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Meet Patricia Rangel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Rangel.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Visalia California and raised in the small town of Dinuba located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. I am the youngest of four children. I graduated from Dinuba High School in 2000. I attended a local community college and then transferred to Long Beach City College, where I was exposed to 3-d Media. I transferred to California State University Long Beach in 2007.

After being exposed to 3-d Media, I learned the techniques I had been taught as a child for practical purposes for example sewing, could also be a way of expression. This is what motivated me to pursue a degree in Fine Art. My parents have always been an inspiration as well as my brother and sister-in-law, who are also practicing artists.
In spring of 2015, I graduated with a Masters in Fine Art. I held various Lab Technician positions from 2010-2015, in the Fiber, Metals, Sculpture and Wood programs at CSU Long Beach. I now teach part-time in the Wood program at CSULB and in the Jewelry Program at Pasadena City College. My work is not limited to a specific material, but rather I explore ideas with various materials. The place in which I grew up is very significant to my practice.

Please tell us about your art.
My process involves an embodied research, collecting, labor, and repetition. I visit specific sites, the cemetery, familiar stretches of road and situate myself there. I gather a sense of the space. I do this repeatedly throughout the year. I see many things change in the landscape every time I return. The cemetery has expanded to account for more plots, and the crops are always at different stages in their growth cycle. I collect materials from these altered sites, for example, dirt and found objects such as the trellises and fence posts. I bring these objects back to my studio and experiment with them. I have become responsive to dirt as a material because it has the ability to present vulnerability, failure, strength, potential – promote growth and change. The found objects add context to the work because they are from specific places like the dirt, but they relate to methods used in agriculture. Labor and repetition are important to my practice as they relate to the arduous acts of working the fields. They reflect the importance of human energy, and time and how valuable that is. I create structures by compacting earth layer by layer. The aesthetics of the land, the implied boundaries in the land and the process of laboring over crops inform my perceptual awareness.

I create work to shed light on what we consider valuable, and to inspire critical thoughts about these issues. I hope that my work can start a conversation about what really is important, and bring people together. Technology can be used to bring people together, and there’s a tremendous amount of value placed on it, but at the same time I think it creates a gap between people, it creates distractions and keeps people at a safe distance. It’s important to take note of how much valuable time we spend watching other people live their lives online, rather than embracing our own.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I would say, follow other artists on Instagram, go to their shows and introduce yourself to people. I think people would be surprised how receptive other artists are to meeting new people face to face. Were all here to support one another. Getting out and viewing work is just as important as studio time.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People Can view my work on my website, or follow me on instagram.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Amie Rangel

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