“As a Bay Area local, it gives me great pleasure to know that two of our community’s most inspiring artistic voices, Marcela Pardo Ariva and Lava Thomas, are receiving not only an important and well-deserved recognition on a national scale, but an award that might help them overcome some of the countless obstacles they are surely facing in this extraordinarily challenging moment.” – Anthony Huberman, Director & Chief Curator, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
“I was impressed by Marcela Pardo Ariza’s public art projects that are bringing attention to the history of the LGBTQIA+ community in San Francisco and situate the city’s gay bar scene as a critical space for kinship and solidarity.” – Lucy Mensah, Clinical Visiting Assistant Professor, MUSE Program, School of Art & Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago
Marcela Pardo Ariza (b. Bogotá, Colombia) is a queer Latinx visual artist and curator that explores the relationship of representation, intergenerational kinship and queerness through constructed photographs and site-specific installations. Through staging varied subjects and anthropomorphic objects, Ariza deploys sets as a resource to the possibility of (re)building a story, while materializing potential yet attainable narratives fundamental to envisioning present and future prospects. Ariza’s work illustrates her commitment to celebrating the erroneous, navigating intergenerational connection and questioning arbitrary paradigms while playing with the rigidity that is often present in the photographic medium.
Ariza is the recipient of the Tosa Studio Award, Alternative Exposure award, and a Murphy & Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. Ariza has worked and exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Palm Springs Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Berkeley Art Museum, SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, SOMArts, San José Institute of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries, among others. She holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and is a co-founder of Art Handlxrs.