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Santos achieves personal milestone with new La Jolla gallery

By Jared Whitlock. Santos Orellana can cross off a big item on his bucket list: having a gallery in La Jolla. Santos for years had longed to open a gallery there, and in 2013, he aimed to move into the very same spot. But in the end, the economics didn’t pencil out. “From a business and artistic standpoint, I realize now that I wasn’t ready for it,” Santos said. That was then. In three years, his ambition and standing in the arts community have grown by leaps and bounds. Take […]

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Santos finds solace in Carlsbad warehouse

By Jared Whitlock A 12,000-square foot warehouse might seem like a lot of space for one artist. Santos Orellana, however, thinks big. Paintings, custom furniture, sculptures, murals, apparel and more cover his Carlsbad warehouse. The ambitious space has its roots in humbling beginnings. In 2007, Santos got his start as an artist at the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, sharing a 300-square-foot studio. As his career progressed, he graduated to larger spots over the years.  When Santos moved into the warehouse a few years ago, he finally had […]

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‘At 74 Beats Per Minute’ collection grapples with time paradox

By Jared Whitlock. Slowing down to speed up — that’s Santos Orellana’s paradoxical goal, which he explores in his latest collection “At 74 Beats Per Minute.” Santos explained that as his career becomes more demanding, it’s getting tougher and tougher to appreciate what’s important to him. So he’s now intent on slowing down and going at his own pace, bringing clarity, efficiency and thus greater productivity to challenges awaiting him — as counterintuitive as that may seem. The mindset also lends itself to a zest for life. “It’s the struggle […]

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A time to look back

By Santos Orellana. It has been such a fast ride as of late that I have not even had the time to reflect on what I pulled off back in October of 2014… The Lost And Found Exhibit. The project consisted in turning a 25,000 square foot warehouse into a one night art show event. So naturally I proposed to paint a mural that extended the entire length of the space… 25×175 feet. I also added that I could bring in my entire catalog to decorate the entire space. I […]

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Artist’s debut documentary a personal look at child migrant crisis

By Jared Whitlock. Artist Santos Orellana recently made the jump into filmmaking with “Catracholandia,” a soulful documentary that follows him across his native country of Honduras as he paints murals for orphanages. Through art, he’s able to connect with child orphans, offering a window into their all-too-common plight, and by extension, reasons for the surge of unaccompanied kids entering the United States. “When I was painting on the orphanage walls, kids and social workers there naturally opened up and told me their stories,” he said. “By watching their interviews, you […]

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‘Alfabetismo’ Collection puts focus on education

By Jared Whitlock. After painting a mural at an orphanage in Honduras, Santos Orellana was struck by a realization that inspired his “Alfabetismo” Collection: nothing is more important than education. The Alfabetismo Collection is a set of 27 small-format pieces made with aerosol, acrylic paint and oil-based paint marker on mat board. It includes designs based on the Roman alphabet, the letters of which make up most modern day languages. Santos explained that because most can’t read his glyph-style version of the Roman alphabet, the collection is intended to put […]

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Documenting an artist’s progression

By Jared Whitlock. I was once a frustrated business major at San Diego State University. Ignoring dire warnings about the cutthroat industry that awaited me, I transferred into that same school’s journalism program. It was the best decision I’ve made yet. I love reporting, whether digging through budgets, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, interviewing notable people to learn what makes them tick. Artist Santos Orellana falls into that latter category. As a new member of his team, I’m going to write a few articles every month about […]

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