Carolina I. Reyes | Fine Artist
Carolina I. Reyes is visual artist based in Chicago, whose work-style reflects Urban, Pop, Surrealism and mainly consists of urban architecture, advertisements and the environment in the forms of paintings, garments, installations, drawings, and photographs. Her visions are create from bright colors, urban landscapes, portraits, geometric shapes, text, and symbols and draws attention to social issues, empowerment, observations and questions. Pop Culture, Advertisements, and its affect on Chicagoans in particular, is also something she explores in her work. She uses advertising techniques to engage her audience in communicating her message. Reyes creates visual stories, questions, and awareness of social issues, as described by Reyes, “My goal is to engage my audience to question everything, society, and the media and to seek their own answers. I want to create a platform where dialogue can be possible for my audience to be open to expressing their ideas, who they are, and how they feel.”
1. What kind of art weapons do you use to CREATE?
I prefer to call my art supplies “tools”, because It is a therapeutic process for me. I call them such because my visions or messages within my body of work vary. I consider myself a mixed media artist. Art is a form of communication and expression. Depending on my vision, I choose the appropriate tool to best convey what I want to communicate. For example, I use the following in my work: painting, stenciling, photography, collage, jewelry making, ceramics, figure drawing, performance art, sculpturing, and garment construction. Everyone learns differently, so why not communicate in more ways than one?
2. When was the moment you fell in love with ART?
I think that I always gravitated to “hands on” types of projects, I didn’t realize it was called “Art” until high school. I didn’t discover painting until my junior year of high school. My school did not have many extra electives for many students to learn from due to funding. I was allowed two electives and they were Chorus and Painting. I was blessed with a very motivating art teacher, Ms. Gemperle, who encouraged me to express myself through art. I remember the moment I was working on a final for Art class and we were assigned to draw a still life of a few objects on the main table. By the time the class was over, I felt not satisfied nor complete with my work and I asked Ms. Gemperle if I could finish it up after class. At the end of the school day, I came in to finish the drawing. It was that moment, that I found myself the only one who came in after class to finish the work. I realized that there was something special there, finding myself alone with the artwork. It gave me a therapeutic outlet to express my ideas, dreams, emotions, spirituality, and the ability to use my hands.
3. What is your purpose to CREATE?
My purpose to create is primarily to tap into my consciousness/visions/morals and to express myself and my mind. Secondly, to journalize my life, educate and send or communicate a message in the best way possible and to share that with my audience. Thirdly, to maintain the morals of my creativity and to share my creations throughout the world.
4. Is there a particular message you want to communicate through your artwork?
My message changes as time does and my body of work changes with each question I ask and research within it. If I had to state or summarize a few that do not change, it would be the message to question, communicate and educate.
5. What is your meaning behind the word, “philARThropy?
That is a good question. Well, “philanthropy” means, “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed esp. by the generous donation of money to good causes.”
I can only assume, that it means to do something charitable with your art for a good cause.
I did read the philARThropy description which states “… empower artists in various locations around the globe to give to the charity of their choice.” Which I think is very interesting and am very interested in.
6. How do you plan on using your creativity & imagination to give back to your community & make a difference?
I have already used my creativity and imagination to give back to communities to make a difference. My artwork is created with deep thought and intention and organizations and communities are attracted to that energy. I have auctioned my work for L.E.A (Latino Education Alliance) which helps Latinos graduate from high school by providing proactive programs and assistance, M.L.E.A (Mujeres Latinas En Accion). This program helps empower women to become self-reliant and create new opportunities to improve their lives. It will enable “crisis intervention, parent support, homelessness prevention, Latina Leadership, domestic violence and sexual assault services and youth programs.” I am looking forward to continue giving back and working with different organizations in different areas with different causes.
This is really important to me as an artist, there is no better joy than that of helping a community with the power of art, and receiving an appreciation letter thanking you for the work you have contributed, one in which you love and enjoy doing anyway. There is no work in that, only intention. That is what makes the world go round.
7. What would be your contribution to the art community?
My contribution to the art community would be to unleash a retrospective show unveiling a large body of work through the metamorphic stages of it’s entirety. I also would like to work on curating a few shows for up and coming artists.
8. What advice would you give to a young artist who is trying to find their spot in the art world?
I would like to advice young artists just starting out, to believe in what they are doing and to get business books about the art field, learn as much as they can about it. I would also advise them to take a portfolio workshop and to take notice of how others have done it. I would also advise them to support other women in the art field by attending shows because we could all use the support and learn from it. Keep creating!!!!!
9. If you had the chance to collaborate with another artist, what would be the #1 thing on your art bucket list of creative projects you’d like to complete?
If I had a chance to collaborate with another artist, I would like to work on a huge mural. I would also like to work on a performance art piece and do improv.
10. What kind of art legacy do you want to leave with the world?
I want to leave the world with a journal of my life and point of view. My questions, energy, thoughts, progression, system of concepts, and colors; I want to leave one that will be timeless.