Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriquez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Drawing, Painting, Embroidery, Multi-Media, Performance
Gallery: CSULB School of Arts – Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist:
Sheila Rodriquez is a graduate student at CSULB. She is currently getting her Masters in Fine Arts with a focus on Fiber. She received her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting at CSULB as well. Sheila was a stay at home mom for a number of years but has come back to school to pursue her passion for art. A lot of the work she does revolves around homes and run down homes. Her culture and heritage are also really big inspirations for her art work.
Most of the pieces in the exhibit are made from actual pieces of run down houses. There is a bed frame, furniture, and even drywall all incorporated into the gallery. With all of these different house pieces together in the exhibit, it give a viewer a sense of being in a house. Throughout the different pieces Sheila has incorporated flowers, nature, and bright colors. These elements really contrast with the dark colors of the materials and paint. The video installation also gives viewers the sense that there is someone preparing food in the other room which adds to the home like feeling of the entire exhibit.
Houses and material things can be cold and uninviting but it is the people and the memories made there that give it warmth and life. Sheila has done this using the colorful fibers she has incorporated into each piece. Because of the way that she was raise and the fact that she has had to move many many times over her life the exhibit acts as a connection to her soul. The cultural influence on all of the pieces is both prevalent and soothing to see. Without the pop of colors that Sheila has incorporated into the exhibit, a very different feeling would be felt by the viewers, probably one of dread and despair. Instead of this dread, it gives off a much lighter tone. This feeling also gives off the impression that she has left each house she has lived in with a little bit of her and hopefully brightened it up.
When I was looking around the exhibit, I got a warm type of vibe from each of the pieces. I think it was due to the flowers and what they represent. To me each flower or organism growing over and in the different pieces, taking over them was both a happy and sad thing to see. This is because you know that they will eventually take over and destroy the house, but they will also replace it with something beautiful and alive. I think that may be the biggest take away from this exhibit. That it is not the house that we really want, it is the living moments in time that we want to preserve and remember in a particular house.