Artist of UTSA: Jaden Blango

UTSA junior showcases the mind behind the art


Portrait of Jaden Blango. Courtesy of Jaden Blango

Briah Ramos, Staff Writer

While visiting UTSA’s Gallery 23 in the Fall of 2021, an art piece created by Jaden D. Blango named “Girl with the Head of Fire” was on display. I was enthralled by the artist’s ability to enhance the light within the facial features so delicately onto paper using nothing but a red chalk-like pencil. Blango’s art is gracefully impressionable and captures the simplicity of existence in time. Thankfully, Blango agreed to discuss his artist statement and how he has evolved as an artist during his time at UTSA. 

Growing up, Blango wasn’t a naturally gifted artist, but he had a never-ending passion and desire to get better. Upon reading every art book he could get a hold of and practicing his techniques, he decided to major in art at UTSA. In the summer of 2020, he had the opportunity to attend the New York Academy of Art where he learned more about his individuality and how he wanted to portray his concepts in his artwork. Amidst his time in the school of art, he started to build a concrete formula for his artist statement.

“It was amazing to be around like-minded individuals … that really challenges you to strive to be better,” Blango said. 

Fundamentally, Blango’s art embodies and relies on having the patience to listen and receive guidance from the universe. 

Jaden Blango. “The Girl With The Head On Fire,” 2021. Red pencil and white charcoal. Courtesy of Jaden Blango.

As he says so well in his artist statement, “Every piece I create is its own meditation and belongs to that exact moment and no other moment will ever be exactly like it … that’s what makes art so special.” Coupled with the previous context, Blango would also like to emphasize a key component of his art statement is the “holy instant” which is the process he undertakes to create his art. 

He likes to capture a moment in its purest form and take a mental picture of its entirety when it’s nothing but its truest self. The truth not held together by words or emotions is given a form, a sense of existence by Jaden’s ability to create with his artistic talent. 

He also explains how he doesn’t believe that his artist statement will stay the same and he hopes it’ll evolve as he grows as a person and artist.
Outside of art, Blango is interested in fitness, as he believes physical stamina builds mental strength. He further explains how exercising and feeling the adrenaline enhances the logistical feeling of being present within one’s body, which is essential to living in the present and prematurely giving advancement to your future self. 

One of Blango’s lifelong dreams is to elevate his art ability and techniques and someday teach others who have the same desire he did as a child to learn and practice the world of art. 

Jaden Blango. “Proof of Concept,” 2021. Graphite and charcoal. Courtesy of Jaden Blango.

Furthermore, he would like to someday have the opportunity to showcase his work at the Tribeca Ball in New York. 

To conclude, Blango emphasizes that transitioning from online modalities to in-person has been monumental for everyone, but especially for art majors because, as artists, it is helpful to learn from one another in classroom environments with fellow peers and mentors. Jaden explained further. 

“My mentor has really guided me a lot and helps me see ways to improve my work without making me feel insecure, which I really like,” Blango said. “I’m really grateful for them.”