WOMEN WARRIORS

are wall masks mounted on shields with swords, inspired by the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebrating the 19th Amendment when women won the right to vote. These assemblages incorporate cast-offs that I find in thrift stores. With those stores closed during stay-at-home orders, my artwork includes grocery bags and newspapers.

 Bed of Roses is in support of Black Lives Matter. I created the roses and leaves from fragments of newspaper articles about the protests and responses against racism. The paper maché head is coated with paper bag scraps. (Photos, recycled wood base, head, wings, Islander head, bullet cases, zipper, acrylic paint. 24 high x 18 wide x 4 deep)

 Host of Plagues expresses the terror of COVID-19. Its endurance is symbolized by the Burmese python—an invasive species that is rampant in Florida where the human population is slow to face the facts of this pandemic. All plagues need a host to survive. There was no scientific understanding of the Black plague of the 1300s to conquer it. We don’t have that excuse today. (Photos, recycled scrap wood and rattan objects, toys, cloth flowers, bullet casings, lace, acrylic paint. 24 in. high x 20 in. wide x 8 in. deep)

 

Sheltered in Poppies shows the dichotomy of nature’s raging pandemic amidst the blooming splendor of golden poppies. I crafted the poppies from paper grocery bags. The paper maché face is layered with fragments of COVID-19 related newspaper articles. (Photos for mouth and eyes; recycled wood scraps, beer can, plastic bee, nails, string, acrylic paint. 21 high x 16 wide x 3.5 deep)

 

Deadly Beauty exposes the toll of the drug crisis. The mask, crowned with red poppies, shows the paradox of nature’s beauty pierced by heroin needles. The gloved hands obscuring the mouth represent the cover-up of big Pharma profits over human misery. (Photos, hypodermic needles, plastic poppies and insects; recycled toy sword, rattan, wood objects, lace, acrylic paint. 23 in. high x 16 in. wide x 7 in. deep)

 

Medusa, crowned with yellow roses symbolizing the Suffragettes, represents the duality of mother nature to give birth and destroy. Denial of climate change and exploitation of our natural resources funnels money into the pockets of the powerful rich while our poorest and most vulnerable are displaced and dying. (Photos, plastic toy dolls, recycled wood, rattan, beads, cloth flowers/leaves, bullet cases, lace, acrylic paint.  24 in. high x 18 in. wide x 6 in. deep)

 

Nasty Woman, the title borrowed directly from Donald Trump, expresses a woman’s basic right to equality and dominion over her body. Along with the long history of women and girls rendered powerless by men, the profound refugee crisis often separates children from their parents. (Photos, painted tampons, recycled wood, rattan, beads, bullet cases, twine, hardware, lace, acrylic paint.  24 in. high x 18 in. wide x 6 in. deep)

BORDER CRISIS

consists of a series of paintings that I created in response to the Zero Tolerance Policy of the Trump administration. Asylum is illegally denied the immigrants desperately fleeing dire situations that include gang violence, starvation and poverty. The Family Separation Policy removes young children from their parents at the Mexican border where they are imprisoned in CBP holding facilities: concrete floors fenced with barbed wire. Inadequate adult care for those showing symptoms of illness, is exacerbated by COVID-19 where ICE officers won’t enter these cells for fear of contagion. The US imports avocados, pineapples, bananas and mangos from Guatemala, Mexico and other countries yet, impoverished Guatemalans are fleeing drought where maize, the main staple, cannot be grown. The US depends upon migrant labor to plant and harvest our crops. A flawed government tracking system does not accurately count separated nor reunited families. I memorialize the seven children known to have died in US custody and reveal the horrific conditions of all the imprisoned children.

(Paintings are acrylic and watercolor on paper, 8 x 8 inches)

Carlos Vásquez
Carlos, seeking legal asylum in US from dire straits in Guatemala, died alone at age 16 of influenza and neglect while in US custody, May 20, 2019.

 

Jakelin Caal Maquin
Jakelin was wearing her first pair of shoes when she migrated with her father from an impoverished Guatemalan village to the US where she died on December 8, 2018 at age seven of streptococcal sepsis while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

 

Felipe Gomez Alonzo
Felipe, seeking legal asylum from Guatemala, died at age eight from neglected influenza while in US custody, Christmas Eve, 2018.

 

Juan de León Gutiérrez
Juan, seeking legal asylum in US from dire straits in Guatemala, died without his parents in US custody, April, 2019 at age 16. (Soccer balls were removed from the camps.)

 

Mariee Juarez
Mariee died at age, 19 months, May 10, 2018 in ICE detention after migrating with her mother from Guatemala.

 

My Mother | Darlyn
My mother’s family escaping anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, immigrated to US, 1913. Darlyn Valle migrating from El Salvador died in US custody at age ten.

 

Grandparents 1900 | Wilmer 2019
My grandfather and grandmother (pregnant with my father) immigrated from Romania to US, 1900. Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez from Guatemala, crossed the border with her mother. Wilmer died in US custody in May, 2019 at age two years.

 

Unknown Migrant Baby in ICE Custody
An estimated 70,000 migrant children, separated from families were in US custody in 2019.  Doll family handmade by women in Guatemala where the proceeds go for community essential services.

 

Unknown Migrant Child in ICE Custody
Record number of migrant children are separated from family are in US detention. Worry dolls are handmade by women in Guatemala where the proceeds go for community essential services.

 

Hygiene Denied
Migrant children, caged in U.S. facilities are denied basic hygiene: toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap.

Avocado | Cup O’ Noodles
Avocados are cultivated by migrant workers for US consumption. Caged migrant children receive paltry diet of oatmeal, Cup o’ Noodles, burritos, cookies, juice box.

 

Strawberries | Bottle Denied
Strawberries are imported from Mexico or cultivated by migrant workers in US. Caged migrant babies are denied milk bottles.

 

Banana | Banana Denied
US imports bananas from south of the border. Caged migrant children barely subsist on paltry diets.

 

Maize Guatemala
Maize, a main food source in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, has been devastated by drought. Starvation drives migrants to the U.S. border to seek asylum. The global corn crop including the US, is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.