Artist: Sheila Garrett Rodriguez
Exhibition: Were We Even Here
Media: Drawing and Painting, Embroidery
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Sheila Garrett Rodriguez is currently attending CSULB while completing her Masters in Fine Arts in Fiber Arts. She completed her Bachelor’s in Drawing and Painting but decided to change to Fiber Arts because she was completely amazed with embroidery and found a strong connection to the department. Rodriguez mentioned that she moved around 30 times because her and her family never really owned a home or economic issues but does not plan to move again anytime soon. She stated that as an adult, she mostly stayed in southern states but for the summers she sometimes stayed in a certain place while using the example of Samoa.
Sheila Garrett Rodriguez’s art consisted of many paintings, embroidery, a video, and objects. Her project looked like a room because it contained many frames, paintings, and a bed. The painting named “No Trespassing: Borders and Bodies” was the biggest paining in her project. It was a painting of Rodriguez’s back and contained many flowers and a house on her head. An object that she included was a wooden bed named “But it’s Your Grandmother’s Bed” which she strategically placed in the middle.
Rodriguez explained that each object has a connection and what it means to others. Her main focus of her project is a house. She chose a house because she believes that it is an important part of the communication system through the exchange of values and meanings. Her main focus of a home is the privacy that goes on inside because “we are different within our own house than how we are outside.” She included the bed because it was her grandmothers that moved on to her father which now belongs to Rodriguez. She stated that she placed it int he middle of all her paintings and embroidery because “it is a real identifier of being in the space.” She decided to do a vision of a house because the objects that one contains in their house make statements about who you are and your taste. Her work included the “House for Sale” screen in order to give off an idea of exchange while the colorful flowers that she included is defined as a cultural identifier.
The project that Rodriguez created was really captivating and I knew that this was the artist that I wanted to get to know. I think that her idea is creative and different. I related to her work because I agree with her that people are different in their homes than they are outside because that’s how I am. I think being inside your own house. Her art was different and I think many people can relate to it which makes it so different that other projects.