Q&A with Studio Art Associate Professor Micaela Vivero
“As a practicing artist, I find that art-making is limitless and that constant potential to reset the rules is very appealing to me,” shares Studio Art Associate Professor Micaela Vivero. Born in Munich Germany and growing up in Quito, Ecuador, Vivero studied Art at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Ecuador where she received her undergraduate degree. Later, she earned her Master in Fine Arts at Alfred University – located in Alfred, New York – where she focused specifically on sculpture. Following those two educational experiences, Vivero shares, has allowed her to pursue artist residencies around the world and those experiences have informed and influenced her artistic production, as has her career as an art professor - in Ecuador and later on in the USA.
Enjoy reading more from our interview with Vivero.
Where did your interest in art begin? What motivated you to continue and specialize in your medium?
I did get into art in college. I started out as an ecology major but soon felt that I wanted to pursue a career that was more open-ended.
I am very interested in the exploratory, non-prescribed nature of art. As a practicing artist, I find that artmaking is limitless, and that constant potential to reset the rules is very appealing to me. Art production comes from a variety of procedures. One phase that I am very passionate about relates to, in short, tackling ideas and issues from the point of view of a very curious person, which can include observation and research. Another phase is the materiality or physicality of the work, which includes using materials and techniques in both traditional and non-traditional ways. I'm drawn to create installations out of soft, malleable materials. The last phase is setting up the encounter of the art with its audience. I appreciate these different phases of art production and how the process of making art is very active and varied.
Art for me is a way to engage and understand the world I live in and share those questions with my audience. As the world is such an amazingly interesting place, resources to make art are endless.
Is there a specific place that your art ideas generally come from (i.e. a background, an emotion, a cause)? If so, what is it? If there is no general motivation, what has been your recent motivation?
Getting a critical perspective on the world and my position within the world is the biggest influence in my art practice. I like to visit places, learn about those places and the people who live there. I grew up in Ecuador, a country that has its modern history determined by its colonial past. The experience of growing up in a country labeled as part of the global south, informs the decisions I take at the time of acquiring a perspective on the world and making art. I like to step out of my comfort zone, in order to strip myself of my previously gained or perceived privileges. Power relations and how those have been set up historically are part of what I like to reflect on.
What hobbies do you have outside of the art studio?
In a past life, I used to ride horses, at a different time I used to fly paragliders. Currently, I like to go on bike rides on the bike path in Licking County and walk my miniature dachshund, "Orito."