Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist:
Sheila Garrett Rodriguez is a graduate student at California State University Long Beach working towards her Master of Fine Arts in the School of Art’s fibers program. Rodriguez also attended CSULB for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting. Her grandmother’s family has lived in California for generations, while her grandfather’s family came from Mexico City. This two different backgrounds are reflected in her exhibition as she ties her heritage together.
Rodriguez’s pieces both have bright and dark colors. There is a bed frame in the center of the whole gallery. It doesn’t have a mattress; however, there were some colorful woven threads in the middle of Around the bed, there are embroideries with flowers posted on the wall around the entire room. In another part of the gallery, she placed a projector displaying a video of someone crushing corn.
The bedframe contains the history and experiences that she had with her grandmother. One of Rodriguez’s pieces was an oil painting of a naked woman with a house as a head and the arms were tied. This is a representation of someone who needs to hold on to a home as Rodriguez lived in 30 different places. Her entire gallery shows a part of her heritage and the experiences that she went through.
Walking into Rodriguez’s exhibition felt like walking into someone’s home for the first time. When walking into someone’s house, you start to notice how things are set up. I never really thought how each home is different and how it changes from family to family. This exhibition puts a perspective in how different each home is. It shows Rodriguez’s Mexican heritage.