Week 7: Artist Conversation ft. Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra

Exhibition: Manos de Oro

Media: Video, Installation

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East

Website: dulcesoledadibarra.com

Instragram: Not available at this time.

This week, I had the pleasure of talking to Dulce Soledad Ibarra, the artist for the Manos de Oro exhibit. She is currently studying in the Sculpture Art program at CalState University, Long Beach. She is proud to display her Mexican-American heritage through her art, as it does have a great impact on her in the way she envisions her future career. The Manos de Oro is actually the first exhibit that Dulce have done solely by herself, and she is proud to show off her first individual exhibit to her family.

As I walked into the exhibit, I noticed right away that everything in it was coated in the color gold. There were pieces scattered throughout the room that displays may different working materials, such as a lawn mower, digging shovels, etc. all covered in gold. The lighting was dimmed and the main focus of the room was a video of her dad displayed in the back of the room. The video showed various angles of her dad working in the field, doing many types of jobs.

Manos de Oro was created to embody the handwork of her and her father had done and the labor they’ve crafted as a mean of survival. Dulce mentioned younger children think of labor and working in the field as a labor of shame. People often think minor labor, such as mowing the lawn or planting flowers are minimal jobs that people should be ashamed off. However, she viewed her father’s job was actually an opportunity for her and her family to  be successful in life. She was able to receive her education and make a career out of herself, and she is not ashamed of who her father is or the line of work he’s in.

After hearing Dulce’s story, I was very inspired. Not a lot of people today often take whatever opportunity they have and make the best out of it. Minor fieldwork is often viewed as the undesired jobs that only people of the lower class would have. However, I thought it was beautiful that she painted the working tools in gold because the job itself may not be the most clamorous job, it is still honored as if it is because it is an important part of her life and that she wanted to display her heritage and her childhood memories of her father.

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