Artist: Dulce Soledad Ibarra
Exhibition: Manos De Oro
Media: Found objects, installation work, manipulation of found objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Instagram: Not available.
About the Artist
Dulce Soledad Ibarra is in her senior year at the California State University of Long Beach and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree. She became a part of the CSULB School of Art’s Sculpture program just last year. Dulce is 25 years old and is currently the only artist in her family. Originally from Chino here in California, Dulce was inspired by her dad to do this specific piece of art for her gallery, Manos De Oro. Her dad wanted to be a lawyer when he came to America, but became a gardener instead. Despite not being able to become a lawyer, her dad is still proud of what he does, and she wants to feel proud as well. She feels that a lot of her family is not in the same position as she is fortunate enough to be in. Her family is here in America, while some of her other relatives are not able to live here. Through this gallery, Dulce wanted to show the value of people’s hard work, especially people like her dad.
When you first walk into Dulce’s gallery, Manos De Oro, you will see many different things. You will notice a video is playing, which shows her dad gardening. You will also see lots of gardening tools and machines. Within the gallery, there are 2 lawnmowers, shovels, shears, bags of leaves, and many more things. There are outer layers of grass that surround some of the tools. Some also lie on top of the grass. Everything in this gallery is very unique in the fact that they were all covered with gold. All of the tools and machines had some article of gold on them. For example, the engines of the lawnmowers were covered with gold, as were the head of the shears. Overall, the gallery was very fascinating and interesting to look at.
To most of us, gold has a connotation of being rich and wealthy. In a lot of cultures, gold is often tied to having some sort of value. Ultimately, what Dulce is trying to show is that gold just connotes an idea. We as people can be wealthy in many different ways. Dulce and her dad are both allergic to gold, so the idea of this gallery was to show people how hard work often goes unnoticed. Dulce told a story of how she once worked in the garden with her normal clothes on. She said that people were wondering why she was doing that, but when she put on her dad’s work clothes, no one acknowledged her. In a way, she is trying to kind of portray how she is allergic to a certain lifestyle, the one of luxury. Despite having to do hard labor in the sun with gardening, Dulce and her dad are still proud of what they do. Maybe they are not rich in the sense that we think of, but they are rich and wealthy in the sense of pride that they have for their own work. By showing us her dad’s hard work in the garden, she gives us all something beautiful that we can view.
I feel that Dulce’s story and beliefs can truly resonate with a lot of people. For myself, I have never really been able to say that my family is very wealthy, because we are not. Despite this, I am proud of what my parents have been able to do for me and my family. Even if they do not make a ton of money, I am more than grateful for all of the sacrifices they have made. My parents came over here from Vietnam at a very late age, so I am very proud of them and what they have accomplished in all of the years they have been here. Even if they do not make money, they have something more important than material value. They have a sense of pride for what they have done, and that will always be more valuable than money or gold. Dulce’s gallery does a great job at portraying the true value of hard work and pride.