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Artist Biographies

Joaquin Alejandro Newmanjoaquin
Forrealism Co-Founder, Painter, Muralist, Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Educator

Joaquin was born 1973 in Oakland, and currently lives and paints in his hometown. The son of an artist mother and a scientist father, Joaquin’s mixed heritage of Yaqui, Mexican, and European ancestry has fueled his creative endeavors his entire life.

After studying fine art and digital design at Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz, Joaquin now works as a painter, muralist, graphic designer, and illustrator. He has taught at the Academy of Art College, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, held workshops at the Oakland Museum of California, and made presentations to many Bay Area classrooms. His murals and paintings can be seen on many walls and galleries around the Bay Area and the nation.

Outside of works related to his mixed Indian heritage and explorations of other indigenous nations, recent paintings examine the delicate balance between nature and technology, faith and reason, and the Spirit that exists in all things. Joaquin was lead instructor in a mural series created by the students of Destiny Arts’ Center, with images from indigenous Mesoamerican literature, in conjunction with scientific illustrations of environmental cycles.

Eduardo Pineda
Visual Artist, Educator, Founder of StoryTellingWalls

joaquinEduardo is a visual artist and educator interested in the role of art in people’s lives. In 2009, he created large-scale photographs for the Juvenile Justice Center, San Leandro, CA, commissioned by the Alameda County Arts Commission, and a mural for a health clinic in Bamako, Mali, West Africa, commissioned by the Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS (GAIA) Vaccine Foundation. Pineda has painted over 56 murals since 1978.

Currently is an Arts Integration Specialist for the Alameda County Office of Education. He was the Director of Education at the Museum of the African Diaspora (2006-2007) and served in several educational appointments at SFMOMA (1990-2006). He was a teaching artist for an arts integration project of the California College of Arts, the Alameda County Office of Education and Harvard University Project Zero (2003-2006). He earned a M.A. in interdisciplinary arts at San Francisco State University (1988) and a BFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute (1983). His artworks are in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission and Alameda County Arts Commission public art collections. Find our more at his website

Sean Levon Nash
Forrealism Co-Founder, Painter, Film-Maker, Animator, Educatorsea

Sean has been living, creating and teaching in San Francisco's Mission District for the last 10 years. Born in Oakland, he spent much of his youth between East Oakland, Indiana, and Iowa. Of Choctaw, Muskogee Creek, Brulé and Comanche descent, his frequent relocation has afforded him a unique view of current America and it’s effects on mixed Indians. Sean’s interest in pre Columbian linguistics and meso-american glyph decipherment began at UC Davis while studying Studio Art.

He continues to apply his mastery of medium to create educational and historically relevant paintings through which he successfully contextualizes ancient indigenous iconography. He is a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, with a Masters of Fine Art in Painting and Film and is currently a professor at The California College for the Arts (CCA) in Oakland.

Sean gives lectures, assemblies and workshops in a number of subjects, including History, Chicano Studies, and Native American Studies, specializing in colonial history and Indian-White relations. He makes paintings in a range of Native styles, including Northwest Coastal, Southwest, Aztec, Mixtec and Mayan, spanning the West coast. Having stumbled into animation and now film making, he was honored to have his first animated short get recognition at Sundance and other film festivals. The website is a portal to more information on his projects.

Here's a video of a brief interview of Sean in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Evelyn Orantes
Visual Artist, Cultral Worker, Educatorevelyn

Evelyn Orantes is currently the Cultural Arts Developer for the Oakland Museum of California. She oversees art school programs for the education department as well as serves as the Project Director of the Days of the Dead annual exhibition and related public programs.

Evelyn has devoted the last eight years of her career as a cultural worker advancing community based arts practice, and addressing issues of diversity in the arts. She has participated as a fellow at the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, where she worked with staff from the National Museum of the American Indian to develop Days of the Dead programming and curriculum.

Evelyn is an altar maker and installation artist. Her work has been shown in venues including the Mission Cultural Center, Triton Museum, The Legion Palace of Fine Arts and the Oakland Museum of California. She has donated her cartoneria pieces to the Chicana Latino Foundation’s art auction and currently serves on board of the Chicana Latina Community.


Jason Barnes
Forrealism Co-Founder, Painter,Visual Artistevelyn

"People often ask what type of art work I paint. It is indeed a very difficult question to answer. I've described it at modern Indian art, po-mo Indian art, post-Columbian Indian art, sci-fi Indian art but I suppose it's all those things and more. I've been painting since 1994; mostly in San Francisco but recently I have been living in the southwest to be close to my family and to engage in some fresh adventures. The move from the city to the reservation was indeed difficult but highly rewarding; being close to my family and the naked outdoors has been very inspiring.

I grew up in two separate cultures; Navajo and Atlantic islander. Each way of life seem to have its own perceptions and truths about the world around us; some of which do not mesh so well. This experience has influenced my work as an artist, documenting my exploration of my heritage and modern world. Cultures are resilient and ever-evolving; it is a common language to express an experience on this earth. For cultures to survive and flourish they must evolve and come to terms with world around us.

My purpose in art is singular: collide truth and perception. This means telling the truth in my art and not just 'my truth' but perhaps more obscure, neglected or buried truths. Thematically a lot of my subject matter is not strictly based on specific cultural symbols or history; I often imagine Native American culture in the future-tense. 'What will Native American culture be in 400 years?", "Are there un-documented spirits?', 'Will aliens someday worship the great magnet?'" -Jason Barnes