Daisy Quezada Artist

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPOS -

Daisy Quezada’s sculp­tural ce­ramic work looks like fine wash­ables — bras, panties, del­i­cately em­broi­dered Mex­i­can peas­ant blouses — that could blow away in a stiff wind. The pieces are thin and eas­ily break­able, made from a mix­ture of wa­ter and clay called slip. She ap­plies mul­ti­ple lay­ers of porce­lain slip to fab­ric gar­ments, then uses an adapted lace-drap­ing tech­nique to achieve the folds she wants. Fi­nally, af­ter the slip dries, she fires the pieces in a kiln. The heat burns out the fab­ric but leaves its shape and tex­ture. The fin­ished items are ar­ranged to­gether in in­stal­la­tions, where they are placed on shelves, hung from rods, or half-buried in ce­ment.

“A lot of what I deal with in my work is the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the U.S. and Mex­ico, and the border — the fe­males within that struc­ture,” Daisy, twen­ty­five, told Pasatiempo. “I did the Ár­bol de Vi­o­len­cia se­ries, which was in re­sponse to the rape trees in Sonora. I guess you could con­sider it a game the coy­otes play when they’re cross­ing the im­mi­grants over. They’ll sep­a­rate the men from the women, and they’ll rape the women, and then as a tro­phy they’ll take the women’s panties and hang them on a tree.”

Daisy grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts in stu­dio arts from Santa Fe Univer­sity of Art and De­sign in 2012. She re­turned to Santa Fe in 2014 af­ter com­plet­ing her Mas­ter of Fine Arts in ce­ram­ics at the Univer­sity of Delaware. Daisy’s fo­cus on so­cial jus­tice for Mex­i­can im­mi­grants and women in the bor­der­lands ex­tends be­yond her art­work. She is con­nected to a group in El Paso that is try­ing to help fe­male fac­tory work­ers in Juárez se­cure pay raises. Women who have de­manded them have been fired, and Daisy sees it as her duty to speak out on their be­half, since she won’t be pe­nal­ized for it. “My sis­ter says I’m not Mex­i­can, which is fine. I con­sider my­self Chi­cana. I as­so­ciate my­self with the cul­ture over there. But I’m still Amer­i­can, and I have the priv­i­lege of be­ing here,” she said. “I owe it to them.”

In ad­di­tion to work­ing at SFUAD as the ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant in the stu­dio arts, graphic de­sign, and dig­i­tal arts pro­grams and teach­ing a foun­da­tions course for art ma­jors, Daisy works for El Otro Lado in the Schools at the Acad­emy for the Love of Learn­ing. The pro­gram uses in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary arts — in­clud­ing vis­ual arts, writ­ing, and move­ment — to ex­plore per­sonal iden­tity. Quezada, the child of im­mi­grants, works with other chil­dren of im­mi­grants at Monte del Sol this school year; in 2014-2015, she did the pro­gram at Cap­i­tal High School.

Born in Cal­i­for­nia, Quezada grew up in Tuc­son and southern New Mex­ico. She came to the Col­lege of Santa Fe to play ten­nis the year the strug­gling pri­vate col­lege de­cided to in­sti­tute in­ter­col­le­giate sports. “I was part of the Prairie Dogs, but we didn’t really have a girls team be­cause our coach quit be­fore the be­gin­ning of the se­mes­ter, so I prac­ticed with the guys,” Daisy re­called.

She left for a year while CSF tran­si­tioned into SFUAD and then re­turned as an art ma­jor. She be­came in­ter­ested in ce­ram­ics af­ter tak­ing in­stal­la­tion and sculp­ture cour­ses. When she first moved back to town af­ter graduate school, Daisy was do­ing ce­ram­ics in her liv­ing room. She has since found a small stu­dio space on Ru­fina Cir­cle that she shares with a painter. She fires her pieces in a kiln at SFUAD in ex­change for help­ing out in the ce­ram­ics stu­dio.

Daisy didn’t enjoy liv­ing on the East Coast while earn­ing her mas­ter’s de­gree. She was lonely and ex­pe­ri­enced tremen­dous cul­ture shock there. In Santa Fe, how­ever, she has al­ways felt wel­come. “I al­ways felt there was love and pas­sion here, and it’s where I needed to be if I wanted to be an artist. I can con­nect with artists lo­cally and branch out and have wider con­ver­sa­tions. Work­ing with the stu­dents at the acad­emy has been phe­nom­e­nal. Even though I’m not na­tive to Santa Fe, I definitely feel that we share a re­la­tion­ship.” — Jen­nifer Levin


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