Week 11 – Artist Interview – Patricia E. Rangel

This week I got the opportunity to interview and check out Patricia E. Rangel’s gallery! When I first walked in the gallery the first thing that caught my attention was her art work. It was not the traditional paintings or sculpture you see. Everything was made of dirt! Her gallery had caught my attention, thus I decided to interview her!


The very first thing that came to mind was: How does she make this? How does she move it?  What made her get into this type of art? What is the meaning behind her art? Are these fragile? Do the cracks mean that its ready to fall apart? I had many question for her, and she answered them all!

Rangel makes all her art piece on the spot. She cant move them. So once her show is done she tears her art apart! Wait What? She destroys her art! YES! She in fact says that it is her most favorite part. She acquires her dirt from many different locations such as schools, cemetery’s, and around home. Patricia also mentioned that her art is strong, sturdy, and very hard to break. Those cracks you see in her art, that give you the impression that her art is going to collapse…not even close! Her art work is as sturdy as a rock, a brick, you name it!


Rangel art has lot of meaning and background to it. Her art style is based on the concept of agriculture technique practiced near Fresno, her hometown. Her art is built the same way crops are grown. For crops, you plant it, pick it, and burn it. The cycle goes on. Her art is in the same way. Find the dirt, build the art, destroy the art, reuse the dirt.

Rangel art piece all use different dirt. The dirt chosen is not random however. Each place’s dirt has a specific meaning. Rangel artwork “A Racehorse That has Never Won a Race” contains dirt from Smith Mountain Cemetery, where her sister was buried. Her other piece “Potential” was made of dirt from several different places which had lot of meaning to her!

I noticed that she used a piece of gold in both  “A Racehorse That has Never Won a Race” and “Sifted”. Both those piece of gold represented a significant other to her. “A Racehorse That has Never Won a Race” the gold represented her baby sister, and in “Sifted” it was someone she knew (She didn’t provide a name or relationship).


I wanted to ask Rangel few more question but our interview got cut short as she had to present her art to another class. However, I was glad to learn so much about her in the short time we spoke. Patricia E. Rangel art was amazing, unique and meaningful.


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