Gisela Insuaste actively observes the built and natural environment. Through her drawings, photographs, installations, sculptures, and walks, she explores architecture, memory, myth and topography related to these precarious yet resilient spaces around her. Using color, line, scale, and texture, she oftentimes uses a variety of found, industrial, and natural materials (wood, leather, paper, fabric, dirt, vacuum cleaner belts) to create fragmented/interconnected structures and spaces.
Gisela is drawn to the existing narratives of people, places and things at the periphery—those (un)expected encounters or gestures which somehow can (dis)connect us to a place physically, emotionally and spiritually. Inspired by the concept of the apus (Quechua word to describe the protective spirits of the Andes), she maps the idiosyncrasies of the urban and natural landscape, both real and imagined, to question our individual and shared cultural space and identity.
Whether it’s a bike ride in the hills, a leisurely walk along a lake or a plane ride across the ocean, these experiences inform her practice where a shift in activity, emotion or location give rise to new ways of looking, interpreting and connecting to the tangible and abstract elements in our world.
Gisela Insuaste (b. NYC, NY) is an artist, arts administrator, educator and cultural producer. She is the recipient of various grants and awards such as: Hope Platform Designer-in-Residence Fellowship, Seoul, Korea; Apex Art Outbound Residency; Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency; EFA NYC Arts Worker Residency; Laundromat Project Create Change PD Fellowship; Smithsonian LMSP Fellowship; and MacDowell Colony Fellowships; Artadia/Driehaus Award. She has participated in various exhibitions and projects in national and local venues: Hope Platform, Seoul, Korea; Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Bronx Museum of Art, NY; El Taller Boricua, NY; Vox Populi, PA; John Allcott Gallery, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC; Satellite Gallery, UTSA, TX; Cuchifritos Gallery, NY; Queens Museum of Art, NY; El Museo del Barrio, NY; Praxis Gallery, NY & FL; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Chicago Cultural Center, IL; and Centro Cultural in Riobamba and Manta, Ecuador. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Anthropology & Studio Art from Dartmouth College. She lives in Oakland, CA.