Carlos Salazar-Lermont, MFA-VA22, was awarded a CityStudioSTL Student Award for fall 2020 to support his project Monument to the Venezuelan Diaspora (Moumento a la Diáspora Venezolana). For this project, he will work with the Venezuelan Association of Missouri (AVMO) to engage members of the Venezuelan diaspora living in the St. Louis region in production, exhibition, and discussion spurred by this work.
Salazar-Lermont, whose project is also supported by a Production Grant from the Sam Fox School’s MFA in Visual Art program, began developing Monument to the Venezuelan Diaspora in his studio practice. He will build on some of the same techniques and approaches he has used in past works, including utilizing materials such as wood, emergency blankets, and Venezuelan food product wrapping. The final sculpture is intended to “embody the grief produced by the massive migration of Venezuelans, caused by the current social, political, and economic collapse in Venezuela.”
Salazar-Lermont intends to work with AVMO to identify local members of the Venezuelan community and build relationships with them, talking about their experiences and asking for their support in saving food product wrappers that will be used in his sculpture. For Salazar-Lermont, successful outcomes would be engaging with the Venezuelan community and having the completed piece exhibited in a public space or gallery that allows the community to interact with it.
This work is planned to be completed over an extended period of time, allowing for new and emerging connections with the community. Since part of AVMO’s mission is to address Venezuelan cultural needs in the community, Salazar-Lermont hopes that his work will create opportunities to support this goal while also expanding the network of supporters connected to the association.