september 2018


September 1 - 22, 2018

Opening Reception September 1st, 6-10pm

Solo Exhibition by Dino Perez

Dino Perez’s “It’s Time The Tale Were Told” solo exhibition explores his family’s migration from Mexico to the United States, his coming of age in Santa Ana, and the struggle of identity being the child of immigrants and finding himself through art. The series of work encompasses a surreal style—using iconography that is representative of the artist’s life story. Perez’s art will bring inspiration and comfort to those struggling with the pressures of being first generation in Santa Ana, California.

        During the first section of the exhibition, Perez’s work introduces his family’s migration from Mexico to Orange County. Perez’s father traveled through tunnels and snuck into the United States with his older brother, leaving his daughter and pregnant wife behind. That is where life began for Dino Perez. His mother and sister would later cross the border to meet his father in Santa Ana where Perez was eventually born. His heart had traveled from one place to another.


Dino Perez, Here Began All My Dreams

Coming of age in the 1990s, Perez identified with various subcultures, music, TV, urban street art and pop culture. Perez often wonders what his life would be like had his parents not left Mexico. He grew up first generation along with most of his neighbors, friends, and relatives. The struggle with identity and not knowing where he truly belonged was something he faced daily. In an interview Perez stated, “Art allowed me to express my thoughts and feelings as a child and I continued to do so as I grew up. Through Chicano Art I feel comfort and acceptance while trying to navigate through the borders of two cultures—rural migrant and urban living.” While music, street art and cartoons clearly inform his work, what really drives Perez to create is the desire to relate to his cultural upbringing.

The multi-media, performance exhibition will tour attendees through his parents’ meeting in a night club dancing to cumbias and their courtship in Mexico, their migration experience including the separation of his family and border crossing journey, along with his coming of age in Santa Ana through the bright 80’s and turbulent 90s—all expressed with visual art and vinyl records. His work consists of large scale acrylic on wood paintings, personal illustrations, live DJ spinning and childhood memorabilia.

Dino Perez is currently an Artist-in-Residence at CSUF Grand Central Art Center through a partnership with Community Engagement where he brings art to an underserved community in the Lacy neighborhood of Santa Ana. He works directly with the residents of the Triada Court Apartments where he hosts monthly coloring events for families and mentors local youth through art workshops. In 2017, Perez co-founded Crear Studio—a free interdisciplinary arts studio program that aims to support local youth and adults who aspire to obtain education in social justice and social engagement through the arts. He was also recognized as one of OC Weekly’s People of the Year and honored by the City of Santa Ana. Most recently, Dino Perez was awarded with the City of Santa Ana Artist Opportunity Grant for the “It’s Time The Tale Were Told” project and solo exhibition.


Dino Perez, I Dont Want to Stay

The opening reception for the “It’s Time The Tale Were Told” exhibition is scheduled 6-10pm September 1st, 2018 at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA). The solo exhibition will be featured at OCCCA from September 1st through September 22nd, 2018. For more information call Dino Perez at 714-673-8479 or email

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