Hispanic Heritage Month with artist Erica Blonde
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! We’re so excited to have had the opportunity to work with artist Erica Blonde to help us celebrate. As part of our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Initiative, we engage with a diverse group of talented artists to reimagine Utile’s logo in honor of commemorative observance months throughout the year. Thank you Erica for your incredible work! See Erica’s logo and artist statement below:
Statement from the artist:
This piece is an exploration of the interplay between material culture, identity and the immigration experience. The word utile is a cognate. The collaged objects in the drawing – sugarcane, condensed milk, thread, a penny – represent the building blocks, the ingredients for foods, fabrics, and currency. The penny is marked 1959 to represent the Cuban Revolution, which would exile so many – my family included – from Cuba and establish their life in the US. The story of exile and finding yourself in a new home, with an expanded, transnational identity, inheres for many to the Latinx experience.
The woven tapestry is meant to challenge to what it means to “look” Latinx. There is no one identity. The tapestry bleeds through an outline of the island, to indicate its belonging to its people. Latinx are the largest ethnic minority in the United States, and despite a physical diaspora, the countries, the history and the cultures lie within.