Art: A Form of Expression

Edna Barco
Dec 8, 2016 · 3 min read

We have always been told that art is a form of expression, but have you ever stopped to think about what this really means? Through out my life, I’ve always thought that this phrase had something to do with emotions, for example, if you felt sad, then you could draw a sad face, and if you felt happy, then you would use bright colors. Additionally, my knowledge of art was really narrow, meaning that when I thought of art, I would only think of paintings. I have come to learn that this is absolutely not the case, and that art can be extremely powerful. As I have grown older, so has my knowledge of various types of arts and copious amount of statements that you can make through art.

Two months ago, I attended was is called a Roski talk, here at USC. The presenters name was Monica Mayer and she is a feminist artist.

Monica Mayer

Her talk was eye opening and truly amazing. There are several mediums that she works with, and even though she does not work with ceramics I though that it was a good idea to open things up a little and talk about art in general. As a feminist artist, Mayer has done a lot of work that talk about the challenges that women face in society, and also makes work that speaks about empowerment. Her career goal, as she said during the talk, is to shake people, meaning that her goal is to get to people’s emotions and really cause an effect on them. There was a piece that she did, which has become extremely popular, called El Tendedero (The Clothesline), in which she pinned post its that had statements and questions asking about sexual harassment.

Clothesline Exhibit

Many participated in this art work. In one of her exhibitions, she received around 7,000 written responses and about 3,000 electronic responses, which is truly amazing. The post its/cards included questions such as, “when was the last time you were sexually harassed?”.

“How would you defend someone from sexual assault?” (left), “when was the first time you were sexually abused?” (right)

As you can see, art can be very powerful and address issues through a different and creative method. For my last wheel throwing projects, I had to make six bowls with narratives painted on them. These narratives could tell any story or address anything that popped into our heads. Immigration, is an issue that I am strongly passionate about and therefore, I decided to make a bowl series that addressed this issue. I addressed different issues within immigration such as deportation, racism, assimilation, risks, hardships along with others.

Immigration Bowl Series

Through this project and by hearing Mayer speak, I learned that art is extremely powerful and can really “shake” people.

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