Maine Artist Fellowship - Visual Arts

  • January 17, 2024

Veronica Perez | Westbrook, ME 

Instagram: @veronica_a_perez

Artist Statement: 

Veronica Perez is a sculptor who uses hair and textiles to focus on the diasporic Latinx experience. Their research-based practice about the psychological impact on identity from colonization relates to their familial history; her father, Miguel, was in the Puerto Rican diaspora when he was five. This subsequent ongoing colonization of PR and moving folx out of their land fractured her familial history and left her father, and Perez, with a false sense of identity. Art helps to understand socio-political issues affecting Perez’s communities, which aids her in working with communities toward representation and interdependence. The sculptural work deals with the symbolism of hair, and together with braids and textiles, they elicit love, loss, grief, and the myriad of stolen histories.


Veronica Perez is an artist who works alongside the community to speak about erasure, identity, and interdependency. As a visual artist who is also a social justice and cultural worker, Perez uses these frames of reference to situate their work deep within intimate stories and experiences - and share them with a broader audience through sculpture and story. The sculptures present themselves through hair and textiles, materials that elicit futures, pasts, and many stories braided together. She achieves this through her workshops called braiding circles which are intimate community gatherings focused on braiding a three-strand braid and discussing identity through the lens of belonging, acceptance, and power through a BIPOC lens. In 2014 she received her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design, and in 2016 obtained her MFA at the Maine College of Art. In 2020, they were awarded the Ellis-Beaureguard Visual Arts Fellowship. In 2021 they were the inaugural fellow at the David C. Driskell Black Seed Studio at Indigo Arts Alliance. In 2022, they were a fellow at the Lunder Institute at Colby College. Perez also subsequently had their first solo exhibition titled 'voices, whispering' at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. In 2023, she was the artist in residence at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham and held an exhibition titled 'shadow / echo / memory.' Perez is the Administrative Assistant at Indigo Arts Alliance, a Black-led arts and residency organization in Portland, Maine. They are also a co-organizer in Tender Table, an organization focused on uplifting Maine's Black and Brown community through storytelling and food. Presently, Perez lives with her child and partner in Westbrook, Maine. '

On winning a Maine Artist Fellowship:

This award reflects the support and care I have received from my BIPOC community. To do this work, I have to ask for help and have been able to work with folx and we support each other through this process. I hope that this recognition will enable me to expand my artistic breadth to further reaches of the state and beyond. This means that I can work with other folx to ensure that their stories are being told and that identities are not being lost to colonization and white supremacy. I am deeply and utterly grateful that folx can see the hard work that I and others have been putting into this project and this Maine Fellowship Award reflects this. This is not just a win for me - but for my community as well. When we lift each other up, we all succeed. Thank you. 

Visit Veronica Perez's Website


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Maine Arts Commission

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333