Itzel Vilches is a San Antonio based multimedia artist. She was born in Laredo, Tx and was raised on both sides of the Mexican-American border. This led her work to focus on the fluidity and ripple effects of a multicultural identity. She earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in 2021 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a concentration in printmaking and two minors in Art History and Business Administration.
Her printmaking practice ranges from relief to serigraphy, lithography and installations. Bold line work and thematic color choice carry a narrative of personal struggle with identity. She also takes her printmaking technique into animation, combining the art forms to create captivating visuals and unique storytelling.
Itzel has also worked on several public murals throughout Laredo. She has exhibited works across Texas and Tamaulipas, Mx. Her goal is to amplify the experiences and identity struggles of border culture to help others find a greater sense of belonging. As well as making art accessible to her community. She is currently a bilingual educator for the San Antonio Museum of Art, and is excited to expand her practice in graduate school.
"Al Otro Lado" Color Lithograph
"Desorientada en la Memoria" Lithograph
"Transformation up for Consumption" Color Lithograph
"I Have No Coordinates" Installation
"Lo Que Nunca Vez" Printed Sculpture
"Soy De Aqui/ I'm From Here" Multiblock Print
Artist Style: Teaching Artist/Instructor: Group Instruction, Instruction for Adults, Instruction for Children; Visual Art: Collage, Conceptual, Experimental, Expressionistic, Illustrative, Pop
Millions of first generation immigrants don’t have as easy of an access to their home country. The life I began in Mexico was cut off and left behind for one in the United States without a second thought. I was kept from crossing back for 12 years, unable to reconnect. With designs inspired by the structures of the international bridges from Laredo, Tx I explore the prominent gap in my cultural identity by measuring small tangible limitations such as water, geography and architecture. Color also carries an important role, as red and white are shared colors between the two nations- blue and green stand as individuals. My work explores the perplexity of a multicultural upbringing tied in with the irony of physically existing in the middle of those two countries. A disorientation occurs and the question of identity becomes deeper. I intertwine complex perceptions of each country and the idea of home- revisiting the past allows for a new understanding to emerge in regards to the sociopolitical perspectives that influence the individual. Examining the plain physical barriers that confined me for years, I attempt to mend my relationship with my Mexican life. As border people, we are as fluid and the river that runs between us. Transformation and adaptability are common themes in my art. I value the visual qualities of printmaking to carry concepts across my work as well, such as the deterioration of memory. I want to highlight my heritage and connection to land that I hope can bring a sense of belonging for others.
My intentions with this short film were to explore the connections that surround the physicality and social implications of the mouth in the ways we communicate during a pandemic. With themes of deterioration, contagion, and misinformation I want audiences to reflect on their shared experience over the past year.