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Bloque de Cemento (Concrete Block), Acrylic, Photograph Images (two-sided)


8" x 4" x 16"


My work is a personal narrative/visual testimonio on family stories and the border culture surrounding the Rio Grande Valley. Through my textile and sculptural work, I share my suppressed testimonios (my stories) of growing up in the Rio Grande Valley. El bloque de cemento (concrete block) is an excellent staple of el Rio Grande; growing up and seeing buildings constructed from concrete, concrete blocks, and rebar. As a young girl in the Latinx community and also living around a machismo stigma, I always saw my father and brother build houses from rebar and concrete blocks with stucco walls. I always watched in amazement from a distance because of the stigma that girls should not do masonry work. The memory of not being able to do what my brother was allowed to do was a barrier that needed to be broken. Creating undoing was to undo a stigma that many in the Latinx community continue to follow. I use images of family members in different situations with "quotes" I believe these blocks will bring awareness of the male stigma that needs undoing. I work with textiles, found objects, ceramics, or different media to tell a story. I use materials to represent my Latinx community, including embroidery in clothing, handcrafted bags, shawls, and tablecloths. Many great artists, for example, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Pepon Osorio, The Chicano 5, and Ana Mendieta, use personal narrative to convey their testimonios/stories through their work and use of media. I have continued to use my art in the same form to tell my testimonio/story through my artworks.  Through making work, I break down barriers for myself to change what was instilled to me as a young. The moment I was able to look within myself and embrace who I was, the barriers began to break. Telling my story through my work helps people witness the continuous effect of a male stigma that continues to be a barrier that needs battle. I want to encourage a conversation about breaking down everyday barriers-both emotional and geographical. I hope to promote healing in myself and my community by sharing my narrative.

About this Artist

Elizabeth Gonzalez

Elizabeth Gonzalez

Elizabeth Gonzalez was born and raised in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, considered the 956, El Rio Grande, El Valle. She is a multiple media artist who graduated from Edinburg High School and pursued a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Mexican American Studies. Her work is a personal narrative/visual testimonio on family stories, cultural identity, history, language, border culture, and the community that surrounds the Rio Grande Valley. Her use of textiles, terra cotta, paint, wood, and installation artworks center around personal observations of the Rio Grande Valley. She then completes the process by applying media that references Mexican American culture. Her works have been exhibited in juried exhibitions in the United States-Icons and Symbols of the Borderland Exhibit (2018), 5th Annual Mujer-Eres International Art Exhibition (2019), UTRGV-Brownsville Rusteberg Art Gallery (2019), Rising Eyes of Texas (2021), 9th Annual Texas Juried Exhibition (2022) and she has received an…
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