My final year in the BFA program brought a new focus to my artmaking. I aimed to highlight different people’s journeys and places I long to visit again with a focus on storytelling. Creating during the coronavirus pandemic inclined me to do more research on the AIDS pandemic and create a piece to create awareness and honor the lives of those who lost their battle to AIDS. I have been fortunate to use this piece on several occasions to create conversation and educate people about the AIDS pandemic and share stories of people who lived through that time and fought for healthcare justice. In other pieces I created, I shared personal experiences, some fantastical and some realistic. My fantastical depictions spoke more from my dreams of being able to go back to normal again.
In contrast, my more realistic pieces attempt to make these places that feel so far away seem real and possible. Travel and gathering felt so distant that I wanted my art to look as natural as possible while still including my personal style. In my portrait, Flores, I celebrated someone who has been by my side throughout the coronavirus pandemic. These paintings were all created with acrylic. I worked from my small home, quarantining like many others during these difficult times. I feel fortunate that these circumstances have allowed for some of my most compelling art pieces to develop. As I took my feelings of isolation and fear and created art to connect with others, I’ve kept stories and places alive.