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The art activism — "artivism" — of Jewell Medina will be on exhibit in the second floor of Fletcher Library through Oct. 14.
Artist statement: "My own art activism started as a young girl when I would design altar installations with my grandmothers and grow medicinal herbs in our gardens for healing. As early as second grade with Ms. Martin, I wrote an award-winning testimony about my mother and grandmother's life growing up in Guadalupe, Arizona. I was living with my parents and two sisters and a brother in a one-bedroom home in Barrio Campito. El Campito was named the camp because this was once the outskirt of the city and city dwellers would see campfires out in this location because that is where the migrants lived. The teacher told me I had a flare for writing. After this I wrote all our grief, pain and suffering into the stories and design of installations in the forms of altars and cajitas.
"My artist career grew in graduate school while working an internship for the Arizona State Chicano archives. At the archives, I learned about arrangement and stories through oral history and visual ethnography. I further expanded my perception and knowledge about art as activism. All of my work is targeted to speak to a revolution. In my time before becoming an artist, most of the time I worked on human trafficking networks, domestic violence councils and as an art historian and ethnic studies professor. I feel strongly that art is a tool to mobilize people to take action on the issues that are most passionate to their hearts. I believe, as Frida Kahlo stated, that 'I paint my own reality.' Art shapes reality and influences the outer. It all starts in the mind, and our creativity shapes the world we live in and create. Currently I am working on a piece to assist women in the arts. I am mostly interested in how women navigate the political climate and speak truth to power. Women are powerful agents of change to create their own stories and herstories with their artivism.
"I am a cultural arts productions visual scholar with research interests in art as it relates to social justice. I have a permanent collection of my art and papers in the Chicano Archives at Arizona State University."
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