Weaving, knitting, and macrame patterns were a constant of my childhood. The imagery in my artwork is inspired by memories of handmade patterns in baskets, plate settings, tapestries, tablecloths, and doilies under the flower vases from my grandmother’s home in Colombia. Borrowing aspects of these artisan traditions, I recreate such moments from my childhood, taking part in a conversation that emanates from countless generations of women artisans.
In addition to my emotional, familial connection with the structure of patterns, my predilection for this method of making is also comes from my interest in transitions and processes –the logical steps that take a structure from one stage to another. Transitions can be minuscule or substantial, but each is inherently crucial to the composition and value of the final whole. The work I make isn’t planned, shifting the emphasis from the final product to the process –the collecting and weaving of separate parts into something more than they were individually.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Gabriel earned her BFA from Northern Illinois University in 2004, and her MFA from Illinois State University in 2007. She currently teaches at Harper College and College of Lake County in Illinois.
She has exhibited in Chicago and nationally. Some venues include the Chicago Cultural Center, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago Artist Coalition, and Willis Tower. Her work has been published in New American Paintings, The Chicago Tribune, and Sixty Inches From Center. She has participated in the Connecting Communities Residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI, Interface Residency at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL, and Ragdale Residency in Lake Forest, IL. Gabriel is also an Alma Award recipient from Latino Arts Inc. in WI and a 3Arts nominee.