“I have always been a collector of things,” Michelle Gonzales says, recalling a childhood filled with art, music, and inspiration. “I would collect photographs, colored glass, and other trinkets I found on journeys taken around my home and neighborhood. Various forms of art were all around me, and I picked up on that.”
That passion for creation blossomed at UTA. It took her two semesters to find her home in the Department of Art and Art History, but once she was there, she never looked back.
“After taking my first painting class, I was forever changed,” she says. “Professor Marilyn Jolly helped me gain confidence in my process through questioning and critiquing, which allowed me to better assess my own work. It really transformed the way I engaged with my surrounding environment.”
Gonzales continues to draw inspiration from her environment—and from her early days as a collector of things. Working across media, she combines painting, drawing, and collage with processes such as sewing, embroidering, and the manipulation of found materials.
“I am interested in how memory is formed and preserved through time and space,” she says. “Memory is not only personal, but it can also be inherited through behavior, imagery, and objects. The things we collect, stories we tell—or don’t tell—impact our lives and can challenge our truths and our ideas of our pasts and selves.”
Gonzales recently wrapped up a solo exhibition at the Umbrella Gallery in Dallas, and is currently working with the Amon Carter Museum as part of the Carter Community Artist program. Another solo exhibition will open in June at the Irving Arts Center.