Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Found Objects, Video Art, Manipulation of Objects
Gallery: School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
This week I had the pleasure of meeting another up and coming artist. Her name is Dulce Soledad Ibarra. Dulce is a CSULB undergraduate senior student in the School of Art. She is a pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and is graduating in the Spring. After graduating from Chaffey College with an Associates degree in drawing and painting Dulce decided that she wanted to do more than just paint. Shortly after transferring to CSULB she switched her major from drawing and paint to sculpture. Sculpture was a perfect major for her because it allowed her to work with different forms of media. Dulce has worked in Zine fests, the UAM in CSULB, and in Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, and does independent workshop. One of the workshops that Dulce is doing is about Piñatas, she teaches how to make a piñata as well as teaches the community about the history of the piñata.
Dulce’s plans after graduation are to work for a bit and then go to graduate school. She’s thinking of going to UCLA, or Minneapolis, and is also looking into private art schools where the only focus of the school is art.
When Dulce is not working on her art exhibitions or projects she likes to create Zines, catch up on the latest episode of Ink Masters, and hang out with her pet rabbit Echo.
Walking into the Manos De Oro exhibition you see a video playing. The video is about a day in Dulce’s father job. the video shows Dulce’s father working and Dulce’s brother is mowing the lawn. On the walls there are gardening tools hanged up in a crisscross. There is a Shovel, a hoe, and trimming scissors. On the floor of the exhibition there is are two lawn mowers, a chain saw blade, the top of a lawn mower, a lawn mower engine, and fake grass. The lawn mower bags are hand made by Dulce. In the corner of the exhibition there is piles of tree branches on both corners of where the video is playing.
The Manos De Oro exhibition is about the working class man who is doing his best to provide for himself and his family. Dulce mentioned that the exhibition was also a reflection of survivor’s guilt as well as transgenerational trauma. Her father had left his family behind in Mexico and had come to California to provide for his wife and kids. Dulce talked about her father feeling guilty because his children were able to pursue an education while his family in Mexico were having their own struggles. During the interview with Dulce, as well as reading her artist statement, Dulce mentioned her own feelings about her father’s job. Though now she is extremely proud of him, she did not always feel that way. When she was younger she remembers feeling embarrassed about what her dad did for a living.
She wanted the exhibition to show a different side of her father’s job. Some people told Dulce that she should have scattered leaves on the exhibition floor, but Dulce decide not to. The exhibition was neatly arranged. This was because a Landscapers job is to make a residence or a building look neat and beautiful and that is what Dulce wanted her audience to capture. She also played on the human senses. She had a grass area in which people could sit and watch the video while feeling the grass. Also the tree trimmings in the corner had a scent that could be smelled across the room. The name of the exhibition as well as the use of the gold paint were also a tribute to her father. Her and her father are both allergic to gold but she mentioned that her father did not need any gold because anything he makes or touches is gold.
My experience/ Synthesis
Walking into the exhibition the first thing that caught my attention was the scent of the tree trimmings in the corner. After reading the artist statement I nearly broke down in tears because I felt what Dulce was saying down to my core. My father is also a gardener/landscaper so going into the exhibition I was familiar with a lot of the tools and machines in there. I thought that it was such an amazing way to represent what our fathers do for a living. I especially loved the fact that she chose to arrange the pieces so beautifully because she wanted to represent the way a gardener makes a home look after they are done cleaning it up.
Growing up I felt embarrassed of what my father did for a living. But now I am extremely proud of him. My father has an elementary education and he went from being a mechanic assistant to owing his own gardening business, which I find very impressive. Talking to about her childhood there were definitely many things that I could relate to. We talked about began dropped off at school in our father’s work truck and how we would make them drop us off a street away, or going to work with our dad and helping them out on a job.
I may be a bit bias, but I feel that up to this point, this has been my favorite exhibition.