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Meet Allison Garcia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Garcia.

Allison, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I would say it all started when I was in Kindergarten and I was drawing circles and ovals to make a bunny for an Easter card. The other kids in the class noticed it and wanted me to draw bunnies for their Easter cards to give to their parents. I was fascinated with shapes and how using them in various ways could make an object. In the 2nd grade, my school had all the students draw their teachers and those who were picked were going into the yearbook and out of my class mine was picked! That was the day when I felt I could really draw. I discovered my liking for intensive colors when I got into middle school and purchased highlighters of my own. I was using them to color my doodles and drawings instead of highlighting notes for school. Then one day I accidentally purchased graph paper thinking it was lined paper and began creating patterns and pixelated images.

Throughout school, I was interested in Art and enjoyed it as a hobby but never considered it as a career. I’ve always made art but only for myself and perhaps for holiday and birthday cards for loved ones. At Cerritos Community College, my major was undecided and I needed more units to qualify as a full-time student so I enrolled into some art classes. From taking these art classes, I was exploring more and experimenting with various mediums and techniques. I was gaining more and more of an interest for Art and was getting great feedback and advice from my professors such as Sergio Teran, Claudia McCain and Lisa Vitela. It was because of them that I decided to pursue Art and Art History.

I transferred to California State University, Dominguez Hills where I was able to obtain the skills and knowledge to evolve my art to where it is today. I was able to be one of the co-founders of the DH Arts collective on campus and was privileged to have a great Professor, Devon Tsuno, to mentor us students by sharing his knowledge of the art field and providing us with the nuts and bolts to prepare for the real world. I was able to have many opportunities to work with the community on art projects, such as participating in a water conservation Risograph workshop with Big City Forum at Pacoima City Hall. Also, I had the privilege to participate in the FAR BAAZAR event at Cerritos College where I had my first chance to curate a room that was named, Sand Sanctuary. By being part of a collective I was gaining knowledge and experience of curating and event coordinating.

Now I am still making art and participating in shows but I am drawn to the Art education aspect of it and mainly working with the community rather than in the school systems. At the Downey Family YMCA, I was able to gain the opportunity to be a Teaching Artist and work with the community on art projects. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to explore other areas of the community and applied to Museum of Latin American Art where I also became a Teaching Artist.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, especially when it comes to the art field. When you tell a person that you are pursuing art, there will be people that will give you grief about it because they cannot wrap their head around art paying the bills. I did not choose Art because I wanted to make billions and billions of dollars, I choose it because it is a career that I can look forward to and enjoy doing for the rest of my life. I love art and the many things it can do and I want to share that with my community. I worked as a teaching artist for an art organization called “Ruckus Roots”, where I was able to work with 5th graders on an art mural. I was astonished by how many students raised their hands when I asked the question,” Raise your hands if this is your first time painting?” Majority of them did not know how to mix the primary colors to create secondary colors. Moments like that give me the confirmation that I chose the right path and how important it is to me to want to share art with the community. Especially for the youth who are struggling with hardships and need an outlet to express themselves. I was encountering children from foster homes that were being removed from the class and children dealing with the loss of a parent at the age of 10.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a Landscape painter who demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. I investigate form and space by composing hard edge geometric shapes to create a landscape. Through traveling, I photograph architecture that represents human’s interaction with the environment. From that photograph, I sketch out the shapes and analyze the colors that I see then lightly draw it on a wooden panel. I use wooden panels because it resembles the association between wood from the trees and the manufacturing it undergoes to be a product for human use. I manipulate the thickness of the acrylic paint to make it opaque and transparent to allow how much of the wood grain I want to show. The accumulation of facets are what constructs the landscapes to give it an appearance of complexity. I apply fluorescent colors to my paintings to emphasize the colors that I see from my perspective when I see these places and enhancing the beauty of nature.

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