Eduardo Carrillo Scholars Virtual Group Show 2021
The Eduardo Carrillo Scholarship, established in 1997 in memory of UC Santa Cruz Art Professor Emeritus and famed Chicano muralist Eduardo Carrillo, is awarded to the most talented emerging student-artists in the Art Department. Since its inception, the scholarship has benefited over 300 students.
In celebration of Eduardo Carrillo's life, the 2021 scholarship recipients, and the importance of teaching art and fostering creativity, the Art Department is proud to welcome you to the Eduardo Carrillo Scholarship Virtual Group Show. Due to the difficulties of these times, not all of the Carrillo Scholars were able to submit their artworks so we would like to mention all of their names here:
2021 Eduardo Carrillo Scholars:
- Anna Reagan
- Brandon Castro
- Caroline Alfonso
- Chloe Calhoun
- Christy Yee
- Claire June Apana
- Ella Apuntar
- Itzel Gutierrez
- Jasmine Simone
- Kenneth Arnold
- Mia Donnelly
- Natalia Ramirez
- Nicole Rudolph-Vallerga
- Reya Borbridge
- Sage Alucero Juarez
- Saul Villegas
- Shelby Dinh
- Sunny Rolfs
Sincerest gratitude to Alison Keeler Carrillo for her generosity in establishing the Eduardo Carrillo Scholarship, and for her deep-seated commitment to education which has had an enormously positive impact on the lives of countless students, encouraging them to experiment with art and explore the depths of their creativity.
Thank you to Betsy Andersen, Director, Museo Eduardo Carrillo, for her unfailing commitment to art, education, and the Carrillo Scholarship Recipients – both present and past.
Museo Carrillo information: To learn more about the life and art of Eduardo Carrillo visit museoeduardocarrillo.org
Please watch the captivating and touching documentary about Eduardo Carrillo titled A Life of Engagement:
2021 VIRTUAL GROUP SHOW:
"Me, AJ, and the Fish", Acrylic on Paper, 6" x 5", 2021
"Koi Fish and Moon Shells", Acrylic on Shell, 2" x 1.5" each, 2021
"Angel Blues", Linocut Print, Ink on Paper, 8.5" x 11", 2021
"My Bird", Acrylic on Shell, 5" x 4", 2021
Brandon Michael-Avalos Castro
There is a perception that orphans’ lives are more tragic or somehow more inspirational because their parents are dead, while former foster youth are perceived as pitiable and a societal failure if thought about at all. That is the driving motivation for my professional work and artistic expression. I want to change this perception. We must represent the orphan population and all foster youth better because the typical depiction of orphans suggests that familial and community support, personal and financial, are unnecessary. The orphan myth of hyper-independence is older than film, literature, and even religion. Some well-known examples are Moses, Aristotle, Muhammad, Cinderella, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Luke Skywalker, James from the book James and the Giant Peach, and many superheroes like Batman, Superman, and the X-men. Yet, that population is too often misinterpreted by storytellers. At the heart of my own authentic story is perseverance and changing my own outlook to ensure a new destiny. I want to expand that into my career by telling stories of survival in stark contrast to painful experiences and memories, that will help people deal with events in their own lives. Through this, I can help other people see and realize possibilities for themselves just as I was able to with the help of others like my grandmother and mother. I plan to create more work illuminating the struggles of people who have not had their stories told.
I took a picture of my uncle nicknamed Sancho on the Day of the Dead during a caravan with classic cars throughout Los Angeles.
My uncle reminisced about his time with the Brown Berets.
I scanned a 35mm slide of my uncle in his early 20s speaking to UC Santa Barbara students about the political group’s goals of the Chicano movement.
Sancho recollected about family gatherings on a computer. Through his birdcage, I took pictures of how distant my uncle might feel from the family during the pandemic.
Sancho reviews the family tree through a photo album and his pet bird watches.
I scanned images from the East Los Angeles walkouts who were all involved in the Chicano moratorium.
Currently, I create to explore loss, memory and their construction of the human experience. My background in sociology has helped me make sense of my experiences, reminding me once again that the personal is political. As crucial as Sociology has been to understanding my familial relationships, as my father’s illness got more serious, I began to lean more heavily on my photographic practice. In his last few months, I photographed almost everything (except for him). Part of me was trying to challenge myself to find beauty in the world around me, the world that was acting ugly and cruelly. I think another part of me secretly stowed away photographic evidence that I could more truthfully unpack when I was “better.” Or, if not better, less wrapped up in the tenderness that comes with saying goodbye to a lifeline. I spent a majority of my first year without him. Collecting pieces of our life and trying to better understand the person who I had just lost as well as the person this loss turned me into. Most of these images are from my Christmas break in the San Fernando Valley. It was a difficult holiday that stunk of change and uncertainty. I was met with the urge to photograph the places that reminded me of him before they changed too much. Memory and photography are such strange occurrences that both repulse and rely on one another in order to create a narrative that satisfies our craving for meaning-making. As much as I want to dismiss this idiotic urge to make sense of something so senseless, the tiny optimist trapped inside me tends to get their way, making me fold into these exercises of meaning-making. The result is an unfinished photographic book, half-finished reflections and this series of images.
1) “Exercises in Remembrance 1”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This Popeyes parking lot is where my dad told me about his cancer diagnosis. I was sixteen and he was fifty nine. This chain chicken restaurant was a strange place to start saying goodbye.
2) “Exercises in Remembrance 2”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This was the movie theater we would go to frequently. It had those nice big red seats that recline. Going to the movies was one of our favorite shared activities, but as he got sicker it was one of the only activities we could manage. Towards the end we just watched movies from home. I really liked Victor/Victoria.
3) “Exercises in Remembrance 3”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This is the intersection we would always cross on our way back from a film or food excursion. It's the last section before the valley gets nicer. He liked to say we lived in the ghettos of Tarzana. Before he was sick he always wanted more. America is gross like that.
4) “Exercises in Remembrance 4”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This was the parking lot where he first taught me how to drive. There was a murder of crows which he joked was an evil omen. Eventually we had to stop doing driving lessons together. Too many ended in screaming matches and tears.
5) “Exercises in Remembrance 5”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This was the Denny’s I grew up going to, the one across the street from that parking lot. Denny’s was one of his first jobs after he immigrated to the US. We had so many “daddy-daughter” dates there that it kind of became the foundation of our friendship. This dilapidated building watched me grow up, sometimes more than he did. Now both are probably gone.
6) “Exercises in Remembrance 6”, Film, 56 mm × 41.5 mm, 2021. This is my shadow on the one year anniversary of my fathers death. That same day my autistic brother crashed his new electric bike into a fence. My mom had to take him to the ER and we had to cancel our lunch plans. It was funnier, more authentic this way. I used that time to find solace in the space we used to play in.
“Shade,” cyanotype, 15” x 22”, 2020.
This cyanotype captures at 1:1 scale every detail of the fabric’s shadow, in the way that we decide a camera captures reality. In the late 19th century, spirit photography became popular with the end of the American Civil War and the mid-19th century Spiritualism movement. The power of objective truth was assigned to the camera by those who wanted to believe in those ghostly images. Many of such photographs were the product of nothing more than someone draped in a bedsheet overlaid onto the scene by a double exposure. This print pokes fun at the human ability to paint truth as both objective and subjective by capturing a real image of a plastic ghost.
“No Borders,” cyanotype, 9” x 12”, 2021.
“Creation of the Universe,” serigraph, 11” x 15”, 2020.
This image is the negative of a photograph of an animal skull. Printed in silver ink, light seems to burst through the cracks.
4. “Folding Inward,” cyanotype, 7.5” x 10”, 2020.
Christy M Yee
I thought we lived under the same sun.
Image 1. "Skin", Acrylic on Paper, 48" x 56", 2021. This work in progress painting explores the decorations adorned on our soul that make up the human body.
Image 2. "Melt", Acrylic on Paper, 11" x 17", 2019. This painting draws attention to humanity’s part in time amidst the degradation of nature.
Image 3. "Home", Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 24", 2021. This painting reflects on the personal and collective trauma of a diasporic being, and mediates on what is home for those who are neither accepted here nor there.
Image 4. "Find Me", Acrylic on Paper, 22" x 30", 2020. This abstract painting begs the audience to look deeper and wider.
Image 5. "I Thought We Lived Under the Same Sun", Acrylic on Paper, 17" x 11", 2020. This painting recalls our connection to our space amidst the isolation we face as spirits held in bodies.
Image 6. "Remember", Acrylic on Paper, 22" x 30", 2020. Amidst all the endless pile up of trauma and bodies, this painting recalls the tender touch, soft red warmth and vibrant eyes of black lives lost.
Claire June Apana
As a child, I was obsessed with origami because it was a means of exploring my asian heritage through art. I was mesmerized by the look and feel of origami papers; this fascinating medium allowed me the ability to create delicate art with a conventional material.
My works focus on the concept of Impossible Realities; paradoxical ways of life that are absolute. This exposure of our human condition results from introspective thinking and a dedicated art practice. My practice utilizes various materials; both real and virtual in order to convey this notion of the impossible. I hope to inspire viewers to realize that small actions create immense change.
The manipulation of raw materials allows me to reconstruct narratives into new forms. These become metaphors for the infinite possibilities we all contain. The potential to change our reality and the world we perceive. As we evolve, it is necessary to dedicate time and energy to our desires so that we may utilize the potential of technology in order to shift our perspective. My art practice is my way of taking control by means of creation.
Water Colored Paper, fishing wire.
Each piece appx 5 x 5 x 20”
Entire display appx 6 x 4 x 2’
The Radial Chakra series consists of hand painted water color paper, cut and folded into spiral forms. Beginning with the base chakra and ascending to the crown chakra, these colors flow in a spiral, like Kundalini energy up the spine. These kinetic sculptures are a reminder that each chakra is a process that requires introspection and change where necessary in order to proceed to the next phase towards enlightenment.
Appx 20 x 60 x 60”
An appropriated map of California is folded utilizing the Miura-Ori origami pattern. Threads of the past droop in colorful strands towards the floor, while the culmination of these points leads to the future. This map is a representation of my past, present, and projected future; forward into the unknown.
U.S. Currency, gold plated brass, glue.
Appx 1 x 1 x 4”
Currency is folded into a complex, DNA structure. This piece is a critique of the need for artists to sell their work in order to survive a capitalist reality. Designed to be worn as an accessory, the piece is also a critique on the function of money.
Oil Painting on Canvas
10” x 10”
Highly Evolved is a digital capture of an interpreted landscape created using the iPhone’s “pano” feature. The work fluctuates between reality and illusion; virtual and tangible. Such dichotomies have the capacity for immense transformations. This social commentary touches on the ramifications of technology and its ability to change our nature.
Faux Fur, Velvet, Satin, Cotton, Poly-Fil, Thread, Zipper
The PANIC PILLOW project was fueled by feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and fear. Twenty-twenty was arguably the most convoluted year in history with humans world wide facing these sentiments in overwhelming ways.This artwork aims to undo the stress of the pandemic by transforming any space into a sensory playground for all humans, saturating participants in feelings of serenity.
Paper, Light refraction film, glue, lighting
12” x 12” x 12”
Incandescent Cure is a sculpture project that explores Hawaiian heritage and power relations through contemporary art creation. It aims to deepen the understanding of Hawaii’s delicate ecosystem and growing culture, and the importance of their preservation. In folding the photographic prints, I recontextualize the imagery into complex forms that mirror the intricacies within Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian history, and the future of the Islands.
Colored pencil on paper, 7.2” x 6.5”, 2021
A study on hand anatomy and color
“upstream storm system”
Watercolor, charcoal and graphite on Rives BFK paper, 20" x 26", 2021
Inspired by satellite images of storm systems
Watercolor, ink, charcoal, colored pencil and graphite on cold press watercolor paper, 30" x 22", 2021
Self portrait completed over the course of a week
Digital art, 2020
Observational drawings of my dog
1. Title: " La Madre" , 35 mm film (8x11)
An image of my mother cutting my sister's hair. The quality of the image reminds me of the many memories but few images I have of home and my family.
2.Title: " The Twins" , Digital Copy (8x11)
An image of my cousins entranced by the television, they had just came from North Carolins to visit us in California.
3. Title: "El Tren" , Digital Copy (8x11)
An image of my dad and siblings playing on the train tracks, another loving memory of my family.
In the art project, Decolonize Vogue, I aim to apply a critical feminist lens to Euro-centric beauty and cultural standards that have been historically featured in Vogue magazine. Research for this project was conducted within the Art and Feminist Studies department by exploring the performance of gender in popular culture. The art project is focused on recontextualizing models featured in Vogue magazine to encourage the viewer to explore narratives outside of the mainstream social construction of femininity and the female body which is often used as a commodity to sell products and ideals of gender and beauty. For example, a model extracted from a lingerie ad appears to be overheated and is subsequently placed in an icy arctic lake in the piece It’s Getting Hot in Here in hopes of encouraging the viewer to consider the melting ice caps in relation to the rising temperatures of climate change. An image of a woman posing as a personified Statue of Liberty holding an American flag is harmoniously placed in front of a mosque in Baghdad as if she is staking her ground on foreign land in the piece Liberty and Justice for All. In the work Livin’ My Best Life, a perfectly groomed Italian woman in designer clothes and red sunglasses is precariously placed in a field of farmworkers carrying bushels of bright red tomatoes to signal the discrepancies of the wealth gap between the super-rich and poor field laborers. Additional themes point to the expectation of women to appear effortlessly confident in their physical appearance, the perceived status symbol of obtaining high-end branded fashion products, and the satirical exaggeration of enjoying household chores that typically fall to women to complete.
Carrillo Scholarship Project Proposal
My goal is to create a project with the funds from the Carrillo Scholarship as an amendment to my Feminist Studies Senior Thesis research paper that explores the effects of social media on confidence, psychological states, and ideals of beauty. The project aims to present an installation art piece comprised of a smart mirror with an Instagram Live interface displayed in the mirror featuring an endless stream of likes and comments of praise, admiration, and support. The intention of the project is to give the viewer a sense of confidence by gazing into the mirror and absorbing the stream of feedback. The project also prompts viewers to consider the mental health effects of social media use on their sense of self-confidence and belonging. The concept touches on the effects of social media to influence self-esteem, self-identity, and body monitoring, especially for women and girls.
This project works to celebrate feminist theories while critically addressing hegemonic ideals of gender roles, body idealization, social relations, and self-surveillance. My particular interest in this project stems from my experience as a photographer, digital artist, social media user, and feminist media researcher.
As an undergraduate double major in Feminist Studies and Art, I hope that this project will provide an essential addition to my work as a Feminist Media researcher and artist portfolio as I begin to pursue future academic feminist research and creative work at the graduate level focused on feminist media, technology, and popular culture.
My work encompasses the mediums of photography, collage, design, digital art, illustration, and new media as well as writings about art and culture. Centered on a distinctive blend of feminist theory, social critique, and tongue-in-cheek humor, my concerns traverse the fashioning of self-identity for women in relation to hegemonic ideals featured in art, politics, history, culture, and popular media.
With an eye to women's experiences in the public sphere and a critical voice toward power relations and popular culture, my art and discourse address the effect of the female subject within patriarchy, traditional gender roles, consumerism, and in movies, TV, magazines, and social media obsessed with youth and status. Appropriating elements of pop culture in my work such as advertising, fashion, and technology, I produce an exploration of stereotypes that highlight the dissociation between mass conformity and the socio-psychological neoliberal principles of individualism.
15 years old, I am a car careening down the same twisted, broken highways day after day. Reminded of the same dilapidated foundation that I am built on second by fleeting second. In desperate need of new tires, an oil change, new windshields, co-axles, windshield wipers, seat covers, backseats, and a steering wheel. The gas worked like a charm. The details of these thoughts are a speeding blur now.
At some point I unconsciously filled a sketchbook with my thoughts.
They were dark.
I wrote angrily, fuming with each pen stroke. Melting faces, destroyed bodies, guns, explosions, sunken eyes, flowing tears, frowns. No longer did I draw in the margins, I was all over the book. The words ‘f**k’ and ‘s**t’ and ‘f**k this s**t’ were my mantras. Written every day.
Without realizing it, my pain was slowly being transformed.
Able to actualize dark thoughts and face them in reality, made them less prevalent.
I evicted the thoughts from my mind and provided them refuge in my books.
The drawings slowly improved.
I became more careful with my linework. The drips coming off melting faces were personalized and thoughtfully drawn. I combined the chaos melting faces with the tranquility of plant-life. I finally worked up the courage to use reference images. I drew people I liked and musicians I listened to. I began to build my own lexicon of symbols and their meaning. I built bridges between drawings, made two initially unrelated things relate to each other.
Friends started to dig ‘em. Nice man, keep at it. I like this dude. Oh, that’s funny.
Fliining book after book, less bothered and bogged down in thoughts of depression and anxiety.
Transmuted into raw creative potential.
18 years old.
Kenneth, your drawings are creative and unique. A delight every time.
Words along those lines were spoken to me by my art teacher.
His tongue was a pair of butterfly wings flapping far away.
Sparking a chain of events that fundamentally changed the course of my life.
Connotations between drawings became juxtaposed and humorous. Hands became psychic beings stealing people’s flesh. All plants were forms of alien life that just wanted their slice of the cake. I filled pages with conflicts and resolutions. My technicals improved, I practiced shading, volume, and perspective.
The foundation had been laid. I was no longer a doodler seeking his spot. I had replaced all of my parts. I was not just rebuilding what I had previously torn down. I was building from the rubble, taking each piece and ascribing its poetic value. The depression was not just sad, there was humor, light, refuge to be found within.
21 years old.
One memory stands out now.
Sitting at a security desk, feeling like a cog.
One of the residents approaches me.
We talk in passing. I generally get the sense he’s not very interested in a security guard.
He tells me about Utah.
I told him about Utah.
We exchange more words and laugh.
I feel good for once at this job.
I feel like me.
He tells me:
Hey, you really keep your head above water. And it shows.
I was a bit stunned.
Thank you. I try my best.
It really shows.
The words echo in my head.
Over and over again.
A drawing comes to my mind.
A head above water, nose peeking out, in my style.
I quickly scrawl it down on a post-it and above it wrote:
As I write this, on my upper right hand back, there is a head peering out from above the water.
Not just symbolic of my time spent surviving through the pandemic.
It’s symbolic of all I’ve written here.
It is my representation
with my lines
of my mind.
Charcoal drawing emulating the work of the Dutch anatomist Bernhard Siegfried Albinus.
"Trancing" Acrylic on canvas. This analogous still life painting captures the vividness of a dog I used to live who would frequently trance beneath indoor plants.
"Same Girl in a Pink Hat" Acrylic on canvas. This painting is an emulation of Wayne Thiebaud’s piece Girl in a Pink Hat.
"Purple" Nikon D3400
"Costa Rican Iguana" Nikon D3400
Acrylic on Wood
I decided to capture the beauty of a friend but tried to incorporate the practice of complementary colors, and practice my painting skills. These are one of the first paintings I have created in my intro to painting class back in 2018.
Woodblock Relief Print
I have a huge love for the day of the dead and try to showcase that through my work. My first ever relief print is of a catrina and surrounded her by the typical marigolds used in the day of the dead ceremony. Through these prints, I wanted to introduce my classmates to a holiday so dear to me.
Mokuhanga Print on Kozo Paper
My first attempt at the Japanese Woodblock printing method. I was inspired by my trip to Guanajuato, Mexico where my father is from, and decided to imitate the way flowers were drawn there on clothing or in street art. I also saw love for Mexican skulls called “Calaveras” which is something I take pride in as well. This beautiful city in Mexico is so colorful and bright and I wanted to capture some of that color and love for Calaveras in my print.
Mokuhanga Print on Kozo Paper
For my Mokuhanga final project, I decided to create an image of a betta fish with a starry night background. The name of this print is “Starry Betta”. I have always been drawn to this image in my sketchbook and I am so glad I was able to bring it to life with this amazing new process I have learned this quarter, I gave it the background of a starry night because I wanted this fish to feel relaxing to look at which is somewhere where I personally find comfort looking at which is up at the stars. Due to the background being so dark I decided to give the betta some warm colors to also give my viewer a feeling of relaxation. I also used shimmery pigments to give this fish an extra glow just like the stars would have if you are staring at the sky.
Woodblock Relief Print
I decided to pay homage to a famous Mexican Revolutionist name Juana Gallo. She symbolizes women’s empowerment and is a huge inspiration to me. She is not heard about a lot but through my art, I want to make sure her name is known and the impact she has made.
Acrylic on Canvas
This is a portrait of my uncle who I lost in 2018. I made a debut of this piece in my senior show which was a day of the dead themed to pay respects to him. He is someone who is truly dear to me and decided to capture the last memory I have of him.
I am a multimedia biracial, bisexual, Latinx artist and I exalt in nature and transitional spaces. My conceptual practice leads the choice of medium, each piece being just as much about what it is made of as what it is depicting. The subjects of my art are those that fall between definitions, between spaces. They are liminal beings, as am I.
I work to bring awareness to the fact that these people and spaces exist. I want to create the representation that seems to be missing in the world in the hopes that the audience may move their definitions away from the binary.
1) Summoning Nicole from the series “Séance of Duality” 2021
24” x 19”
Mixed Media and Photography
This is the first of my ongoing series Séance of Duality in which I summon the very essence of each biracial Latinx subject that I interview, beginning with myself. Being biracial can mean many things to each person, however there is often a feeling of being obtuse, part of both worlds yet not belonging fully to either. It is a lonely position to be in. People of mixed heritage tend to be unseen and underrepresented in the world, and without representation there is very little understanding. I endeavor to summon and display the fullness of each person as a whole instead of two halves.
2) Foundation 2020
Silk brocade, cotton coutil, cotton twill, reeds, embroidery floss, glass beads, watercolor, and Earl Grey tea
Foundation is a pair of historically accurate Colonial stays that are made for a biracial body. Colonized civilizations would see a great many biracial children that fell between definitions and were rejected by both sides unless they could pass as either the colonized or the colonizer, their world would be vastly different depending on the color of their skin. Always seen as half, never as a whole person, duality forced on them. This is the foundation of our past, of my past. These are the undergarments that we wear without notice, insisting that we pick a side.
3a and 3b) Water Lovers from the series “Liminal Spaces” 2020
Watercolor and black gouache on BFK paper
Lovers is about the space in between two people and our connection through transitional moments such as love, lust, and death as we move through life.
4a and 4b) Water Witch from the series “Liminal Spaces” 2020
36” x 18” ea.
Watercolor and black gouache on cold press paper
With imagery based on the Mexican folktale “The woman who outshone the sun,” I painted a model who in real life outshines the sun as she works to move past the trauma of abuse. The Water Witch works in the dark of night to release that which does not serve her so that in the daylight she can receive the new and begin to heal.
Sage Alucero (they/them, he/him)
is a transgender/nonbinary, chicanx visual artist, poet, & performer. Through oil painting, traditional and digital drawing, sculpture and performance he creates works with themes of interconnection with nature, gender expansiveness and more. Their work can be viewed at SageAlucero.com. Three out of four of their works for this show are intentionally being shared before they have been finished. Alucero hopes to highlight the rapid pace of university and capitalism’s expectations. In sharing unfinished works they emphasize and encourage rest, self-compassion, and presence as a counter to the burnout we experience in our cultural context.
“Seed Bridge” Oil on Paper, 22” x 7” 2020. We are planting seeds today, so the fruit may bloom in our ancestors' hands. Through space and time, moonlight carries memories that feed the soil. The Earth is our bridge between the past and the future, it holds cyclicality and overlapping memory.
“August” Oil on Canvas, 18” x 15” Unfinished.
On August 20th, 2020 I went in for my long awaited top surgery. In the days following I heard about the wildfires that were rapidly spreading in Santa Cruz. To be away from my home and on bed rest while we watched the forests scorch through screens was tragic. I felt the Earth speaking through parallels. The pain of dysphoria was not unlike the fires and all the destruction they brought. This oil painting was my prayer for balance and the replenishment of water.
“Two & a Half Hours” Oil on Canvas, 11” x 22” Unfinished.
I cannot help but wonder where my consciousness traveled to during the two and a half hours of being asleep through surgery. This painting is a visualization of the dream-like space between life and ‘death’ that I imagine I visited. My heart beat was a steady root for my soul and the blooming of rebirth.
“Romero” Oil on Canvas, 11” x 15” Unfinished.
This painting is an homage to the healing powers of rosemary and the character of rabbit. I have always identified with rabbits and admired their literal down-to-earth personalities. As I continue to heal physically from surgery and emerge into a new embodiment, I align myself with the awakening earthy scent of rosemary and the connection with rabbit.
The selected images are a part of a series of paintings that focus on color and light qualities. Investigating color relationships and control of calligraphy brush strokes for mark-making has allowed me to develop a unique art practice. Photographs of subjects and manual paintings are then uploaded into a computer program to edit and enhance the hues and contrast. The endless ways of manipulating images, both manual or digital, serve as an alternative tool to paint. Painting with filters that beam out light through the screen then becomes a process of discovering new bridges of manual-to-digital methods. Mix-media practices display a solid will to committing to the advancement of the arts.
1.Title: "Study of Lucretia."
12 x 14 IN
Description: When visiting the museum LACMA I was taken aback by the dramatic painting The Death of Lucretia by Ludovico Mazzanti (Italy, Rome, 1686-1775). I reimagined the scene by creating a study of acrylic ink washes to mimic the oil painterly strokes. Using a digital design approach, I experimented with the flesh tones’ transparencies and luminosity, arriving at a more vibrant image using both manual and digital practices. The focus is in the dimming of the peripheral, where the dark circular area in the middle draws attention to her emotional state as the intensity of the situation arises. This artwork has been selected for publication in Persephone: The Harvard Undergraduate Classics Journal Spring 2021 edition.
2.Title: "Persephone in the Underworld."
12 x 18 IN
Description: A Traditional approach to layering acrylic glazes allowed for emphasizing the lighting and hues in the underworld mythological story. Each human anatomical figure is expressing used in gestural poses that furthered the idea of Persephone’s psyche. The scene’s depiction uses the flames for a key light that directs the viewer to different painting areas.
3.Title: "Metamphorsis of the Swan II"
18 x 12 IN
Description: The swan is a reoccurring theme in my art. This work was painted with acrylic. The gestures’ flow is marked and frozen to show sketching and build the layers to reveal the figures and subject. Metamorphosis and transitory feelings suggest growth and visibility into the past, present, and future.
4.Title: "Tenor’s Ascension."
12 x 18 IN
Description: Using his vocals, the tenor summons dreams and religious-like figures as he contemplates his life. Exaggerating the vibrancy and transparent layers enables the viewer to experience a harsh light not achievable through manual and subtractive lighting methods.
“Flutter”, Mokuhanga woodblock print on Washi paper, 8.5” x 10.5”, 2021.
This whimsical print experiments with Mokuhanga style printmaking and uses a variety of colors and shapes that are meant to evoke a sense of calmness and peace with the viewer.
“Flip Flop”, Mokuhanga woodblock print on Washi paper, 12.5” x 17.5”, 2021
This bright colored print represents my love and longing for the water during the pandemic. I grew up playing water sports my whole life and was constantly around water. I wanted to create a fun, playful print that reminded me of the pool.
“Layered Tree Rings”, Relief woodblock print on Rives BFK, 9.5” x 12.5”, 2020
This relief woodblock print uses pattern, layering, and color to create a mesmerizing effect on paper.
“Take A Hike”, Reduction woodblock print on Rives BFK, 13” x 17”, 2020
Take A Hike comments on California’s wildfires and global warming and how if action isn’t taken soon, our forests will soon be no longer.
“Bun Bo Hue”, Reduction woodblock print on Rives BFK, 11” x 14”, 2019
Bun Bo Hue is a print inspired by my ethnic background, being half Vietnamese and half white. Since I don’t have many physical Asian features, I look mostly white, making it difficult for me to identify with being half Vietnamese. Vietnamese food has always made me feel comfortable and helped me to connect with my ethnicity.
Wistful gray tones imbue my photographs with my emotional and spiritual connection to the land. Serendipitous moments on the film reveal the light and shadow of my environment, which reflects my interior experience. My images are like memories. There is no post-production editing on these photos, enhancing the themes of violation and touch.
There is vulnerability and tension between human touch and the natural landscape. Power lines interfere with horizon lines. Fences block the viewers' entrance into the landscape. We pretend this land is untouched by modernity, maybe in order to escape back to our wild roots. Collectively, we are grappling with the violation of our sacred relationship with nature.
Untouched (1), 35 mm film photography, 2020
Untouched (2), 35 mm film photography, 2021
Untouched (3), 35 mm film photography, 2020
Untouched (4), 35 mm film photography, 2020
Untouched (5), 35 mm film photography, 2021
Untouched (6), 35 mm film photography, 2021