Otis Street Arts Project

Otis Street Arts Project

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Artist Profile: Gloria Chapa

Otis Street Arts Project Artist

Name: Gloria Chapa
Contact Info: gloriachapa@msn.com

A Short Bio:
     Gloria Chapa has realized many of her life goals by utilizing resources at her disposal in unexpected ways.  Texan, Catholic, Mexican, matriarchal and mathematical are a few of the influences that define her character.
      Originally Ms. Chapa was destined to be an engineer due to her mathematical abilities and a strong parental affinity for the sciences. Early on, she had a fascination with making and drawing, but she was dissuaded from taking any sort of fine arts classes as a child. Her engineering career allowed her to exercise some of her creative abilities, but after 10 years the difficult decision was made to pursue degrees in art.  Not surprisingly, one of her first art professors commented that she was like an insatiable sponge.
      After graduate school, there were several university positions that Ms. Chapa held (Virginia Commonwealth University,University of RichmondUniversity of Mary Washington). One of the most rewarding of these teaching positions was in Bogota,Colombia at a District University in the city center. Third world art student views/ideas were beyond anything encountered in US schools. There was also a short period of graduate studies in Moscow that reinforced this aspect of art outside the US.
      Gloria Chapa has a wanderlust that she has been able to indulge. Her creative center has benefited from the many varied environments that she has allowed herself to experience. Recently, she has made an effort to remain inWashington, in order to reflect, examine, organize and utilize the events of her life in her work. The last couple of years have been extremely productive. Her amalgam of mathematics, domesticity and cultural variety  results in art work that is contemplative, revelatory, unexpected and yet very accessible.

Questions and Answers

What question about your work do you hate getting asked?
What is this about?

Why do you use the materials and techniques that you use?
Exploring materials and inventing new techniques is what feeds the engineering side of me. This  helps me open up the creative flow of ideas.  

What do you like the most about the Washington DC area art scene?
Diversity of cultures, professional disciplines, and influences.

What drew you to working in Mount Rainier, MD and the Otis Street Arts Project ?
I live in the area. Love the homeyness of the neighborhood so close to the DC center. The very visible presence of a working art community.

When did you start calling yourself an artist? or how did you come to be an artist?
I was always an artist. I still remember relishing the smell of my first box of Crayolas.  I always have a bin full in my studio.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you currently be doing?

What do you think is the most important influence on your art?
Analytical skill and femininity.

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