Sarita Westrup is a visual artist that utilizes open work textiles, rocks, and natural materials that are native to her South Texas heritage, environment, and diet such as black beans, avocado pits, prickly pear, and hibiscus flowers for color inspiration. Her work strives to explore the concepts of passage, restrictions, fluidity, and borders in regards to the Rio Grande Valley region. Currently, Sarita is receiving her MFA in Fibers at the University of North Texas.
My work is influenced by the Texas and Mexico border and responds to the geographic and political location that is home to many. Using multiple media such as rock, synthetic dyed thread, cement, plaster and naturally dyed threads I explore concepts of identity and place. While always considering the bicultural experience, I create sculptural works that display separation with an underlying sense of unity to express exchange and movement. By using materials found on the border and techniques that are apart of the Mexican-American experience, the truthfulness of the materials are sensed by the viewer and endow my work with sensations of mysticism and loyalty to a place I call home. The border region is seen as a place of violence, yet in my works I display a sense of tranquility that is associated with healing. For example, I place groupings of rocks on either side of a space, yet with the use of thread, nets, or scents I unite the groupings to create a sense of shared space and harmony. It is my goal to contribute to a collection of artists who are interested in representing borders as a place not a line.
Two border artists travel the Texas-Mexico frontier investigating ideas of place and identity through artistic engagement. Analise Minjarez and Sarita Westrup, two artists from the border towns of El Paso and McAllen, TX, our individual works adopt iconography and forms inspired by Mexican-American culture, southwest landscape, and sensations of the spiritual. Our minimalist aesthetic evokes a subconscious style derived from a background neither full Mexican, nor American. We utilize...
I am interested in utilizing the science of natural dyes while collecting and categorizing plants from the Texas and Mexico border region to show how a location defined by violence has the potential to give color. Through out the project I will collect and catalogue natural plant material and water from locations such as El Paso/Juarez, Big Bend, Terligua, Sanderson, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo/ Nuevo Laredo, Mcallen/Reynosa, Brownsville/Matamoros and implement tests...