A very long night
María Velasco is Spanish artist who has lived and worked in the USA since the 1990s. She currently lives in Lawrence and works as an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
Her interdisciplinary work is built from site-specific installations, sculptural objects, and public art commissions.
During her residence in ´ace she focused on the realization of an installation in the Polyglot Hall. She worked by resizing his digital files and then printing them on a large scale, using them for the construction process of his facilities. The exhibition space with direct drawings on the walls of the room also intervened and incorporated into the work a video edited during his residency.
My project is creating a large-scale installation that combines digital printing and animation. The digital prints are inspired by a book of poems written by a close family member about their experience of sexual abuse during childhood. In the poem, a brother and sister describe their imaginary games of “Indians and cowboys.” Many times they incorporate an adult character who visits them at night and “plays” with them. Children refer to their visitor as “Buffalo Bill”. Actually, the person is the sexual abuser.
The graphic is a narrative that uses images evoked in the poem: the Wild West, the cowboys, the cattle, and the railroads. In addition, it has combined children’s drawings and images based on family photographs and others found. The graphic evokes a narrative that is the seed for animation, along with a multi-layered soundtrack that reinforces the collision of two different worlds: battle scenes, the concerns of adults, and the fragility of children, all in one only pictorial plane.
She was born in Spain.
1993 | Master of Fine Arts, University of California. Santa Barbara, USA.
1989 | Bachelor of Painting, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
EXHIBITIONS IN THE USA
The Soap Factory. Minneapolis, Minnesota. | The Contemporary Arts Forum. Santa Barbara, California. | ARC Gallery in Chicago, Illinois, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence. Kansas. | Paula Cooper Gallery and Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, both in New York.
She also exhibited in Spain, Mexico, Argentina (Cultural Center of Spain in Rosario), Paraguay and Germany.
2007 | Artist in residence. Sculpture Space. Utica. New York, USA.
1986 | Artist in residence. Atelier Nord Oslo, Norway.
2012 | International Research Research Travel Fund, International Programs, University of Kansas, Lawrence. USA. | Lighton International Artist Exchange Program, Kansas City Artists Coalition. Kansas, USA. | General Research Fund, University of Kansas, Lawrence. USA.
2010 | Collaboration Scholarship, Kansas Commission on the Arts. Topeka. USA.
2007 | Hall Center Creative Work Fellowship, Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA.
A very long night
On May 23rd the exhibition A Very Long Night by the Spanish artist Maria Velasco opened in the Polyglot Hall of the ´ace´s house.
A very long night (by Alicia Candiani)
María Velasco is a Spanish artist who has resided in the United States for the past year, specifically in the MidWestern heart of the country (Lawrence, Kansas), a land that popular imagery associates with Wild West films, cattle and cowboys. However, the bridge formed by the cities of Lawrence and Kansas City (on both sides of the same river) is currently a hotbed of places and proposals for the arts, among which the Atkins Museum (with its new dedicated building of contemporary art), the Spencer Museum, Kemper Museum and the all-new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, artist residencies offered by the Kansas City Art Coalition (KCAC) and Grand Arts (with a focus on sculpture or the production of three-dimensional works) and the Lawrence Lithography Workshop (in the field of graphics), which are joined by prestigious educational institutions such as the Kansas City Art Institute (with 150 years of existence) and the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
In this project María, from the perspective of a contemporary artist, makes use of that collective imaginary about the region in which she has lived for 20 years and underneath the apparent innocence of the images she uses -in the manner of an oxymoron- brings us a hot topic in the Argentine and world media: sexual abuse of minors. Performed most of the time by those members of their closest environment, these abuses carry the chilling paradox that those who have the mission of caring for them are the ones who cause irreversible damage. We adhere to this project that becomes one more channel to draw attention to this problem that affects society as a whole.
Partially financed by the Lighton Exchange International Artists Program, a project of the Kansas City Artists Coalition.
Department of Visual Arts, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas, USA.
Shimomura Fund, Visual Art Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas, USA.
School of The Arts, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas, USA.
General Research Fund, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas, USA.
Office of International Programs, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas, USA.
On Wednesday the 23rd of May at 7.00 pm ´ace will celebrate the first aceNITE of the year. A lot of interesting activities will take place, and the audience will have the opportunity to take a look at the works produced by the artists-in-residence who worked during the month of May.
The works of the following artists will be exhibited: Maria Velasco’s (Spain/USA) and Sara-Aimee Verity’s (South Africa) work, which are works in progress, as they are not yet finished and will be developed in the future. Rajkumar Shinge (India), who worked with the fresco technique on his country’s artisan paper and with indian pigments.
Furthermore, Kadija de Paula, manager of residencias_en_red will be present in this ocassion. Residencias en red is a network of Latin American residencies, that ‘ace belongs to since the year 2011. Kadija is in Buenos Aires in order to attend to the network presentation at Arte BA, which will take place on Sunday the 20th.
Is an event that occurs periodically, on Wednesdays from 7pm to 10pm. During these events, ´ace opens its doors and exhibition spaces to the community in order to show projects made by the artists-in-residence in forms of exhibitions, installations or video presentations. During these occasions we are able to introduce Argentine and Latin American artists selected ithrough Fusionarte´s open calls, present books, art critics, hold performances, or do everything together!