Maria Gaspar, originally from Chicago, moved to New York to pursue her dreams of attending art school. Gaspar attended Pratt Institute, graduating with a BFA in Painting and Certificate in Art Education for K-12th grade. Of her experience in traveling to New York she writes,
“It was the perfect time and place to explore. I worked with my professor and mentor, Ernesto Pujol who encouraged me to find my artistic language. I learned the meaning of meaning, concept and material. These experiences and more helped lay my artistic and professional foundation. In NYC, I learned what and how. I learned what I was communicating and how to express those ideas.”
When Gaspar graduated, she moved back to Chicago. Her current work is a discussion of culture and the way her Mexican heritage is represented and glorified. She focuses on the leftovers from parades. Using whatever she finds to create the scene, implying that the Mexican culture has become commodified:
She is an important artist to consider teaching about –her work is based in Chicago, and she is constantly working with students and in schools. I find her work to be extremely curious and thought-provoking. I can definitely see lessons surrounding culture and representations of heritage in the public.
Check out her website for the full details of her work.