by Geneva Gamez
For many, being part of two nationalities isn’t easy, however, for others it turns into a nurturing essence which sets a thriving desire to pursue and succeed. It’s a mixture of identities that can either detach from each other or come together to create a stronger presence. Nuvia Crisol Guerra is a twenty five year old, striving artist who has pursued her talent and culture. She has combined the two, and consequently, her results reflect in her culturally colorful art.
Lacking the common phrase used to refer to emerging artists as “starving,” Nuvia is a University of California, San Diego alumnus who although not starving, doesn’t make enough money from her paintings to quit her regular job and focus herself to being a full-time artist. For now, she says “I’m a molecular biologist by day and an artist by night.” Nuvia spends many late nights contemplating her work. She relates her daytime job to that of art and says they’re indeed very similar.
The two paintings above are by Nuvia Crisol Guerra. Left: 1 - La Lotería de la Mujer, and15 - La quinceañera. The latter three are from a collection of twenty paintings entitled La Lotería de la Mujer. The above were chosen by La Prensa San Diego with permission of the artist. These particular pieces have been on display at Chicano Perk (129 25th Street, San Diego, CA. 92102) since April 1, 2004. Photos of the paintings by RR Beltrán.
“My approach to art has been like it is at work,” she says. “To plan an experiment you have to research; it involves a lot of preparation with trial and error before coming close to a conclusion.”
Although Nuvia has only been a devoted artist as of three years, her work and involvement in the arts has crossed international borders. She has worked on numerous murals locally and abroad. While on vacation to Peru, Nuvia enrolled in an art workshop and also took part on a mural. The mural hit newsstands and Nuvia was a recognized foreign artist among the locals in Lima, Peru.
Other places, where her paintings have left their mark, are neighbor cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. Within the United States, Nuvia has exhibited in Atlanta, Georgia, and will be showcasing her work in Boston, Massachusetts May 1st.
One of Nuvia’s most demanding series is La Lotería, a Mexican board game similar to Bingo. La Loteria features Mexican symbolic characters that best describe the Mexican culture. As Nuvia was getting ready to graduate from UCSD, many thoughts began to cross her mind, most pertaining to that of womanhood. She began to question why she had preferred to get money as a birthday gift rather than hosting the traditional Quinceañera that’s celebrated among the Mexican culture as the female makes the transition from girl to woman.
With that as the initial thought, other questions and doubts began to rise. For example; what would’ve become of her had she decided to attend a different school or maybe not at all? She also thought about the hardworking women, widows, mothers, and all the many roles women play in our society. With this in mind, Nuvia created her colorful series of lotería cards using Hispanic women as the symbolic characters to make up the board game that continues to display admirably on gallery walls. Although some of these paintings have been painfully sold, Nuvia keeps track of her sold pieces. “It’s hard to sell your work, because it’s yours, you become attached to it.” However, she says with a comforting tone, “I’m happy to know where all my paintings are as we speak.”
Nuvia’s passionate about keeping a cultural trend in all of her work and believes this is her way of keeping people connected to the Mexican culture. You can find her work at the Lyceum Theater (79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, California 92101) thru May 16th, and at Ojos de Dios Art Gallery at the MAAC Project (1385 Third Avenue, Chula Vista, California 91911).
For more information on Nuvia Crisol Guerra, go online to this link: http://vozalta.u33.infinology.com_-bellas_nuvia/bellas_nuvia_guerra.htm. You can also contact the artist at: http://www.artecrisol.com or through email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geneva Gamez, the writer of this article, can be reached at: email@example.com