As an American, of Dominican and Puerto Rican decent, my work explores the complexities of navigating personal and cultural histories in service to the construct of ones identity, not just who we are but how we place ourselves within groups beyond our families.
Having grown up here in America and not fitting the visual stereotypes of my heritage, I never felt like I truly belonged to any of those cultures. I became aware that the way I presented layers of my past could be used to validate my desired place within these groups. Reflecting on my struggle, I began to question the way we construct personal history in service to our desire for belonging.
The layering aspect of collage allows me to hide and reveal information, much like we do in life, the information is manipulated into what we can/cannot see. I do this by collecting information by creating an abundance of varied textures and marks within my work.
Pattern and color are driven by historical floor patterns from the Caribbean. These faux tile mosaics are a product of colonialism, used as a way to showcase ones European lineage while distancing from ones African and Native lineage. However when we look at the history of these tile patterns it is reveled they are derived from Moroccan tiles. I am drawn to the idea that, while constructing the colonial Ideal these tiles are actually representative of African histories. Through layering of materials and patterns, historical, found, and invented my work explores this narrative and the constructed nature of the past to reveal our desire for belonging.
— April Felipe
April Felipe was born in, Queens, New York. She received her B.F.A from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and her M.F.A in Ceramics from Ohio University. April worked at Greenwich House Pottery, taught at Ohio State University and Ohio University. In 2017 she was named one of Ceramic Monthly’s Emerging Artist and began a ceramic jewelry line babyGrapes Designs that are carried in galleries though out the United States. She has participated in residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and The Archie Bray Foundation. April is a Co- Founder of The Color Network .org. She has set down roots in Albany, Ohio with a home studio, she currently works for the Dairy barn Arts Center.