The Portal Hazy IPA is the first Thorn beer release of 2023 and we wanted to kick things off with a bang. It’s also the first beer in our Shade of Haze series where we highlight local artists by featuring their artwork on our cans so we reached out to our good friend, Hector Villegas, a Barrio Logan artist and resident to create the artwork for this hazy IPA. To share a little more about what makes Hector and his art special, we asked him a few questions: 

How did you get your start as an artist?

Growing up in Logan Heights art, murals, and Native Chicana/o culture is part of your life. 

My love for the arts is rooted in the community; it started at a very young age. I remember going to the community youth center down the street from my house where they would offer art classes after school and during summer break.  My favorites were ceramics, painting, and paper mache.

Because of my work ethic and close ties to elder artists in the community, I was selected to work on the Chicano Park Mural Restoration in 2011. Since then my understanding of being an artist, painter, and muralist matured.

What or who has been your biggest influence, artistically?

My biggest influence comes from Native knowledge and traditions. My work is a blend of Mesoamerican glyphs, textiles, and 3-dimension geometry that I call “Neo-Mexika.” You can find my work at my studio/Galeria 1904, featuring local Native Chicano art.

Tell us about the Barrio Logan art scene.

The Barrio Logan Art Scene is rooted in working-class Chicano culture. It’s relentlessly resourceful and always the vanguard of new exciting art forms. With Murals, Low-rider Culture, music DJs, etc, it attracts local and nearby neighborhood talent. The art scene here has established artists as well as youth and up-and-coming folks making their way. Venues and galleries come and go but there is always a pulse of artists making sense of the world through the barrio lens. I encourage folks to suit up and show up to Barrio Logan to enjoy the scene. As long as you come here with respect, you’ll love the energy and vibe of this community.

You can get your hands on The Portal Hazy IPA starting Saturday, January 21st at the release party featuring Hector’s artwork, screen printing of a limited edition t-shirt, DJs, local vendors, and food, from 3-7 pm! Then you will be able to get it throughout San Diego or have it shipped directly to your home by heading to this link.

For more info on Hector and his artwork head here!