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b. 1993


Hector Acuna is an artist and educator from Kenosha, Wisconsin. He studied at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he earned his BFA in 2015 before completing an MFA from Michigan State University in 2020. Currently Hector is an Associate Professor for the University of Minnesota Morris where he teaches an online painting course.


Hector has had small group and solo exhibitions at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Scarabocchio Art Museum, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and Noel Fine Arts Center. His work has also been juried into exhibition spaces including the Wisconsin Museum of Art, Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Trout Museum of Art, Baton Rouge Gallery, South Haven Center for the Arts, and Wheaton College. Hector has received various awards including the Hipstamatic Entrepreneurship Award. In 2018, he was an Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center and in 2020 was a Teaching Artist in Residence at the Saugatuck Center of the Arts. In 2022, Hector was a finalist for the Pfister Hotel Artist in Residence program. Hector has been an active participant in various art organizations, currently he's a member of the Cedarburg Artists Guild. In 2021, Hector began competing in plein air painting events where his work has received recognition and been purchased for public and private collections. Most recently, Hector was invited for the first time to the Door County Plein Air Festival in 2022 where his painting "Cracked A Few Good Eggs" was awarded Best of Show. In the October/November issue of Plein Air Magazine Hector was nominated as one of three "Artists to Watch" with a feature on his work. Currently Hector is represented by Pink Llama Gallery in Cedarburg, WI.

Hector's art practice functions symbiotically between his studio and en plein air. He has found a unique balance between each setting and continues to explore themes of place, identity, and the human body. Organic encounters with the public and public locations inspire how he chooses to document his experiences in the field. At his studio easel, Hector's images drift towards the imaginary. These works are threaded by an uncanny, humorous, and mysterious depiction of being a human. As he continues to develop and explore these ideas, Hector looks forward to the ways in which paint as an object offers a sense of time, place, and character.



2020     Master of Fine Arts, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

2015      Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2D Emphasis, Psychology Minor, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 

Professional Employment

2022-    Lecturer/Assistant Professor, ArtS 3310 (remotely), University of Minnesota Morris

Professional Activities and Community Involvement

2022      Instructor, Mastering the Value Scale Workshop, Cedarburg, Cultural Center, 6 Hour Lesson

2021      Co Chair, Paint Cedarburg Plein Air Festival Committee, Cedarburg Artist Guild

2020     Instructor, Adult Portrait Painting Workshop, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, MI, 3 Hour Lesson

             Lecturer and Visiting Artist, Self-Portrait Puppet Project, Fennville Middle and High School, 

             Holland Middle School, Paw Paw High School, Black River Middle School, 300+ students, organized through               

             Saugatuck Center for the Arts, MI

2019      Lecturer, Artistic Practice and Teaching, STA 893 MFA Professional Seminar, MSU

             Lecturer, HA 254 Latin American Art, Professor Laura Smith, MSU

             Lecturer, TE 430 Teacher Education, Professor Karenanna Creps, MSU

             Graduate Representative, Critical Race Studies Artist-In-Residence Search Committee, MSU

2018      Juror, 2019-2020 Open Call, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI


Awards and Fellowships

2022     Best of Show, Door County Plein Air Festival, Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek WI, Juror Don Demers 

             First Place "Outside of the Box", Bluff Strokes Paint Out, Dubuque, IA Juror Lorin Willey

             Best Render the Vendor Award, Walworth County Fair Plein Air Event, Elkhorn, WI

             First Place, Quick Paint, Paint the Point, Mineral Point, WI

             First Place, Postcard Event, Paint the Point, Mineral Point, WI

             Grand Champion, WI State Fair Quick Paint, Plein Air Festival State Fair, West Allis, WI

             2nd Place, Main Event Jefferson Plein Air Festival, Jurors Lori Beringer, Bethann Moran-Handzlik

             First Place, Quick Paint Jefferson Plein Air Festival, Jefferson, WI, Jurors same as main event

             Best of Show Cedarburg Art Museum Purchase Award, Paint Cedarburg Plein Air Event, Jurors Tom Kubala, Andy Fletcher, James Hempel

2021      Sunshine Award, Paint the Towns En Plein Air, Plymouth, WI, Juror James P. Neilson

             First Place, Paint the Town Barrington Plein Air Festival, Barrington, IL, Juror Nancie King Mertz

             Award of Excellence, Between the Bluffs Plein Air Festival, La Crosse, WI, Juror Ben Bauer

             Third Place, Between the Bluffs Plein Air Quick Paint, La Crosse, WI, Juror Jon Erickson

             Grand Champion, WI State Fair Plein Air Festival, West Allis, WI

             Grand Champion, WI State Fair Quick Paint, Plein Air Festival State Fair, West Allis, WI

             Best of Show, Port Wing Plein Air Festival, Port Wing, WI

             Honorable Mention, Paint Cedarburg, Cedarburg, WI, Jurors Lori Beringer, Antwan Ramar, Paul Bergquist

2020     2nd Place, Best Use of Medium, November Self Portrait Challenge, New Masters Academy

2019      Dissertation Completion Fellowship, College of Arts and Letters, MSU

             Research/Professional Development Fellowship, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, MSU

2018      Summer Support Fellowship, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, MSU 

             2nd Place, Teenage Merit, Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI

             Research/Professional Development Fellowship, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, MSU

2016      Excellence Award, Marshfield Art Fair, New Visions Gallery

2015      2D BFA Arts Bash Scholarship, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

             Hipstamatic Entrepreneurship Award, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point 

             First Place, Portrait of the Poet: Emmitt James, Gamblin Torrit Grey Competition

2014      Best of Show, Self Portrait, UWSP Student Juried Show

             James R. Hill Award, Model With Hoop, UWSP Student Juried Show

             Chancellor’s Citation for Artistic Achievement, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

             Juror's Choice, The Passing of Greed, Visions XVI Juried Art Show

             Honorable Mention,  Restoration 1A, Visions XVI Juried Art Show

             Best of Show, The Passing of Greed, CGSAC Student Juried Show at UWSP

             COFAC Dedication Scholarship, UWSP


Solo and Small Group Exhibitions 

2022     Indiana Green Invitational, Levee Contemporary, Princeton, WI Curators Frank Juarez and Samantha Timm

2021      Shoulder to Shoulder, Solo Exhibition, Richeson Gallery, Kimberly, WI

2020     The Barn, Master of Fine Arts Thesis Group Exhibition, Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

             Alien Nation, Solo Exhibition, Corridor Gallery, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck, MI           

2018      Súper Duper, Solo Exhibition, Kresge Art Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

             Hector Acuna, Solo Exhibition, Re:Vision Gallery, Kenosha, WI

2017      The Desert and the Farm, Solo Exhibition, University of Wisconsin Marshfield/Wood County, Marshfield, WI

2014      A Portrait Of Place-Stevens Point, WI, Scarabocchio Art Museum, Stevens Point, WI


Group Exhibitions 

2022     Annual Juried Exhibition, Cedarburg Artist Guild, Cedarburg Cultural Center, Jurors Debra Brehmer, Richard Hartman

             TMA Contemporary, Juried Exhibition, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton, WI, Jurors Samantha Timm, Mutòpe Johnson, Christina Turner

             Art of Water VI, Online Juried Exhibition, James May Gallery 

             Wisconsin Artist Biennial, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI Jurors Dan Gun, Phyllis McGibbon, John Salminen

             Artlink Regional Juried Exhibition, Artlink Contemporary Art, Fort Wayne, IN, Juror Kim Rae Taylor

             The Uncanny, Online Juried Exhibition, The Chateau Gallery, Louisville, KY

2021      Faces and Places, Online Juried Exhibition, Dodomu Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

             Flat Rate Contemporary 11, Artist-Juried Flat File Exhibition

             Annual Winter Juried Show, Anderson Art Center, Kenosha, WI Juror William Doug Singsen

             Teeny, Tiny, BOLD, Rountree Gallery, Platteville, WI Juror Frank Juarez Artdose Magazine

             Artdose Magazine Exhibition, Honey and Ace, Sheboygan, WI, Juror Frank Juarez Artdose Magazine

             Richeson75 Figure & Portrait, Richeson Gallery, Kimberly, WI, Group Jury

             The Skin I’m In, South Haven Center for the Arts, South Haven, MI, Juror Donna Jackson

             One Square Mile, Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI, Juror Evelyn Patricia Terry

2020     Surreal Salon 12, Baton Rouge Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA, Juror Dan Quintana

             Drawing, Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Juror Olga Valle Tetkowski 

2019      15th Annual Small Works Show, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Juror John Gagné

             Brush Coat Cover, 2019 Wheaton Biennial, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, Juror Cade Tompkins

2017      New Works For A Live Audience, Group Exhibition, Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

2016      Phantom Gallery Party, Group Invitational Exhibition, Create Portage County, Stevens Point, WI

             The Art of Landscape, Invitational Show, Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum, Stevens Point, WI 

2014      Visions XVI, Juried Art Exhibition, Riverfront Arts Center, Juror Susan Morrison


2022     Cedarburg Cultural Center, Artist in Residence, Cedarburg, WI February

2020     Growing Young Artists Program, Saugatuck MI, Teaching Artist in Residence, July

             Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck MI, Low Residency January - February

2018      Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT, August Session


Cedarburg Art Museum, Cedarburg, WI

Public Art

2021      Life in Lansing, Mural, Lansing Art Path, Juried by Lansing Art Gallery

2019      Collaborative Mural, MLK and Pasadena St, Flint Public Art Project, Flint, MI

             Robin, Mural, Lansing Art Path, Juried by Lansing Art Gallery, 

             (Sponsored by Dan and Bonnie Warmels, located under Cedar St and Elm St. Lansing, Michigan

             Life is a Groovy Opportunity, Collaborative Mural, East Lansing, MI 


2022      Reasonably Fine Art Talk with Charlie Hunter, 




Artists to Watch feature, Plein Air Magazine, October/November issue 2022

Cover Artist and "View from the Studio" Feature, Artdose Magazine, Vol 32, Winter 2022 


Artists ‘Paint the Town’ of Barrington in open air art competition, Pioneer Press Staff, October 2021 

Hector Acuna Leaves Mark on City with Mural - Lansing ArtPath Profiles, June 4th 2021, Sophia Saliby, 


SCA Live Community Conversation with Hector Acuna, Podcast Interview, Saugatuck Center 

for the Arts,


Oh, the Humanity, Marla R. Miller, Revue Magazine, January 28, 2020.


Lean In and Stand Back, Lawrence Cosentino, City Pulse, March 7, 2019.,59


Artist Hector Acuna displaying works at Re:Vision Gallery Kenosha, Kenosha News, June 7, 2018.


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