Jamaica Plain resident Liliana Marquez is an eco-artist who has a new exhibition at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. The exhibition, titled, “Liliana Marquez: RePOPART,” is on view from now through Feb. 25. The Gazette recently conducted a question-and-answer session through email with Liliana about the exhibition and her life as an artist. For more information about Liliana, visit lilimarq.com. (The session has been edited.)
Q.: When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?
A.: First and foremost, I believe that every artist is born an artist. When I realized the scope and implications of M. Gandhi’s statement: “be the change you want to see…” the eco instinct that lives inside of me bloomed. We live in a mass production era, with a wonderful world full of discarded materials, so I decided to focus my art around the use, as much as possible, of reclaimed and surplus materials. When you realize that you cannot go against the wave, but you can go with the flow.
Q.: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
A.: Eco-artist. I believe that my duty with this planet, and my mission as an eco artist, is to create a movement to strive for the use of all of these amazing “samples” and spare materials and really repurpose the waste of the mass production.
“RePOPART” is about attitude. “RePOPART” is an idea that forces us to RE-think ART.
Q.: How has being from Caracas, Venezuela affected you as an artist?
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, my family encouraged me to express myself through art in a fun, creative, and multicultural environment; in the ‘70s there was in Caracas an explosion of new construction to develop a new city. The neighborhood where I grew up was under construction; my brother and I decided to make a treehouse with all discarded wood from the constructions around us. Since then I realized that you can do anything with these construction materials. Eventually, I realized that this was a good action; don’t waste because there’s people who have nothing.
Q.: When and why did you come to the United States and how would you describe your journey?
A.: I came to Boston in 1998 to study and I fell in love with my husband who taught me to love Boston and the states. Being here in this wonderful and super cultural city, I emphasized even more my love towards the ecological art that is inherent to me.
Q.: What artists have influenced you and why?
A.: The Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz Diez. We have the same graphic background and believe in the power and magic of light to create the color that influences our mood, mixed with the power of the word. (speech of color and words) A thought repeated many time become an action. Use the language of art to make a better world.
Q.: How did the exhibition at the library come about?
A.: I am a JP artist, where a lot of my ideas came to being, and thus I wanted to return something back to the community. Plus, as I am member of the old JP UForge Gallery, they have organized a program with the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library to promote and support local artists.
Q.: What do you hope people take away from the exhibition?
A.: I achieve great satisfaction in knowing and showing that I am able to transform trash into treasure, creating all different pieces of art to show all the infinite possibilities we can create step by step. We can transform the way we look at materials.
Q.: Anything else you would like to add?
A.: I also work in creative workshops with recycle materials for young children in local schools to help them explore language, structure, shape, color, and their own unique qualities through our “learning by doing” process.