“My main objective as a Chicana artist is to promote and cultivate the importance of higher education, art, and the importance of keeping traditions alive.”- Gladis Alejandre
The central theme of my work is the ideas of capturing motion, culture, beauty, love, life experiences and identity. Most of my work is acrylic and oil on canvas. My artwork is like a personal journal, cataloging the past. Some of my work is based on capturing a moment in time and I do this by capturing the motion of dancers. When I capture a moment in time I try to paint it in different hues and scales. As a Mexican Folklorico dancer, I incorporate my cultural backgrounds in my work. I paint folklorico dancers from different parts of Mexico. In the series of paintings titled Raices de mi Tierra (the paintings titled: Self Portrait- Dancing Jalisco and Sinaloa), I concentrate on the aesthetics of dancing by showing an abstract movement of color. I have an interest in photography and I use my photos to seek a better understanding of capturing motion. I also started a series title “Mujer- History Makers.” This series focus on women, who have influenced me in one way or another. They have made an impact the life of many and in my life as well and they have thought me to not give up on my dreams. Some of the women include: Frida Kahlo, Dolores Huerta, Hilda Solis and Madre Teresa.
My family immigrated to California in 1979 from Michoacán, Mexico. The struggle of the American dream was in the minds of my family. I saw the constant struggle of my family day by day. But my life experiences helped me see the importance of family and the roots were I came from. They also allow me to constantly redefine what it means to be a woman, an artist, a Chicana and a part of this society.
Understanding where I come from is important to me. Since I started my undergraduate studies at University of California, Santa Barbara I join a group called Raíces de Mi Tierra this is a folklórico group in the University. The main purpose as a student-run non-profit organization is to learn and develop the study and performance of native Mexican dance forms from many regions of Mexico. By being in Raices de Mi Tierra for four years, I am able handle many situations, and learned from them. My work, and dance environment has thought me so much. Working and dancing with a diverse population has enabled me to incorporate Mexican Folklórico in my artwork.
I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Azusa, California. I was in high school when first started to exhibit and selling my work. I studied Art in the Ryman Program at USC. In 2008, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara. Two years later, I received my Masters in Educational Counseling with embedded School Counseling Credential at Azusa Pacific University. Since then I have moved to Covina close to my hometown and work as a Freelance Artist and Teacher.