As an on-site painter, place is integral to both my subject and process, so when the COVID-19 crisis made traveling difficult, it became clear that I had to shift from working in the field to in the studio and virtual realms. This gave me the opportunity/excuse to fully focus on a research-based project first started during a 2017 working trip to Cuba. It centers on discovering links between my work as a painter and the scientific work of my great uncle, the renown Cuban botanist Juan Tomás Roig.
A deep dive into on-line herbarium archives resulted in finding an immense trove of botanical specimens that were named after Roig and/or collected by him. I found it curious that many of the endemic Cuban plants he collected had also migrated across the world; ultimately residing institutions such as the Smithsonian and Harvard.
These things – the closest I have to family heirlooms – are in museums I can only access digitally. As a Cuban born American citizen, I now find myself relating my own complex identity to these specimens. They illustrate the connections I have made to my environment, the history I lost when we fled Cuba, and the ever-shifting power dynamics that colonialism and migration create.
This work-in-progress “Recollecting Roig” series is a reclamation gesture made by a Cuban-born, American-raised landscape painter yearning to capture and connect to her truncated personal, cultural and artistic heritage. Tallahassee, FL, Summer 2020.
See the full Issue #63 of Arts District Magazine: FLORIDA https://indd.adobe.com/view/3a8c4022-5a86-4457-b788-4f55b3c0af7b
Curated by Amelia Biewald & Jason Clay.
The seemingly endless storm of recent events has me thinking of ways artists interpret and process their surroundings. The creation of art reflects the artist’s response to their world, and that can be both beautiful and ugly. I have been revisiting the often politically charged and highly critical works of Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, and their impactful and sometimes disturbing reflections — on racial discrimination, war, woman’s rights, religion, the environment and moral hypocrisy. Their large-scale installations or tableaux are assemblages of fragments of cultural objects and detritus with found images, advertisements, photographs, text, furniture, interiors, plaster casts, and animals. These objects hint at multiple layers of life experience and our surrounding society. These adulterated and repurposed materials spoke directly to the inhumanity and social injustices of 20th century society.
Fast forward to the inhumanity of the 21st century: little has changed, and it needs to. The Royal is seeking artists who strive to REMAKE / REMODEL in these chaotic times. While documenting this current turmoil is important, we’d like to also think of what comes after. How do you reinvent or alter imagery or objects in your work? How does your process of making uncover further narrative or meaning? How do you reflect on your world? Through art and creativity perhaps we can look for a common ground and come together to reinvent a better future.
Featured artists: Nicole Awai, Julie Blume, Michael Pribich, Esperanza Cortez, Kris Rac, Cecile Chong, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Yuliya Lanin, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Julien Tomasello, Tessa Krieg, Elena Chestnykh, & Benjamin Cabral.
B:20 interview link: https://www.wiregrassmuseum.org/b20-artist-interview-with-lilian-garcia-roig-3/
Thank you to all who voted for my work “Cumulative Nature: Northern Florida Palm Brush” (48″ x 72″), 2020 – It was wonderful to receive the People’s Choice Award!
THE FLORIDA CONTEMPORARY REOPENED & EXTENDED THROUGH JULY 2021-
–Painting on-site summer of 2019 – looking at the clear, rushing melted ice water of the Skykomish River located in the foothills of the Cascades Mountains in NW Washington State-