Albino R. Hinojosa
Painter: American Realism

One of five children of Vidal and Emilia Hinojosa, Albino was born in Atlanta, Texas, but raised nearby in Kildare on a farm "working hard labor, blue collar kind of stuff that was very, very difficult." His father raised cattle and farmed, and worked at several jobs including driving a school bus. His mother worked in janitorial services at a small clinic during Albino's high school years. She also laundered and ironed clothes. His boyhood home, he recalls, was "two rooms and a lean-to on one end. We never had bathrooms. We never had telephones, no television," he says. He was a teenager when the family got electricity. Tony admired his older brother who "could have been an artist but he never got the opportunity." Albino himself developed early a love of art, but had no supplies. As a boy he played in clay, making toys. He also carved cars, pistols, and other things from wood. Albino's first job was cleaning the small Baptist church the Hinojosas attended. In summer he worked at schools in the local school district, cleaning floors and painting for a dollar an hour. During the school year Albino played basketball and ran track. After graduating from Linden-Kildare High School in 1961, he received an art and track scholarship from Texarkana College, a two-year college, then transferred to East Texas State College in Commerce, Texas, where he excelled in sculpture and met Kandis Hardin. They married on March 16, 1966. (They would have three children and six grandchildren). Albino graduated from East Texas State University in 1968. After teaching school briefly, he went to work as a technical illustrator at a Ling Temco Vaught, a large corporation in Greenville, Texas. Because the company handled classified materials, Albino received top-secret clearance. He left after five years so he could "move up artistically." He spent a year teaching art at Northeast Louisiana, then was hired at Louisiana Tech in 1972 to teach art history, illustration, design, and other courses. There he also earned a master's degree. Albino also taught art to Tech students in a summer program in Rome in 1974. Throughout his career Albino took on freelance design and illustration work, as well as commissioned portraits, while continuing his own art in a style he calls American realist. He also entered his art in juried shows. "I wouldn't quit work until about eleven o'clock at night," he recalls. "My success has been from hard work and just staying involved in art." Albino retired from the university in 2000, but he continues to paint, taking his inspiration from objects used in the pioneering of the American West, such as a saddle or a buffalo hide scale. "I just love nostalgic things, things that are old; things that are usually forgotten," he says. "I like to bring things back to life." He still enters his work in art shows and sees his paintings hang in exhibits.