Mexico State Fair - Albuquerque, New Mexico

2015

Dia de Los Muertos - Group Show, Chico Arts Center - Chico, California

Coming Out for Arts - Group Exhibition - Sponsored by Stonewall Alliance - Chico, California

2014

Art of Salvage 

A Recycled Art Project - Boys & Girls Club - Museum of Northern California Arts - Chico, California

Musical Chairs

Group Show - North State Symphony @ The Habitat Lab - Chico, California

2013

“The Artful House”

Museum of Northern California Arts & America Association of University Women - Chico California

Solo Artist - Sin of Cortez Restaurant - Revolving Show - Chico, California

Solo Exhibition - The Upper Crust - Chico, California

Art Fiesta - The Matador Group Show- Chico, California

2012

The Erotic Show - Group Show - Ray Ray Gallery - Chico, California

2011

Upper Crust - Solo Exhibition - Chico, California

2007

Group Exhibition - 26th Birthday Show - 1078 Gallery - Chico, California

Group Member Show - 1078 Gallery - Chico, California

Drive-By Gallery - Group Puzzle Show - Chico, California

2006

Group Exhibition– Cigar Box Show - 1078 Gallery - Chico, California

Group Member Color Show - 1078 Gallery - Chico, California

2005

Group Exhibition - Spice Creek Restaurant - Chico, California

2003

Group Puzzle Show - Drive By Gallery - Chico, California

1998 – 2002

Studio Artist/Craftsman - Michael Curry Design & Sculptural Engineering - Scappoose, Oregon

Created Masks & Puppets for Disney’s Lion King Productions

Presented on Broadway in New York City and in Tokyo, Osaka, Berlin, Sydney and London

1999

The Mask Show – Group Show of the Artists of Michael Curry Design

Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

Works of Faith Group Show – First Presbyterian Church – Portland, Oregon

1998

The Artists of Michael Curry Design – Group Show of the Artists of Michael Curry Design

Columbia Arts Center, St. Helens, Oregon

Hispanic Visions – Group Show - First Congregational Church – Portland, Oregon

1997

Juried Show - Board of Trustees - Hispanic Culture Foundation - !Celebration! 

National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 

1996

Dia de la Raza Miniature Show

Tin Frame with U.S. Currency - The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History - Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Juried Exhibition - Magnifico! The Art of Albuquerque - Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Bus Panel - Traveling Art Show

Sponsored by Magnifico! - Albuquerque Convention & Visitors’ Bureau - Albuquerque, New Mexico

“Find - Refined”

Juried Exhibition - Mixed Media/Paper - Albuquerque United Artists - Peter Eller Gallery - Albuquerque

Juried Exhibition - Fiesta Artistica - City of Albuquerque

“Tiwi Mexica” - Group Exhibition - South Broadway Cultural Center - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Invited Juried Exhibition - Contemporary Hispanic Market - Santa Fe, New Mexico

1994

Third Place & Honorable Mention – Hispanic Art Exhibition – New Mexico State Fair

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Juried Exhibition - Fiesta Artistica - City of Albuquerque

Juried Exhibition - Magnifico! - City of Albuquerque

Selections – “Reflections of a Tin Warrior” - Coriell Gallery - Hyatt Regency Hotel - Albuquerque

Solo Tin Works Show - Patrician Design - Albuquerque Magnifico!/ArtsCrawl Exhibition

1993

Clinton King Memorial Purchase Prize – Reflections of a Tin Warrior #11

New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts – Santa Fe, New Mexico 

Invited Group Show – “Romantic Modernism: 100 Years” New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts – Santa Fe 

Bus Panel – Traveling Art Show - The Art of Albuquerque - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Juried Exhibition - Magnifico! - City of Albuquerque

Juried Exhibition - Contemporary Hispanic Market - Santa Fe, New Mexico

Juried Group Show – “A Creative Response to AIDS” - Kimo Theater Fine Arts Sale – Albuquerque 

1992

Solo Functional Tin Works Show - Patrician Design - Albuquerque Magnifico!/ArtsCrawl Exhibition

Juried Exhibition - Magnifico! - City of Albuquerque

Wood & Tin Crosses - Montez Traditional Fine Art Gallery - Santa Fe, New Mexico

Group Show - Caliente, Its Hot Gallery - Albuquerque, New Mexico

1991

Juried Exhibit - New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair - Summer Festival of the Arts - Albuquerque, New M

PUBLIC ART & CORPORATE AWARDS & COMMISSIONS

1997

Commission – Ceramic Tile Mural of Eagle Mascot with Tin & Wood 

Belen High School - Belen, New Mexico

Commission - Design Development - Two Nichos with Ceramic Tiles to Display Sculptures

Edith & Lomas Boulevards - Albuquerque, New Mexico

1996

Public Art Commission - Ceramic Tile Murals for South Fourth Street Bus Stop Installations  

City of Albuquerque - 1% for the Arts Program - Incorporating 10 Barelas Youth, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1995

Public Art Commission - Tin Work Mural - Pajarito Senior Center -  

Bernalillo County Commission - Albuquerque South Valley, New Mexico

Commission - Tin Frames & Ceramic Tiles

New Early Childhood Development Center - Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico

1994

Commission - “West of Santa Fe” Decorative Tin Panels & Light Sconces

Caesar’s Palace - Las Vegas, Nevada

Commissions - Dinosaur Motif Mirrors

American Museum of Natural History Gift Shop - New York, New York

Commission - Artists’ Plates: A Celebration in Conjunction with “Romantic Modernism: 100 Years”

Museum of New Mexico Foundation –

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Commission - Original Ceramic Tiles

Nike Most Valuable Player & Coaches Award Trophies

Selected - International Christmas Promotion Campaign

Nike Design-a-Shoe Contest

Commission – Artists’ Plates: A Celebration in Conjunction with “Romantic Modernism: 100 Years”

Museum of New Mexico Foundation – Santa Fe, New Mexico

ART INSTRUCTION & DEMONSTRATIONS

1997

Ceramic Tile Workshop for Elementary Students

Cochiti Elementary School - Albuquerque Public Schools

1996

Mentorship of 10 Neighborhood Youth in Research, Design & Production for Barelas Mural Project

South Fourth Street Bus Stop Installations  

City of Albuquerque - 1% for the Arts Program - Albuquerque, New Mexico

1994

Celebration of Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe Ceramic Tile Art Workshop 

South Broadway Cultural Center - Albuquerque, New Mexico

1993

Demonstration – Traditional Tin Work

Seventh Annual Arts Alive! Celebration - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Six Semesters – Instruction in Traditional Tin Work

University of New Mexico Division of Continuing Education – Albuquerque, New Mexico

1992

Tin Workshop for Elementary Students

Longfellow Elementary School - Albuquerque Public Schools

WORKS ACQUIRED FOR PUBLIC/PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Reflections of a Tin Warrior #11

Clinton King Memorial Purchase Prize 

Museum of New Mexico/New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts - Santa Fe, New Mexico

Reflections of a Tin Warrior #12

Bloomfield Multicultural Center - Bloomfield, New Mexico

Reflections of a Tin Warrior #15

San Juan Community College - Farmington, New Mexico

Reflections of a Tin Warrior #14

Private Collection of M.n.U. Huwiler of Moliberg, Switzerland 

Kristen, The Girl with Ying/Yang Eyes

Private Collection of Carol Guzmán – Española/Albuquerque, New Mexico

ARTS EDUCATION

1996 - 1998

Art Center – College of Design

Associate Degree Program in Communications/Advertising Art

Curriculum included: Illustration, Design, Computer Graphics, Psychology of Advertising, Copywriting

1993

Studied Intermediate Traditional New Mexico Tinsmithing

Ted Arellanes, Master Tin Smith

1986 

Studied Figure Drawing 

Under this Mentorship, Esteban studied with Frank McCullough, of Albuquerque, New Mexico