This fall, AMSET is proud to present the works of artists Shawne Major and Angélica Delfina Vásquez Cruz. Shawne Major (b. 1968) is an American mixed media artist, who creates two-dimensional hangings and three-dimensional sculptures. Through her mixed media collages, she explores our perceptions of reality and how they are influenced by dreams, memory, superstition, religious bias, prejudice and fear. These influences overlay an individual’s belief systems to create personal paradigms. Major uses a variety of materials, a combination of kitsch, ersatz, craft materials, junk and personal objects, to subvert the hierarchy of high art. These objects of popular culture are transformed through collage and intense manual labor into elite fine-art objects. This exhibition will include collages and drawings.
Shawne Major received her BFA in Painting from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (Lafayette, LA) in 1991 and her MFA in Sculpture from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, University (New Brunswick, NJ) in 1995. Her awards include a Joan Mitchell Center Artist in Residency (2016, New Orleans, LA), a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency Fellowship (2015, Captiva Island, FL) and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant (2008). Her work is collected by the Francis Greenburger Collection (New York, NY), the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans, LA), the US Art in Embassies (Los Angeles, CA), the New Orleans Museum of Art (New Orleans, LA) and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.)
Angélica Delfina Vásquez Cruz, also known as the Ceramista del Preciosismo (b. 1958), is a potter from Santa Maria Atzompa, Oaxaca, Mexico. Her parents, Delfina Cruz Díaz and Ernesto Vásquez Reyes, taught her how to create toys, jars, pots and pans. She also studied with Mexican artist Teodora Blanco. In 1978, Cruz began creating her own work based on Oaxacan mythology, culture and folklore. Early in her career her fatherin- law Antonio Garcia Reyes (father of Irma Blanco and wife of Angelina Reyes) took credit for her work and sold it as his own. She is now an advocate for the rights of women, and many of her works celebrate women.
Cruz has taught her daughter and granddaughter how to create ceramics, continuing the familial genealogy of artists. Cruz does not paint her work, but instead developed a process using “agobes,” her term for natural colored substances, such as stone or volcanic ash, which she uses to add different hues to her pieces.
Vásquez has exhibited at the Mexican Fiesta at Millville, New Jersey in 2004, the Popular Art Museum of Oaxaca in San Bartolo Coyotepec in 2003, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. in 1999, the Eyes Gallery of the Mexican Fine Arts Center in Philadelphia in 1998, the Chicago Museum’s Celebrating Life exhibition in 1993, the annual Day of the Dead exhibitions in Oaxaca de Juárez, the International Ceramics Festival in Aberystwyth Arts Center, Wales and at the Museum of the Cats in California in 2008. She was awarded her SNCA (National System of Art Creators) designation of “Creator Emeritus” on March 2009. She also received the National Arts and Sciences Award in the “Arts and Traditions” category in 2008.
These exhibitions are generously funded, in part, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wesley W. Washburn, M.D. and Lulu L. Smith, M.D. Endowment Fund, the C. Homer and Edith Fuller Chambers Charitable Foundation, the City of Beaumont, and the members of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.
To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
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