Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Found objects and video
Gallery: Max L. Gatov East
About the Artist
Dulce Soledad Ibarra is currently an undergraduate at California State University Long Beach. She is a senior working on her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture who plans to graduate this spring. She is very excited to graduate! Dulce is from Chino, California and after she graduates she wants to work full-time and then go to graduate school. She’ not sure which school she wants to go to, but would prefer to go to a school located in the Midwest because there’s nothing out there! She does know that she wants to stay in studio arts though.
Dulce created an exhibition she called Manos De Oro, which translates to “hands of gold”. In the exhibition she used various gardening and landscaping tools, and then manipulated them. She coated several pieces with a golden layer of paint. Some pieces, such as some large hedge clippers, were hung on the wall. Others, such as an entire lawnmower and several pieces of different gardening machines were laid out on the ground. Artificial turf was used to represent grass, and two large bags of grass clippings were stood up in the corner of the room. At the back of the room, a video of a man gardening and trimming bushes was played on loop, with an unknown song in Spanish was playing in the background.
Dulce said Manos De Oro main message was to inspire people to take pride in what you do. She also said other people (e.g. family members, friends, etc.) should also take pride in what you do. Some people are embarrassed about what their parents do for a living and try to hide their profession from their peers. Manos De Oro looks to cherish what you do for a living and appreciate what it does for you and your family.
Synthesis / My Experience
I felt that Dulce’s Manos De Oro hit close to home for me. My parents (specifically my father) had blue-collar jobs their whole lives, while many of my friends parents’ had more of white-collar jobs. My dad has always worked in garages and manual-labor jobs. The last job he had before he retired (also the job he had for the longest) was down at the Long Beach harbor. He repaired the chassis on large 16-wheelers that would come in to drop off their containers. He always worked as much over-time as he could so his family had enough money. Because of this, he was always tired and had little time to do what he wanted. Unfortunately, he ended up hurting his back permanently which led him into an early retirement. For years I was a bit embarrassed of the job he had and what ended up happening, until I finally realized I was getting embarrassed over nothing. I eventually took pride in the work he did and am very thankful for all the time he put into work for his family’s sake, even when it led to his own health issues.