F. María Velasco
The Life of Things
The Life of Things
This series of drawings began during my residency at Marble House Project in Vermont in the summer of 2019. Fascinated by the beauty of my surroundings, I began to sketch fervently and soon realized that drawing on location was not an exercise of skill, but rather an opportunity to connect with a deeper part of myself. The Life of Things grew out of my daily sketchbook practice, filled with intimate encounters with the raw materials of life: the light filtering through a window, the turquoise water in the quarry pool, the velvety touch of marble, the mysterious objects in the house. But did the objects elicit the stories? Or were the stories lingering, waiting patiently to land in my sight?
Living in quarantine forces us to return to ourselves, to become aware of our own mortality and the vulnerability of being human. In my current practice, I embrace journaling as a process of befriending myself and reconnecting with my innermost feelings while swathed in beauty, vulnerability, and contradiction.
I swear I had a plan
But, upon arrival
The objects in the house began to swell
Begging to be told
And memories to rekindle
Fantasies, yet to be realized
And the Life of Things came upon me
And it poured
And the journey began
--F. María Velasco, September 2020
F. María Velasco is a Spanish-born artist who has been living and working in the United States since 1991. She creates site-specific installations, public art, and participatory projects about displacement, gender identity, vulnerability, and the structures of authority that govern our lives. She has exhibited at The Soap Factory, Minneapolis; Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara; ARC gallery, Chicago; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence; H&R Block Artspace; Avenue of the Arts, Kansas City; Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, Saint Joseph; Paula Cooper gallery; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NYC; Salón Tentaciones (Madrid, Spain); Museo Del Barro (Asunción, Paraguay); Paradise Gardens Biennial VI (Darmstadt, Germany), Mexico, Argentina and Morocco. Her work appears in Art In America and Sculpture magazine. Among her numerous accomplishments are a Rocket Grant from the Spencer Museum and Charlotte Street Foundation and an Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. Velasco was the first art student to obtain a scholarship to further her studies in the United States through the Madrid-California Education Abroad program at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, where she received her BFA and completed doctoral courses. She obtained an MFA from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a Professor of Visual Art at the University of Kansas and lives in Lawrence with her eleven-year-old son, Alex, who loves to draw and make art.