This is my home page, where you can read my art blog and see my portfolios. From here you can also go to my poetry journal, Local Nomad, or to my FilAm print culture website, the CommonwealthCafe. If you need an editor, visit Old Town Editing.
BIO: Jean Vengua (pronounced Véngua)
Most bios give you info about the artist’s mediums, area of interest and focus, and resume. I’ll start off with a note about my parents, Nick and Trinidad Vengua: Because they immigrated here from the Philippines before I was born, I grew up on the beaches and sunny avenues of California, a U.S. citizen. If my father hadn’t given me a boxed set of grown-up oil paints, turpentine, brushes, and an easel when I was eight, and if my mother hadn’t started me on piano lessons and dance classes when I was 5 years old, I probably wouldn’t be an artist and writer now. They encouraged me to be creative early on. My ongoing collage series (which I started recently), “Family Papers,” is a tribute and exploration of their lives.
I’m a visual artist and writer/poet, author of Prau (Meritage Press), and a chapbook, The Aching Vicinities (Otoliths Press). My second poetry collection, Corporeal, will be published by Black Radish Books in 2018. With Mark Young, I co-edited the First Hay(na)ku Anthology, and The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II. In the mid 1990s, Elizabeth H. Pisares and and I formed Tulitos Press and published and edited the Debut: the Making of a Filipino American Film by Gene Cajayon and John Manal Castro, and The Flipside, by Rod Pulido. My poetry and essays have been published in many journals and anthologies.
I’m returning to visual arts (specifically painting) after a hiatus of several decades, during which I focused on writing and teaching (English/writing). As with my writing, my art tends to be experimental and process-oriented. I love to explore bold colors, shapes, and line through haptics and painting, often incorporating collage as a way to bring my personal history and family life into the process. I’m looking for venues to show my art in Central California; got one? Contact me.