Youth Events

Inner Space with Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa

Vanessa Figuero infront of a red brick wall spray painted with a smiley face

Image courtesy of the Artist

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Youth Events

Inner Space with Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa

Wednesday, July 27, 3 pm

Inner Space, a new monthly web series co-curated by the Inner Space Youth Advisory and AGO staff, welcomes artists from across Canada as they present personal tours of their studios. Giving a platform to young curators aged 16-25 to work with artists from their communities, Inner Space aims to make visible and celebrate a new generation of Canadian artists. A new video will be released each month.

This month we meet artist, Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa, an emerging artist, activist and woman of colour living and working out of Vancouver, Canada.

They were curated by Maya Rodrigo-Abdi of the AGO Youth Advisory. “Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa knows what it is like to grow up and live in Vancouver as a woman of colour. Her art expresses the sticky, hairy feelings we hold in our hearts after we spend our entire lives in this city and still remain unsure about how to look back at the cool harsh gazes we are met with here. Engaging with butterfly clips, broken nails, and other balancing acts; Vanessa works in various mediums that are sourced from both fine art supply stores and our everyday lives. Her studio space is not just limited to the white walls and concrete floors that she creates art in, but is an expanded field of Instagram stories and other social media posts.

Artist Bio:

Living and working out of Vancouver, Canada, I am an emerging artist, activist and woman of colour exploring politically driven protest art through multidisciplinary pursuits to allow for reevaluation and critical reflection. My work primarily functions through a diaristic lens exploring the notion of homemaking within the third space inhabited by children of immigrants of colour.  I explore and use materials and media such as hair, textile, collage, plaster, photography, dance, performance and many more.

Curator Bio:

Maya Rodrigo-Abdi is an emerging art historian, curator, and artist based in Vancouver. She will complete her undergraduate degree in art history from the University of British Columbia in the spring of 2022. Her research interests primarily revolve around the objectification and commodification of femininity in modern and contemporary art. In her own work, Maya explores themes surrounding her own lived experiences as a mixed woman of colour. She also finds inspiration from shopping mall aesthetics, the music of Mitski, and reality television from the 2000s and early 2010s.


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