This week's blog post is written by John Stephenson.
Veronica Guzman, a relative newcomer to our Co-op, has had a very interesting and varied life as an artist and world traveler. Her ceramic artistry is featured in our Co-op Store, but she also expresses her creativity in many other art mediums. She recognized as a child that her calling was to find meaning and expression in creating art in whatever paths were open to her. Her father, who was a biologist with a deep love of nature, encouraged her to follow her heart in whatever direction she envisioned.
Veronica has followed the wisdom of her heart ever since. She grew up in Mexico but has lived in more places than most people visit in a lifetime. These countries include China, Malaysia, India, Viet Nam, Italy and now the United States for a number of years.
Her Mexican heritage strongly influences her choice of materials, themes and design, but there are many strands to her work. She studied graphic design for three years after attending high school in Guadalajara and has continued her studies in all the places where she has lived. Beginning with an interest in painting and design, she branched into ceramics while living in Malaysia and bought a potter’s wheel. That has been a major interest ever since. Other areas of her artistic curiosity include painting, printmaking, collage and papier maché, and most recently has begun working in encaustic painting.
Visiting her living space, you soon realize how immersed she is in her artistry. Every wall and shelf is filled with her paintings, prints, and ceramic pieces. One room of her condo is her studio and another a small showroom. A kiln sits in her garage which also houses her potting materials. She has a collection of newspaper clippings and articles that outline the work she has created in the various countries she has lived. Part of her vision today is to reach out to the artwork that is available in the Hispanic community in Portland, and to advance public understanding and exposure of this artwork to the community at large in the Portland area.
The underlying theme of her work is a spiritual view of the cosmos especially as it is expressed in the entire array of natural creations visible in sky, water, and animals. There are very imposing, large paintings of koi on her walls which symbolize prosperity, longevity, courage and perseverance. Her ceramic bowls, which can be seen at our store, incorporate various animals for their traits, and her encaustic work expresses the purity and healing power of water. Her approach is well stated on a bowl she made with the text: “Train yourself to find the blessing in everything.” That phrase embodies what she is doing - using the power of art to reflect the deep appreciation for the natural world.
Hopefully, this article will encourage the reader to come in and see for yourself the wonderful artistry of Veronica Guzman and to view the work of all the other members of the Artistic Portland Cooperative who contribute beautiful, quality products in all areas of art.