Graduate uses art to remember


Delta College graduate Celina Gonzalez who expresses her feelings and life experiences through painting and other art forms. Her interest in art sparked once she took a class in high school.

Other subjects in school never caught Gonzalez’ attention like art. She found herself bored, uninterested in what was being taught in other classes.

“It was so cool that I found something I was good at,” Gonzalez said, “Because until I got to high school, I would just go to class, not really caring. And that class (art) kind of gave me a way to really create things that were my own, that I had power over, that, if I wanted to send a message, it was all through me.”

Gonzalez is a multimedia artist, dabbling in drawings, paintings, collages, photography and more. She’ll be receiving her BA in studio art from Sacramento State in May.

Gonzalez was born in Mexico and moved to Stockton when she was 8.

The transition from moving to a new state has had a lasting impact on her.

“Where it (inspiration) comes from really is my experience.” Gonzalez said. “ My memories, what I’ve been through, and when I say that it’s that, I was born in Mexico, so moving here had a big impact on my life.

I had culture shock, I was going through new experiences, I was celebrating new celebrations, traditions, and I had to learn a new language, english.”

In the midst of getting herself situated, learning English and getting immersed in the new culture, Gonzales found herself starting to forget things that made her happy when she was back home in Mexico.

In order to keep those memories and not forget about them, she recreates those memories through paint and other illustrations to keep them alive. It brings her a sense of nostalgia.

“I feel like my art work allows me to not forget, to remember it, to visually have something that represents that memory,” said Gonzalez.

An example of this work is a self portrait, collage piece Gonzalez did. The self portrait is made from things she gathered from home, things like Hispanic food ingredients such as Hominy and other items she sees everyday at home.

“It’s just things I find at home,” Gonzalez said. “I use them at work too. So it’s like, always a feeling of like, comfort and home and these things I see and use all the time.”

Although Gonzalez misses home back in Mexico, she likes living in California. The new places and experiences she’s had are potential material for future works of art.

According to Gonzalez, she is working on pieces incorporating aspects of her life in Mexico. She is starting to introduce aspects of her new life in California.

“I’m starting to get into my experience now living here. Like that has always had a big impact on me, but regardless, wherever I go, Mexico is always with me,” she said.

Another painting Gonzalez is proud of is one where she combined aspects of America and Mexico to express what about these places meant to her.

“I started to delve into both Mexico and here. Like I started to think about what is America to me, versus other people. So when I moved here, it wasn’t burgers and football and baseball, that’s not America for me. My parents go work in agriculture, in the fields.”

The fields and agriculture is what made America a place for her family to grow more products. Gonzalez’ feathers worked in agriculture provided for the family, and that’s what brought them to California.

“I feel like it (her own art) is a thank you to my parents for all they’ve done,” she said.