Changarreando with Michelle Cuevas: Instagram Takeover

Oct. 5, 2020

Oct. 5, 2020 @ 8:00 am Oct. 31, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Support our October 2020 Changarreando Artist, Michelle Cuevas, as we adapt the program to a new and exciting internet feature: “Changarreando” In the spirit of Changarrito, the pop-up mobile art gallery where artists can sell their work to the public, Changarreando with Michelle Cuevas allows the artist to bring their work to you. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on original work available for purchase as well as behind the scenes of the artist’s work, space, and creative process.

About the Artist: 

Michelle Cuevas was born in Silver City, New Mexico in 1972. As a little girl, she spent countless hours with her grandfather, Ernesto, in his workshop helping him make lamps from leftover driftwood. When she wasn’t with her grandfather, she was spending time with her aunt Socorro, who taught her to sew doll clothes. Both were Michelle’s first art influences. As she grew older, her love of art would take her in many directions. She studied for three years privately with portrait artist Elaine May and soon became an apprentice at The Chicken Farm Art Center in San Angelo, Texas. Even though Michelle’s original plan was to become a professional portrait artist, working for potter Roger Allen at the Chicken Farm slowly redirected Michelle’s path. After taking her then 2 year old daughter, with her husband on a two week drive through Mexico, she was inspired by her and her husband’s Mexican roots and culture. Rediscovering cultural traditions in folk art and textiles, she was inspired to combine both her love of painting and pottery. Even though Roger taught her to throw on the wheel, Michelle prefers hand building. She started making slab functional dish wares and slowly moved onto slab built boxes and other forms. When she was advised by Pamela Enriquez-Courts to show her work to Johnny Salas at Santisima Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that pushed her into another direction. Wanting to show Johnny something other than dish wares, she went back

to her studio and built her first shrines or niches. They quickly sold out. Today her work can be seen at Santisima Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Next Best Thing also located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Studio C in Corpus Christi, Texas. Michelle also has a gallery / studio in San Angelo, Texas located across from the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.

Artist Statement 

“I always knew growing up that I would do something in the arts. Even though my original plan was to be a professional portrait artist, I had no idea that my path would lead me into the world of clay. With clay, the possibilities are endless. It has afforded me a different medium to express my opinion of our current political atmosphere with dark humor. Even though with my shrines I try to keep them light, vibrant and whimsical, I can also take them into a sarcastic, dark and humorous place. Working with clay has allowed me to tap into my imagination and express my views and opinions with a sly wink.”

Presenting Changarreando

Changarrito is an art vending cart, conceptualized by artist Maximo Gonzalez as an alternative to the official gallery selection presented by the Mexican cultural authorities. The word “changarreando”, is a verb form that comes from the noun “changarro,” slang originating in Mexico City for “a small retail store.” The suffix “-ando” adds significant meaning to the word but can be summarized here as indicating the act or action of hanging out at a “changarro” with the featured artist. 

Faithful to their original, informal spirit, Changarritos exist throughout the world, evolving as forums for the sale of original artwork to the general public, presentation of public programs, special curatorial projects, individual and collective exhibitions. Changarreando takes this a step further to connect with people through social media, generate interaction with art, and embrace the digital era with our existing programs!  

Changarrito Residency

True to the Mexic-Arte Museum’s mission, the Changarrito and Changarreando are dedicated to the presentation and promotion of contemporary Latinx and Latin American art. Normally, artists have the opportunity to sell their art on the Changarrito cart in front of the Museum (or an offsite location, as representative for the Museum during various Austin festivals). Changarreando expands the reach of the artist by presenting their gallery online, while allowing the option to sell merch over Instagram  and receive 100% of the sale. For each Changarrito/Changarreando artist, the Museum acquires a work of art for its permanent collection.