Five Things You Don’t Know About Me: Mixed Media Artist Vanessa Argueta

Artist Vanessa Argueta hails from Miami, but now creates her transformative work here in the metro. Her process involves searching for and using found and discarded fabrics, deconstructing them and then reassembling them into new compositions using quilting and sewing techniques. The result? Vivid colors and bold graphic prints.

Argueta

The mixed-media artist was recently selected to produce artwork for Commerce Bank’s What Matters Most, an online art exhibition which focuses on meaningful feelings and experiences that have emerged during the pandemic. Vanessa’s piece is titled Rie Llora.

We caught up with Argueta to find out five things you don’t know about her:


5) I’m obsessed with Shakira.
“I still remember when I got my first iPod shuffle for Christmas. The first song I downloaded was Hips Don’t Lie. I would wear very dark eyeliner and had curly, bedhead hair. I’m still a very hardcore fan to this day, and hope I get to see her perform live one day.”


4) I know quite a bit about cigars.
“When I was younger, both my parents actually worked for different cigar distributors in Miami, so I grew up hearing and learning about different kinds and brands. Eventually my father even went on to open his own cigar shop.”


3) I hadn’t traveled inside the U.S. until I was 18.
“It didn’t seem weird to me until I told other people. I had been on a plane but only outside the U.S. to visit family in Panama and Honduras. To this day, I’ve only been in Florida, Missouri, and Kansas, but hopefully I’ll get to visit other states.”


2) I used to steal mangoes.
“Growing up in Florida, mango trees are everywhere. You could literally walk around your neighborhood and you’re guaranteed to find at least a few [mangos on] tree branches hanging over onto sidewalks—so technically you aren’t trespassing, right?”


1) I grew up speaking Spanglish.
“Growing up, both of my parents spoke mostly Spanish at home. I also lived with my grandmothers who only spoke Spanish. But as I was introduced to cartoons, playing with other kids at the park and just growing up in Miami, it became natural to mix the two when speaking. Most people from Miami joke that Spanglish is the official language of the 305.”