So, for Christmas I decided to make my Grandma a collage as a “thank you” for intrusting me with tons of our old family pictures.
In fact, I used one of those pictures in her collage as the focal point. It’s of my ancestor, Mary Rosell. The picture was taken at her high school graduation, and she died a year later of TB.
I stared at her face a lot while making this. I imagined that at that moment she had all these plans of leaving her small Utah town and seeing the world. She had dreams of getting married and starting a family. She had her whole life before her and she was filled with the possibilities.
And then, Tuberculosis came to visit and took her away. She was born, lived, and died about a century before me. And yet I feel like I know her from working on this piece.
That’s really why I like using my ancestors in my art. It connects them to me and me to them. And I feel like I’m doing my part as their descendent: Remembering (which is the title of my Grandma’s collage).
Through my work, they still live on in this world, even while they are in the next. And that’s my way of honoring them.
So, if you’ve requested a picture (and I’m working on three right now), know that one of my ancestors will soon grace your walls…