Valerie Aranda, is a painter from Arizona where she received her BFA from ASU and MFA from UCSD, San Diego. My Chicana identity and experience of moving to “the south” from California is at the core of my work. “Transplanting myself from there to rural Georgia has been tricky… in my work I explore the intersection of clashing cultures and experiences that at times are familiar, nonetheless perplexing. “Drawing from my Mexican roots, I examine the negotiating between differing worldviews and culturally affirming imagery is a decolonizing strategy.” Projects include: murals and exhibitions in Georgia, Tennessee, California, Texas, Chicago, Missouri, South Carolina and Wisconsin: and service with the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures.
This time of social distancing and isolation has been an opportunity for me to push my artistic limits. Having Covid-19 has given me a sense of urgency to tell my story. During a global pandemic, we seek the wisdom of science and medical experts, while sifting through the emotional minutia of the fears and anxieties of our communities and peer groups. There’s a kind of chaos that ensues when there’s a lack of leadership. This lack of leadership, vision and clarity is enough to make a person sick unfortunately. As a way to navigate this chaos and illness, I trust my art and creativity to heal through a process of self-expression and as a way to control the narrative that so many wish to bridle and dominate. Through the art making process, my Covid-19 experiences, imaginings, emotions, and anxieties reveal themselves through drawing and painting. With a narrative approach, I speak my truth amidst this absurdity and global pandemic.