Gabriel Barrera

About the Installation

Site Location: Vesper Meadow

Signal Fire announces Gabriel Barrera as 2021 Tinderbox Artist in Residence at Vesper Meadow. The artwork created at this residency will be on display at Vesper Meadow and will include a mural on the barn as well as additional collaborative artworks with visitors and or volunteers. Tinderbox Artists in Residence are embedded in grassroots environmental advocacy organizations. Artists receive a stipend, and work closely with the staff and volunteers in the office and the field to develop a body of work specific to the experience. This partnership exists at the intersection of multiple artist communities, regional social justice initiatives, and decolonized environmental stewardship showcasing the capacity of interdisciplinary coalition building across the Rogue Valley.

About the Artist

Originally from Southern California, Gabriel Barrera is a Mexican American/Xicanx visual artist living in Southern Oregon. He works in various mediums including traditional art methods, multimedia and graphics. His artwork is rooted in social justice, advocacy, and youth mentorship. Gabriel received a BFA from Pratt Institute and has worked for over 20 years as a scenic artist in theaters such as South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and numerous colleges. He currently operates ScenicG, a visual art and design company providing services in art/design, workshops, consultation, facilitation and mentorship. Learn more at

Connect with the Artist


Artist Statement

I am Gabriel Barrera. I own ScenicG, a small art and design company with my spouse, Merilee, in Southern Oregon. I am a painter, scenic artist, activist, and mentor. My recent artwork has centered around the intersections of social justice, identity, social location and isolation during the pandemic. When practicing my art, I take into consideration the intersectionality of identity, social impact and relevance of the subject. I paint in oil and acrylic and am influenced by methods and techniques from my 20 years as a scenic artist. The Tinderbox-Art Beyond residency is an important component to building a strong alliance with indigenous artists like Ka’ila Farrell-Smith who will be a mentor throughout the residency and beyond. The residency will help me build trusting relationships with local tribal artists and activists fighting for environmental justice.

The Tinderbox-Art Beyond Residency at Vesper Meadow sponsored by Signal Fire and the SOU Schneider Museum of Art is an important part of my personal and artistic journey. The conceptual framework of my artwork will center around environmental justice, the history of the environment, people and animals of the land. The artwork I produce and share from this residency will include a painted mural on the facade of a barn, individual art pieces made from remnant findings on the land, and an art panel for visitors to practice art making. I also plan on creating a video documenting my artmaking process. I look forward to providing a lecture midway into my residency describing my artwork and advocacy.

Related Events

Saturdays, May 15th through July 17th, from 9am to Noon
Volunteer at Vesper Meadow
RSVP Required

◀︎ Back to Art Beyond