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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Natalia Anciso creates art predicated on realities and legends of her upbringing.  Her works are visual records of family, community, and border culture along her native Rio Grande.  These Borderlands are currently ravaged by poverty, human trafficking, and the escalating Mexican Drug War.  The Rio Grande cuts one land and people in two, like a wound, bleeding a legacy of pain, tears, and struggle that have beset the area for generations.  Anciso's family has resided in this geographic territory for over four generations.

Anciso researches vernacular arts like pano arte, handkerchief art believed to have emerged from Chicano prisoners in the 1940s, and the huipil, embroidered Mayan textiles worn by indigenous women in Southern and Central America.  These art forms are reconfigured to tell contemporary stories of life along the Texas/Mexico border. Juxtaposing beautifully colored, watercolor-drawn images of flowers indigenous to Texas against stark, monochromatic media images, meticulously rendered in pen, Anciso offers the beauty of home against grisly depictions of the Mexican Drug War. Using these tools on domestic textiles such as handkerchiefs, pillowcases, and bed sheets, Anciso's work examines psycho-political struggles of life along La Frontera.

Aspire | Aspirar  includes examples of individual works from several of her series over the past six years. They represent a close look at the struggle of the silent and underserved whose experiences have motivated the artist's calling and her craft.

Natalia was born in Welsaco, Texas and after completing her undergraduate education at the University of Texas-Austin, she left to earn an MFA at the California College of The Arts in San Fransciso and an MA in Education at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley.  She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.

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Last updated 10/18/2017 9:10 AM