Self-taught painter Adam Hernandez's solo exhibition "Return of Thunderbird" signals a significant development in the artist's practice, as he's recently reached a point where he'll be focusing on creative endeavors full-time.

Self-taught painter Adam Hernandez's solo exhibition "Return of Thunderbird" signals a significant development in the artist's practice, as he's recently reached a point where he'll be focusing on creative endeavors full-time.

"Recently I quit my day job to concentrate just on art, and that's why the title is 'Return to Thunderbird.' There was a big Thunderbird that was the centerpiece of my first show, and I did another one for this. The thunderbird is the symbol for the exhibit because the idea of the Thunderbird in Native American folklore is a symbol of power and strength. I was super nervous to take the leap and quit my job, so I used the Thunderbird as an inspiration of just going for it," said Hernandez during an interview at his home studio.

The 60-plus pieces in the exhibit showcase Hernandez's growth from both a technical and philosophical perspective.

"I have some Aztec imagery and some of that hieroglyphic [text] to some of my paintings. I incorporate graffiti because it's our society's version of hieroglyphics - people leaving messages for those after them on a wall. I tried to make [the background] look like a wall that's been painted on over and over again and then laid my image on top of it all," Hernandez said of how he's approaching incorporating street art elements, exemplified in the graffiti-infused centerpiece "Return to Thunderbird" (pictured).

The dozen large paintings - including some mixed-media works and the "God Masks" series on thick, circular stained-wood panels - are paired with 50 small works. Those small, cigarette pack-sized pieces feature a number of series, characterized by aesthetic progression (a bird series, cellular-like abstracts and angular designs reminiscent of stained glass).

"Return of Thunderbird" is a one-night only pop-up exhibit, the first at P3 Magic Theatre. Magicians will be performing sleight-of-hand tricks throughout the evening, and music is provided by Raymond T Vinyl.

Though Hernandez is proud of his full-time art career, he will utilize the kitchen skills he learned at his previous employment in the restaurant industry and provide hors d'oeuvres for the evening.