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Photo by Luis Maldonado Photography



Saul Villegas grew up in a rural town called Avenal in California. He studied his artistic amateur style in school, being oblivious to other subjects. Since his early years, Saul found art fascinating and devoted his entire time to sketching, drawing, and painting. In middle school, he found art could become a business and started to work after school hours to paint local window displays for extra cash for art supplies. After school, programs kept his creative mind accelerating by exposing him to artistic projects throughout the community. He painted a mascot for the middle school he attended and then a hospital in the small community. In high school, he advanced in art and was placed in honors art classes. At 15, acceptance into a gifted art program (CSSSA) California State Summer School for the Arts held in Valencia, CA, encouraged his artistic identity. It was a month-long course with professors in the college. The environment of structured art gave him the direction to the style and media that revolutionized his artistic skill.


When asked, what is your style of painting? Saul replied, “I feel art is an ongoing study of different styles, cultures, and conceptions. I don’t like to become labeled any specific type of artist; other than to be considered one. Life is too short to settle down in one specific style. The World is full of surprises, and everyone and everything you see makes an impression on you as an artist, therefore always making you morph. Showing my view in whatever style I wish to Interpret it gives me the freedom as an artist. Being able to connect and communicate with different mindsets is and always will be my ultimate goal as an artist.”


At age 18, he began to work with a very talented framer named Robert Braun, a local artist/framer with over 30 years of art and custom framing experience. Through his critiques and teaching of his advanced skills in structure, he became a mentor to Saul. He worked at Artisans for two years and sold his work exclusively. During this time, he felt like he needed to give back to the community and was offered a space in downtown Hanford’s historical part to paint a mural Bounty of Kings. He often donated many pieces to earn recognition; one of those places was the local TV Channel KVPT in Fresno. They also provided him with a poster that was the featured poster for art hop 2005-in recognition of his efforts. He wishes to bring a whole new level to graphics and the arts by combining traditional fine art and digital design methods. The majority of his work is meticulously designed on editing programs as sketches and later produced in conventional ways. Saul has recently collaborated with other local artists in creating Hanford’s Art Hop. He displayed his art line, MODERNO, at Arte Américas in Fresno in 2011, and the Latino Art Museum in Pomona, CA. He donates to local non-profit organizations such as Episcopal Church of the Saviour, Kings Art Center, Artisans, and recently Youth Orchestras of Fresno for the Painted Violin Project in 2012-14, and the restoration of two horses for Hanford’s Carousel. 


His combined skill of the traditional application of art in painting and graphic design has been the vehicle in which Saul's creative versatility has demonstrated his intense imagery in his portfolio called MODERNO. He has utilized the label for his entire works to advocate his Latino roots through the visual arts and philanthropy.


He has attended College of the Sequoias and received his Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Arts and Humanities. He is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where his study focused on Studio Art Practice while earning his Bachelor's degree.  His research emphasizes manual and digitals methods to bridge Art and Science through archives and design. His goal is to share his artistic knowledge, continue to higher education, and receive his Master’s degree in Art.

Saul Villegas has been inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society for his breadth and rigor in liberal arts and sciences coursework. He graduated with honors from the Art department and received Summa Cum Laude upon graduation.

He has recently been admitted to the Future Stages cohort in the DANM MFA program at UCSC where he will begin in the FALL of 2022.

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