Laura Drey
"American Dream Reality"

"Mapping Borders-Cameron County", 2018, burlap, polypropylene, and twist ties, 25" x 26"

East Gallery
October 1 - October 30, 2022

Opening Reception:

Saturday, October 1, 6pm-9pm

Artist Statement:

 

In "American Dream Reality", I poetically investigate the intergenerational roles of labor that have influenced my thinking and identity: the struggle of women’s work in my life, like that of my grandmother, mother, and "mis tías" (aunts), and the manual labor work of my grandfather, father, and uncles who have worked the fields and ports of Texas. I draw, paint, sew, weave, and embroider textiles into the strands of expansive personal and cultural narratives. My Mexican-American experiences, intergenerational conversations, familial bonds, home, poetry, and motherhood deepen this expression.

Biography:

 

Laura Drey is an artist born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is inspired by oral history and first-hand accounts of family members who worked on Texas land as migrant farmers and longshoremen along the Gulf Coast. Her artwork, writing, and performances are rooted in experiences with labor, identity, histories, and generational storytelling of assimilation, home, and belonging. These abstract narratives inform her material choices. She makes artworks that use conventional domestic materials such as thread, needles, scissors, and commercial materials like polypropylene sacking, burlap, and twist ties to create materially complex artworks. Since 2003, Laura has balanced her artistic practice and classroom experience as a teaching artist. She has participated in residencies with Ox-Bow-School of Art and Artists, Arquetopia Foundation, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Asia Society Texas: Artist on Site. In 2019, Laura received The Warhol Foundation's Idea Fund Spark Grant for her performance reading project, "Unsettled Space—By Way of Crops". Laura Drey holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Studio Arts (Honors) from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX.