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Art & Life with Angela Faz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Faz.

Angela, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Born and raised in the Ledbetter neighborhood in West Dallas, I am the daughter of an immigrant and a second-generation Texan. Beyond the story of imposed borders, my journey lies within the intersections of race, class, and gender which informs my art today.

When I was thirteen I had the opportunity to audition for Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I recently learned that my mother called the school and asked what a portfolio was and the principal said, “Have your daughter bring in a folder of her drawings.” I worked for the next few weeks making drawings on lined notebook paper of Bart Simpson as a punk rocker, and other heavy metal inspired musings.

On the day of the audition, we watched as the other kids with their legit leather portfolios, practically wearing berets took their place in the auditorium. And here is this kid from West Dallas with zero classroom art experience strolling in for an audition with a nineteen-cent folder from the drug store. Years later, my mom admitted that she thought I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting in. To her credit, she says that her job was to support me. They must have recognized some raw talent in those Bart Simpson sketches because I got in!

It was at Booker T. that I took my first printmaking class with Mrs. Polly Diskey and have been a practicing artist ever since. The influence of Booker T.’s tight-knit and ethnically diverse culture continues to be a catalyst for my work with race, place, and gender. After high school, I rambled around in Dallas and Austin and picked up invaluable experiences and an assortment of odd jobs — among them Whole Foods cashier, cigar shop clerk, and sheetrock repairer — that paid for rent and art supplies. But by the early 2000s, I knew it was time to get serious.

In 2002, I packed my belongings neatly into a recycled produce box and moved to Phoenix to attend Collins College, where I majored in visual communication and minored in graphic design. After completing my bachelor’s degree in 2005, I moved back to Dallas to try my hand at adulting. While working day jobs as a designer, in 2009 presented my first solo show, Denomination, at the Magnolia Theater. It was around this time that I begin to hone my skills toward worthwhile causes which in turn became essential to my art practice. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with local grassroots organizations such as Art Conspiracy, Texas Organizing Project, and Mother’s Against Police Brutality.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My studio practice medium of focus involves linoleum, woodcut, monotypes, and silkscreen. I create commentary using old hand methods such as woodcuts in the tradition of José Guadalupe Posada to give voice to current events.

Recently, I have just completed a six-week printmaking residency in Puebla, Mexico where I spent time researching ancestral roots, colonization, and the mythologies accompanying them. The journey back to Mexico was inspired by the series made last year for Decolonize Dallas where I explored the rich and complicated history of West Dallas through the lens of my mother’s family who settled there in the 1930s. The Decolonize Dallas series highlights the impacts of the waves of gentrification that are currently underway and the environmental racism that ultimately led to the area being declared a Superfund site in the 1990s. My work aims to document and preserve the voices and perspectives of the displaced but also celebrate contributions of the community that are often overlooked.

I believe this examination is relevant because the general narrative of latinx people in Texas is one dimensional and derives from one-sided media interpretations. In my view much of P.O.C. Dallas history, accomplishments, and collective knowledge are not documented, and our youth have to relearn and struggle when they could have a knowledge trust of preserved stories. The next phase of my work will include a storytelling component with onsite installations celebrating the history of the land and accomplishments of its people called Cuenta Me Un Cuento.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Having a supportive community of artists who are invested in each other’s work and life has been so meaningful. By showing up and going to their events, offering an ear and helping where possible the community is that much stronger. I also found the groups working on issues that resonate with me and joined them.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
This fall 2018 catch me at The Kiva Gallery at Mountain View College for a collaboration with students for Hispanic Heritage month. October 1 – November 17th.

My work can be found on my website:
AngelaFaz.com

The progress, process, and travels connected to my work can be found on my Instagram page:
@thefaztastic

I’ll be featured along with a few local artists are the Sixth Rising Star exhibition at Turner House September 15th and 16th.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Angela Faz

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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