Material, in collaboration with 801 Salon, is thrilled to present the exhibition “Sangre Mía” with artists Bianca Velasquez and Kelly Tapìa-Chuning opening November 11, 2023. This textile-based exhibition about reclaimed ancestry, cultural assimilation and identity features the serape and text art of Tapìa-Chuning and pictorial beadwork of Velasquez.
Using blood as both a metaphorical and literal starting point, “Sangre Mía” explores reclamation of self-hood and ancestry through the process of handwork. Velasquez and Tapìa-Chuning explain “Sangre Mía” is a declaration of the artists’ pursuit to reclaim a more direct and authentic relationship with their heritage. Through Tapìa-Chuning’s textile work and Velasquez’s beadwork the artists seek to make sense of the past by working with their hands, crafting tangible pieces that physically reconnect them to the intangible threads of their lineage. “Sangre Mía” is a testament to the unexpected alliances forged in the pursuit of cultural reclamation. It is a journey of tracing the way back, following the process of erasure and reimagining the narrative.
Material co-founder Colour Maisch says “We are thrilled to be bringing this politically relevant, thought-provoking work to our community. Kelly Tapìa-Chuning and Bianca Velasquez create a holistic lexicon that seamlessly combines cultural identity, visual markers and language resulting in a new understanding of belonging.”
801 Salon director and curator Roxanne Gray says, “We are excited to share the works of Kelly and Bianca together with Material. Both of these women are using a medium typically connected with female Indigeneity to process their own cultural identities in truly beautiful ways.”
Material will host an opening reception on November 11th from 6-9 PM with an artist talk at 5:30 moderated by Roxanne Gray of 801 Salon. The exhibition will also be available for viewing on Friday, November 17th from 6:00-8pm, as part of Salt Lake City’s Gallery Stroll, during the closing reception on Friday, December 15th, from 6:00-9pm, and by appointment. The artists will be in attendance for the opening of the exhibition.
About the Artists
Bianca Velasquez (b. 1993, she/her) is a Salt Lake City native who has been involved with the arts and music community for over a decade. Velasquez is currently a freelance writer for several publications including Southwest Contemporary, Hyperallergic, SLUG Magazine and Visit Salt Lake and holds the Vice Chair position for SLC-based nonprofit Mestizo Arts. As a visual artist, Velasquez works in acrylics, digital art, beadwork and more. After working as SLUG Magazine’s Managing Editor, Velasquez has poured herself into her visual art, captivating her relationship to family, herself and the act of recording. Velasquez’ beadwork interrogates the process of negotiating space, both physically on the canvas and emotionally as she carves out space within herself for the lengthy task of self realization.
Kelly Tapìa-Chuning (b. 1997) is a mixed-race Chicana artist of Indigenous descent from southern Utah currently based in Detroit, MI. In 2020, she received a BFA in Studio Arts from Southern Utah University; and is pursuing an MFA in Fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she was awarded a Gilbert Fellowship. Tapìa-Chuning’s work has been included in exhibitions with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, GAVLAK (LA), Onna House (East Hampton), The Border Project Space (NY), and solo exhibitions with Red Arrow Gallery (TN) and Harsh Collective (NYC). Her work has been featured in Artnet News, Southwest Contemporary, Surface Mag, Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Artsin Square, and Friend of The Artist among others. Tapìa-Chuning’s work is in numerous private collections across the US and in public collections at Onna House in East Hampton, NY and the Southern Utah Museum of Art.
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