Photo courtesy of Angela Gonzalez
Angela Gonzalez is a visiting mixed media artist originally from Colombia who will be featured in Sacramento State’s University Union Gallery upcoming art exhibition “Save/[eARTh].”
Gonzalez describes her art as thought-provoking and aims to create awareness about ecological and social responsibilities in everyday life.
This will be the last exhibit of the semester to be featured in the University Union Gallery. This brings the total number of exhibits to three for the semester and seven over the course of the current academic year.
The exhibit will be featured in the University Union Gallery Monday through May 16 during general hours. The gallery will also host an opening reception on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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The State Hornet had the chance to speak with Gonzalez about her art and its focus on creating a greener tomorrow.
Question: What made you start creating art and why is this exhibit different from others?
Answer: What made me start creating art was the need to express myself. When I started my career, I was a fashion designer, expressing myself through patterns, textures and colors.
Later, when I moved to the U.S., my career evolved to visual arts and I started painting with oils, in the old masters’ technique. Later, I moved to acrylics, mosaic, and, ultimately, mixed media, which is what I’m creating nowadays.
After all these years what makes me create art has not changed — the necessity of expressing myself. The difference now is that I have a clearer vision and it is to generate awareness about the environment through my artwork.
This exhibition is important because it will give students and faculty the opportunity to participate in a conversation about our ecological and social responsibilities, leading to a greener tomorrow. The timing of the exhibit is set to coincide with Earth Day events and celebrations throughout campus.
Q:What does a sustainable future require?
A: A sustainable future requires a balance between people, planet and profit. Maintaining this balance can be challenging in the midst of overpopulation, habitat destruction and aggressive business practices. One of my artworks, “1 + 1 = 3” was inspired by this equilibrium. This piece is a call to action to unite our efforts so that we can live in a world that integrates renewable resources, social equity and economic growth.
Today, our planet faces an unprecedented environmental crisis caused by global warming, intensive farming and habitat destruction. The causes, consequences and solutions related to these issues are captured in my (artwork). My inspiration comes from topics related to sustainability and their intersection with technology.
Q: What specifically made you chose to do art on this?
A: In 2010, our family moved to the Bay Area, which is both a very progressive place and the epicenter of technology. As somebody who cares deeply about the environment, I drew inspiration from the intersection of these two things and decided to combine them as part of my art.
I create artworks to generate awareness about the environment and to help the viewer forge the connection between art, technology and sustainability.
I’ve been focusing on bringing attention to the environmental impact of technology. Every year, the production and demand for new electronic devices and gadgets increase, and as a result, more e-waste is generated. Often this waste ends up in landfills.
As such, technology is a contributor to these problems, but it can also be an enabler of solutions in areas like renewable energy, sustainable farming and waste minimization. By removing e-waste from the waste stream and incorporating it into my work, I am contributing to lessening its impact on the planet.
Q: Do you remember your first art piece? What did you feel when you finished it?
A: My very first art piece was not a painting — it was actually a pair of shoes. I was 16 years old and I wanted to paint a colourful, psychedelic design on my plain, white cotton tennis shoes. I bought fabric paint and brushes, and the next day, I had a unique piece of art that I could wear and that no one else had. I felt accomplished, proud and happy.
Q: How does that feeling compare to the feeling you got when you finished this exhibit?
A: When you have an exhibition, you are not only exposing your artwork but also your feelings, energy, passion, and beliefs. Not knowing how the viewers will react when they are in front of your artwork sometimes gives you a bit of anxiety and curiosity. However, even if only one person is moved by my art, I consider the exhibition a success; giving me same feelings of accomplishment, pride and happiness that I felt when I made my first piece of art.
Is there an artwork here you are most proud of? Why?
A: Yes, “Holy Cow,” which has won three awards in a period of one year.
Q: How do you know when a work is finished?
A: I know an artwork is finished when I look at it, and regardless of how challenging it was to create, I know that it’s ready to deliver the message that I intended to convey when I set out to conceive it.