Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Bolaños.
Angela, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am originally from Honduras but have lived in Miami for most of my life. I attended college in Portland, Oregon, where I lived for eight years. Having spent so much of my life in three places that could not be more different one from the other has very much influenced the way I view myself and everything around me. My idea of home is very hybrid.
While living in Portland, I became involved with its terrific theatre scene and focused on the dramatic arts as my main creative outlet. I also began working as a museum professional at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Though visual arts took a bit of a back seat during that time, paint and brush were never too far away. After some time, I found a way to combine my passion for both theatre and visual arts by creating posters to promote various theatrical shows. It was a great way to stretch my visual storytelling muscle. Translating a playwright’s words into visual imagery is one of my favorite things I have done thus far.
I returned to live in Miami full-time in 2014 and have continued working in museums ever since. My arts administration experience includes serving as the Director of Education for Coral Gables Museum in Coral Gables, FL.
I currently spend most of my time researching and developing my practice as a visual artist, but continue my involvement in arts education through my work as a teaching artist at Perez Art Museum Miami, Anhinga Clay Studio and other locations around town. I enjoy working in museums as much as I enjoy being in my studio. Time spent in the galleries discussing works of art with diverse audiences has influenced the way I view my own practice. It has expanded my knowledge of how artists create art as a way to communicate thoughts, ideas that serve as a catalyst to discuss the most pertinent issues of our time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think people can pursue their passion independently of what they choose to do to earn a living. It is great to pursue one’s passion(s). The level of difficulty encountered lies in what you are passionate about and to what extent you want it to permeate your life.
It has not been easy and it is still not easy. Though progress has been made, a career in the arts is still very much perceived as a risky endeavor. No one questions a medical student’s dedication to becoming the best doctor she/he/they can be. Law students are applauded for spending every waking hour working towards achieving their goal of becoming a lawyer. Art students are often encouraged to find alternative means to support themselves financially.
Pursuing a career in any creative fields takes a great deal of courage and as much-if not more- effort and dedication as any other profession.
As for me, being a multi-passionate individual made it difficult to rein in the impetus of wanting to do everything I have an affinity for. I explored different professional fields for a while but always came back to my first love, the arts. Still, every past work experience is very valuable to me. I especially draw from experiences where I had to rely heavily on discipline, drive and a tenacious attitude to inform choices I have to make on my current career track.
These habits are integral to my ability to keep up a schedule that requires both a great deal of flexibility and as well as consistency. Negotiating the requirements of everyday life while sustaining an artistic practice can be extremely challenging. From carving out time everyday to do research, do the work, connect with clients, to completing tedious administrative tasks, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
I have found that dedicating myself to my creative practice ‘full-time’ requires a relentless work ethic. I am still very much in the beginning stages of my career as a visual artist so there is much work to be done.
Please tell us about your work.
My practice is very process-driven. I use textiles, reflective surfaces, found objects, traditional media and experimental techniques to create 2D and 3D works of art. I am inspired by organic shapes and often juxtapose them with geometric shapes, patterns and paper collage. The physicality of my work engages the viewer with its rich texture, ebullient colors and expressive movement. The creative journey of my work represents physical expressions of my continuous interest in subjects such as identity, perception and the passing of time. I also enjoy painting murals whenever I get a chance to do so. It is always an honor when someone acquires or commissions work and makes space for it in their own home or business.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have a few things lined up for the next few months. I am looking forward to showing my work at the 2nd Contemporary Art and Collectables at the Breakwater Hotel (940 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL) this December during Art Week. The show will feature artists representing Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas.
January marks an exciting beginning of 2020 for me. I’ll be exhibiting my work at the much-beloved Books & Books in Coral Gables. This bookshop holds so many childhood memories and it is the perfect place to display, “Portals”, my most recent series using reflective surfaces. The works will be up for the entire month of January.
I will be traveling with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator to the island of Guadeloupe in March for my first international exhibition there. 2020 is shaping to be a busy year and I am grateful for all the great opportunities coming my way.
- Website: angelabolanos.com
- Phone: 786.804.3588
- Email: email@example.com
Artwork images by David Gary Lloyd
Jason Wilkotz for the headshot