Beatriz Guzman Velasquez’s artistic journey is a compelling exploration of using art as a medium to confront complex themes related to migration, identity, and environmental regeneration. Based in South Texas, just 45 minutes from the US-Mexico border, she is both a conceptual artist and a dedicated art educator. 

Guzman Velasquez earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an alumna of the New York Studio School and the University of Texas-Pan American. Her work speaks about the present issues of migration, identity, and regeneration. 

Guzman Velasquez’s work sits at the intersection of art and activism, demonstrating the power of creativity to address societal issues and foster dialogue. She challenges assumptions and encourages meaningful engagement with pressing social topics.

“We’re being policed and politicized here all the time. That imagery I’m not interested in,” says Guzman Velasquez. “I’m interested in finding symbolism, either through herstory, stories of my community or the landscape that allows me to create freedom from that.” 

Her artistic practice revolves around immersive installations that engage viewers on a multi-sensory level. Her work incorporates audio, spoken word poetry, video, visual art, and mixed mediums to invite audiences to experience with all their senses, from sight to sound and even smell. 

While migration serves as an initial inspiration, her approach avoids explicit imagery or narratives and instead focuses on symbolism. By using materials laden with cultural significance, she challenges prevailing narratives and encourages alternative perspectives on migration and identity. “How is it that a migrating body — which I consider myself a migrating body, someone that’s migrated from one place to another — how do they confront the past, the present, and the future,” says Guzman Velasquez. 

Recently, Guzman Velasquez participated in a thematic residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where she explored material qualities and transformation. At Pine Meadow Ranch, she is excited to work on a project centered around meditative drawings using charcoal derived from local trees. This project reflects her deep connection with nature and her interest in themes of regeneration and healing. Guzman Velasquez aims to inspire personal and collective transformation through art.

As a long-time educator, Guzman Velasquez extends her residencies beyond aesthetics. She facilitates workshops that emphasize the therapeutic and transformative aspects of creative expression, empowering participants to find their voices and navigate their own journeys of self-discovery. You won’t want to miss her workshop Drawing as Resistance to Rumination on Thu, Jun 27 from 4-6 p.m.

Also mark your calendars and reserve your spot at Guzman Velasquez’s Open Studio scheduled on July 3rd from  4-6pm alongside Alfonso Fernandez and Christie Lower.

Published On: May 24th, 2024 / Categories: Pine Meadow Ranch, Pine Meadow Ranch Programs /