Collaboration with Merryn Alaka
The tassel is a symbol of power and prestige. As a decorative object it has historically been used to embellish garments, and has been worn by priests, monks, and military officers to differentiate hierarchy while simultaneously warding off evil spirits. As a functional object, tassels are used to prevent unraveling. Similarly, we often view our hair as having the ability to hold us together. As young Black and Latina women we have been made aware that there is an expectation that must be met regarding the presentation of our hair. The extent to which hair is maintained can often be read as a reflection of other aspects of life. This work ties together the chronology, wisdom and adornment that is present in the history of both hair and tassels.
Photographed by: Tyler Rooker
Carving in tire
In the piece Baseline a traditional Mexican tile pattern has been carved into a Goodyear tire. The piece examines what it means to be feminine in masculine spaces, and what it means to be a person of color in a setting with a history of racism and white supremacy. The tire used in this project belonged to Danny Suárez, the first Mexican NASCAR driver to compete in the Cup series.
“Radiación Solar” was reconstructed from an astronomy textbook with the same title. The book’s form is a literal circle with the shape similarly represented on the covers, mimicking the imagery of planets and stars in the original book. Planets speak a circular language and this piece explores that idea by using ribbons of the original text to weave in and out of its pages. The text creates a ring when completely unfolded. The repetition of the circle throughout the piece uses the shape’s symbolism of eternity to explore the connection between heaven and space. While heaven represents eternal life, the space that exists beyond our clouds stretches out for an eternity. Neither locations can be seen with the eye and are connected through faith.
calligraphy performance piece
This Calligraphy piece is about the intersection between the Queer Community and the Catholic Church. It is about how sexuality and religion are not mutually exclusive, but are simply different facets of life. The texts written on the model are Bible passages about how anyone who knows love knows God.
laser cut wooden calligraphy
This piece is a part of a series called "Between Words" that uses the text from an interview with a peer who is Mexican- American to discuss how people who were born between cultures not only connect the different communities that they have ties to, but also how their experiences correlate to one another. Being mixed-race can often be viewed as isolating but also connects us to others who have a similar experiences.
hand cut paper calligraphy
This is a cut paper calligraphy piece about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France. It is a compilation of poems, songs and prayers about hand-me-down hatred: the idea that hatred is something that is passed down through generations. It's not something that we are born with it's something that is taught. The passage starts out with the French national anthem. The poem that the piece is based around is titled Hand Me Downs and was written by Sarah Kay. When installed, the piece is shown with all the scraps that have been cut away from the words, and the viewers are encouraged to take a piece to remind them to be kind even when it's hard.
You Are My Flesh and Blood, Nothing You Do is Unforgivable
cut calligraphy x-rays
The texts in this piece are the last names of all my family and friends that I would consider my flesh and blood. It discusses the act of being able to choose some family and not others, and loving both fully. The X-ray used is of a recently deceased relative.
La Misma is calligraphy cut from sterling silver. The passage is a line from the poem “But” by Audrey Ruiz, a classmate of mine.“I can’t speak Spanish, pero sé que la misma sangre de mis antepasados latinos corre por mis venas.” In this piece I wanted to look at the history of Spanish in the United States. I wanted to start the discussion of how do we learn and teach Spanish to Latinos in the US when it was something that was forcibly taken out of the education system for generations, and what does it mean to be a non-spanish speaking Latino?
Jewelry- Merryn Alaka
Poetry- Audrey Ruiz
Dear Saint Anthony
hand cut paper calligraphy
The text in this piece reads “Saint Anthony Saint Anthony, please look around something’s been lost and must be found.” It uses 12 layers of hand cut paper calligraphy to discuss the action of repetition in both prayers and everyday actions.
laser cut wooden calligraphy
Japanglish is a sculpture that is constructed using an interview with a peer of mine Leika Kitamura who is Japanese-American. At the time of the interview she was in the process of learning Japanese. “Japanglish” is a part of a series of sculptures called "Between Words." I held interviews with people who were a part of multiple cultures. I found that I was most interested in how knowing or not knowing the language of their parents effected their relationship to their culture.
Jack and I
This image is of my brother and I at one of my childhood birthday parties. There is a Barbie cake sitting between us and we are waiting impatiently to blow out the candles. We no longer live together, but talk frequently. This piece is about both separation and connection and our intertwined stories.
solar dye on fabric
This piece uses fabric solar dye which is a photographic process. I also used ink to create more contrast within the image. The couple shown are my Great Grandparents, Virginia and Ricardo Montoya. The piece is about how despite never meeting my Great Grandma I still feel like she has had an impact in the person I've become.