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Artist Check-in: Renata Cassiano Alvarez

Featured 21c Bentonville Elevate artist Renata Cassiano Alvarez shares what she has learned this past year, what she is looking forward to in this year to come, and what delightful foods she is snacking on these days.

“This life choice is a marathon, not a sprint. Everything takes time, especially when you are developing a voice and an artistic practice. And we have to be patient. And ourselves.”

How are you feeling today? This week? This new year?

Renata Cassiano Alvarez (RCA): Today I am feeling good. This past year has been challenging, so I am taking it day by day. I am also excited because soon I will leave to go home for the summer. My husband and I have a studio in my hometown in Mexico and we make it a point to be there part of the year.

What are you looking forward to doing this year in your art practice?

RCA: Last year I started a collaboration with a Talavera (majolica) factory in Puebla, Mexico. I am very excited for the possibilities and new paths this project will bring. The Talavera tradition in Mexico has so many layers and the majolica technique connects both my Italian and Mexican halves.

How can people continue to support artists in their communities?

RCA: Attend events, openings, talks. Share with family, friends, social media. And when you can, buy the artwork.

Do you have any #protips or things you have learned in the past year that you would like to share with fellow artists?

RCA: This life choice is a marathon, not a sprint. Everything takes time, especially when you are developing a voice and an artistic practice. And we have to be patient. And ourselves.

What is your go-to food of choice these days? Any new recipes that you have tried that you are excited to make again?

RCA: It is mango season and I have been eating one mango with Tajin (powdered chili) a day. Recently I asked my dad for the family recipe for veal piccata. It’s been a tradition in our household and just recently I decided to try and make it myself. It is so good and brings back childhood memories.

About the artist:

Renata Cassiano Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist and interpreter born in Mexico City and currently working as faculty in ceramics at the University of Arkansas School of Art. Cassiano Alvarez works predominantly in the medium of clay, in a search of developing an intimate collaborative relationship with material and material language. Influenced by archeology and history, she is interested in the power of the object as survival—objects with a sense of permanence and timelessness, and language as transformation; especially how adopting a different language can affect the physicality of the human body, and how this translates into material. Educated in Mexico, Italy, Denmark, and the US, Cassiano Alvarez has had the opportunity to work in different artistic environments, a cross-cultural and multimedia experience which has led to the belief that craft is an evolving field and something that exists in motion. Her practice has extended to the interpreting field, where she functions as a bridge for non-English speakers. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in public and private collections in Mexico, Estonia, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, China, USA, and Slovenia. She works between her studio in Veracruz, Mexico and Springdale, Arkansas.

To learn more about Renata Cassiano Alvarez’s practice, visit her website http://www.renatacassiano.com/ and follow her on Instagram @renatacassiano

Image captions:

Figurilla con Espejo I, 2021

Ceramic

Mascara con Arete, 2021

Ceramic

Nonsense, 2020

Ceramic

Radiografia de una Palabra, 2020

Ceramic

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