photo collage with fellowship artist, stevie haley delgado
Published : Fri 01/04/19 Updated : Tue 12/24/19 Category : MulvaneBlog

When Connie announced this fellowship, it struck me as an incredibly unique opportunity. Later that week, I revisited the new gallery. I fell in love with the quality of the architectural space and the way it interacted with Blitt’s work, especially her acrylic sculpture. I saw potential for how Blitt’s work and my own artistic vision could intersect. As an intermedia artist, the brightness of the gallery and its’ atmosphere was alluring as a creative workspace. 

On April 28, 2018, I had the opportunity to perform a spoken-word poem in the Rita Blitt Gallery while participating in Apeiron, a forum of student research, scholarship, and creativity presented annually on the campus of Washburn University. This particular piece titled Me\You, and my performance art in general, focuses on my younger years in life— dealing primarily with my family and the struggles we faced. My spoken word performance at Apeiron included a sculpture I created out of egg cartons and broken glass, which I modeled after chandeliers my Grandmother used to make.
collage of Stevie Delgado and Rita Blitt sculptures

I fabricated the chandelier so that I could change the color of the light it produced with the click of a switch. I also designed a metal apparatus in order to hang the chandelier aloft, over a wooden stage on which I stood for the spoken word performance. I used the color of light emanating from the chandelier to underscore the emotive tones of each phase of the performance. The content of my spoke word poem focused on the hardships of losing a parent when I was ten years old:

I followed them to the bedroom, 
Where a priest stood in full attire, Looming over my father in his garney 
As if a judgement were to be passed. Confused, young, I went over to the bedside, And stared at my Father’s shut eyes

The light in the Rita Blitt gallery served as a pleasant contrast to the somber subject of my work. And, though I was lamenting through poetry, I stood in the natural light of the space as someone who had made it through a painful experience. It was my first live performance in a public place, and the space itself added to the connectivity between my audience and myself. My performance of Me\You last April served as the preliminary groundwork for what will become my curatorial project as the 2018-2019 Irwin Blitt Fellow.


--Stevie Delgado

 

Stevie Haley Delgado is an intermedia artist and BFA candidate at Washburn University. Delgado is the president of the Washburn Process Coalition, the primary student art organization on campus. Born and raised in Topeka, she comes from a multicultural family, where she learned to appreciate different arts represented in both sides of her family. In Delgado’s performance art, she utilizes sculpture and spoken word poetry to connect with her audience.

Stevie Delgado artwork titled 'Me\You'

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