Artist Bio

A native of San Antonio, Dan came to San Francisco 1976. He has been a nurseryman, garden designer, arborist and graphic designer. In 1992 he began printmaking—creating etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, and silkscreens.

In the late 90's Dan began curating exhibitions for artists and non-profit organizations. Most notably for the tenth (1999) and fifteenth (2004) anniversaries of Clínica Esperanza, the HIV clinic of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center and the QueLACo (Queer Latina/o Arts Festival) at SOMArts Gallery in 2005. Dan has exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Texas, and Oaxaca, Mexico.

It has also been Dan's honor to:

  • be Artist in Residence at the Taller Arte de Oaxaca, Ciudad Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1996
  • exhibit at the De Young Museum, Mission Grafica exhibit in conjunction with the Cheech Marin Collection in 2006
  • give a silkscreen demonstration at the Oakland Museum of California, All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012.

Artist Statement

In 1992 I printed my first etching but I was creative long before then. In high school I began to write short stories and developing black and white film in the bathroom. I pursued these activities through my undergraduate years at UT Austin and later in San Francisco getting stories and photos published in small anthologies and magazines.

It was in San Francisco that I rediscovered my childhood interest in plants. This led to work in community gardens and nurseries. Gardening for people came quickly as did as climbing trees and shaping them into living artworks. Then came night classes and a Certificate in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley Extension. When 1992 came along it was a particularly rainy winter and The Mission Cultural Center was offering intaglio classes. I was hooked.

From etching and dry point prints wood and linoleum cuts followed. The early etchings were reflections of my Tex Mex background with Muertos and an imagined Mexico and Texas, animals and insects. I turned to silkscreen around 2004 expressing San Francisco’s leather and cigar community. That lead to t-shirts of all sorts and most recently botanical tees for a wider plant loving community I have always been active in.

I began painting in 2014, mostly watercolors and now acrylics. Painting was about anything I saw. I wanted to paint flowers and botanicals but I took up a postcard of a dog one day and painted it. I surprised myself by how suddenly everything came together and now I’m well into turning out dog portraits in a city where dogs out number children.

I love my job.

Dan Arcos
January, 2016

Take a look at some of my work.

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