My art practice explores the materiality, technique, and artistic potential of handmade paper. My mantra for this project was “Todo Hecho a Mano,” or “Everything Handmade.” Through my papermaking practice, I investigate the technical design of Papel Amate by the Otomi Peoples and incorporate the use of modern materials and locally sourced natural elements. I created a hybridized medium that transcends cultures and borders, as inhabitants of the beautiful borderlands do.
My work serves as a metaphor for more than what is on the surface. It redefines gender roles within society, pushes the limits of art displayed in established institutions, and creates representation for our communities.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Growing up Mexican-American during the ’90s in a quiet Colonia in Palmview Texas, provided a safe shelter I will always appreciate. As the youngest daughter in a single-parent household, I followed my mom like a shadow all my childhood. My earliest memories include helping her at her job as a laundromat attendant during the weekends and cleaning Winter-Texan’s trailer park mess halls, and their homes on school nights. “Vamos con Los Viejitos,” were the words I sometimes dreaded, but those evenings cleaning as a means to survive were the ones that opened my eyes to a different world and taught me the importance of education.
During my adolescence, I focused on photography and graphic design. I earned my bachelor’s degree and have been working in the public school setting as a teacher for Language Arts and Art History for the past five years. I am currently completing my MFA in Studio Art at the University of Texas -Rio Grande Valley with full intentions on continuing my artistic practice and sharing my skills to promote the fine arts in my community.
© Karla Gabriela De La Fuente