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Visual artist in Lansing to showcase 'This is Me' series at ArtPrize

Christina Castilla, Visual Artist
Posted at 9:09 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 09:09:37-04

ArtPrize 2022 kicks off this Thursday in Grand Rapids. It's an international art competition that celebrates artists working in all mediums. Visual artist Christina Castilla of Lansing will be participating in the competition. She gave FOX 47 a sneak peek of the art she will be showcasing.

“She's representing herself, her heritage. But the capital city, like the capital of the state, is being well represented," said Siso Dhladhla of Lanartbus and Castilla's friend.

Castilla's art is like no other.

"She uses a new medium. She uses different strategies. She's never done. She has a literal electricity to her artwork. She, she's a maker," Dhladhla said.

The bright colors in her work represents her life, her culture and Hispanic community.

“It's a burst of expression for me," Castilla said.

When she found out she got accepted as an ArtPrize artist she was excited.

“Very excited. To me, this is like, huge, because I'm a second-generation American. So, I'm going to be able to show my perspective of my art, my culture and just be able to bring awareness to it," Castilla said.

Her series she's bringing to ArtPrize is called "This is Me". It includes four pieces with stories behind them.

“My perspective, my memories, and my culture, my family, love for the Hispanic community and just the things that we do like traditions and things that made me happy and proud," Castilla said.

Like the times she spent with her family and grandparents.

“I have a piece that represents a time that we would play a game together. It's called Loteria, where we would sit down all together as a family. And this was a great time for us to learn Spanish as well," Castilla said. "It's like bingo. So each card would be a different Spanish word."

The piece also has a sugar skull on it.

"Which is like, kind of like it's like undying love. For me, like my grandparents are always going to be a part of that. We always get to celebrate them and like living out our lives and living out our dreams is a celebration of them because that's what they came here to do," Castilla said.

The mother of three hopes that pursuing her dreams will help her children with their own creativity.

"Creativity starts at the young age because you decide who you want to be. And that's a part of creativity is building who you want to be. And it's giving them confidence to know that like, oh, I can do that. Like this is already it's natural to them," Castilla said. "To be here and be able to not only have my mom see my accomplishments, but I know my grandparents will be proud."

The competition ends Oct. 2, and Castilla is hoping not only to snag a prize but also give back through her art.

“When I paint, I give back to the community. I try to get involved with the community with the youth. And so that's my goal when I go there, its to bring connections to bring awareness to what I do what my art feeds, and that is my goal," Castilla said. "So vote to bring art back into our community. South side, east side, west side, north side like that's where I'm trying to go.”

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