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Maricel Ruiz
Florida

Artist Statement Submitted 2018

As an artist, I explore my household’s Cuban and African-American ancestry. My body of work questions American structures and standards while dealing with race, class, religion, gender, and sexuality as underlying issues. My artistic exploration is rooted in my household’s ancestry and branches out to question American societal norms. In particular, I explore how America’s educational system can influence my children’s developing identities. I do this by creating representational educational tools which express my anxiety towards racial and cultural stereotypes.
In an era where the tangible is becoming replaced by the digital, I find my selection of material a crucial element in my work. I integrate the unconventional medium of human hair with common household textiles. Several of my works contain dreadlocks which are shaped or sewn together to create letters. Text is written in both Spanish and English throughout my work to represent the identity of my family.

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