Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Drawing, Painting, Embroidery, Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
This week’s proud artist is Sheila Garrett Rodriguez. She is a graduate student at CalState University, Long Beach, currently studying towards her Masters in Fine Arts within the Fine Arts Fiber Program. As Sheila was growing up, her grandmother was a huge influent in her life. Her grandmother was actually the person who first introduced her into the world of crocheting. Even though Sheila was born and grew up here in the United States, her family originally came from Mexico, and she and her family are very closely tied to her Latino heritage. Her heritage and culture have influenced many of her arts throughout the years as she tried to showcase her heritage as much as possible through her art.
Entering the exhibit, there were dim lights throughout the room which draws in the attention on her pieces. The viewer can sense it resembles a home due to the older bed frame in the middle of the room, as well as some pieces of drywall, window screens and wood. Everything was super interesting to look as because her media included so many different textures. She had wood for the large bed frame, dry walls to create a withered look, and colorful embroidery pieces to draws in the attention in the dulled room.
Her thought for the exhibit focused on the image of a home. Each piece in the exhibit resembles a memory of where she has lived in the past. Sheila have moved over 30 times throughout her childhood, she never really had a place to consider home where she can make strong connections with and form long-lasting memories. She stated that a home is not just a building or bricks of wall where you can lay down by the end of the day and wake up from at the beginning of the day. A home is much more than that, it is a place where family, culture and tradition and live and grow stronger. It is the comfort of the space that allows you to be truly comfortable and relax.
I thought Sheila’s exhibit was actually very thoughtful as a lot of people, including myself, don’t usually appreciate our homes as much as we should. We are such busy people, leading such hectic lives that we often forget to stop and appreciate the things we do have. A viewpoint from someone who hasn’t really had a place to call home really made me think twice about the place I do have and where I call home. I agree, it is not just a physical space that is no dear to us, but it is a the memories that were formed there, the people that live there and the comfort that a home provides. Her exhibit really opens my eyes and helps me just stops and appreciate a little more.