In an interview with Shepherd Express, artist and jeweler Maria Orozco talks of her local community and jewelry business.
When asked how she came to be a part of her community, Orozco said, "About a year ago, during the pandemic, I started creating my own jewelry pieces by hand. I was making sunflowers, butterflies, and roses. I also did a collaboration with Sergio Molina called the Esperanza Collection where I was making earrings from his coffee beans. That’s how I started getting more involved in the community; Kristina Campbell and Joanna Luebke saw that I was very involved and wanted to bring me in more."
Orozco was then asked how the uptown art scene has affected her town, to which she said, "I think it’s something much needed. Right now, we’re in a period of time where we need more inclusion in our communities. The diversity in Racine Uptown’s businesses and artists are a micro example of how we would like our future community to flourish. In recent years, there has been a push for our community to become more diverse and accepting of one another. We have people of all colors and cultural backgrounds in this area uniting to share their culture. Our love for our city and culture is what will create a brighter future full of colors."
When asked about the link between her heritage and jewelry/art, Orozco said, "It’s hard living in a place where you’re constantly having to morph your personality to fit your environment. We live in a very English-speaking community, so in order for me not to lose my culture, I’ve decided that I wanted to start experimenting through art with my jewelry. I think culture causes us to thrive more, that’s our core fuel to get through anything."
When asked if art can encourage diversity, Orozco said, "Art is always based on the individual and within this community, there are so many individuals. Each individual experience is something different so the more you connect to people in your community with different points of view, it will create more unity. I think that’s something people should consider when they’re trying to merge into an art scene."
Information originally sourced from Shepherd Express.