"I continued with 11x14 paper. I collaged this piece as well with acrylic paint. I saw her as a woman learning to be strong and fitting in with her culture and dealing with the struggle of it. Her highlights were to set her apart from the stereotypes."
Prints are produced on demand on stretched canvas, acrylic plexi, or giclee fine art paper in a variety of sizes here in the United States.
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“I create art because my heart desires beauty. I need to express myself creatively or there is an empty void. My art fills that void.”
Chacalit’s art expresses her desire to share beauty with the world, inspire others to recycle, and advocate for the unhoused. Born in Bellflower, California, she recalls early memories with her family as the seed of inspiration for her creativity. At only seven, her brother began creating, so at five years old, she began following in his footsteps by crocheting. With a family full of artists, she continually saw the value of creating but did not pursue it seriously until much later in adulthood.
In fact, her true pursuit of becoming an artist was spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. She explains, “I have always been creative but the pandemic catapulted my art practice into a consistent practice. Now it is essential to create art in whatever way it comes out of me.” Having to shelter in place and look inward escalated her practice and helped her focus on her creative endeavors, as well as gain confidence in her work and build the courage to share her art and story with the world.
Chacalit experienced great turbulence in her life in the form of homelessness, substance abuse and trauma. She explains, “Doing art helps me process what I went through.” Living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD, Chacalit struggled to find stable footing, employment and healthcare. Through great bravery and strength, she made significant changes and relied on support, and has now been proudly sober for 6 years. She also gained housing and began pursuing her career in art, since living with these conditions makes typical work very difficult. She shares that self-care, creative practice and building connections with others in her community helps her to stay healthy and happy.
In terms of her art, Chacalit is unafraid to experiment with many mediums to reach her goal of spreading beauty. She enjoys mixed media collage, abstract painting, as well as beadwork and embroidery – each of which have its own special healing properties. She explains, “I am able to project my thoughts, emotions, and desires into my creative practice. When I need to calm my mind, then I start with textiles. When I need to relax, I use beadwork. When I need expression I utilize multiple media like acrylic, collage, and textiles.” Having all of these tools at her disposal makes for constant inspiration and motivation. Guided by materials, Chacalit shares, “I am sure my style may change again once I can get more materials at hand.”
Her favorite materials are those that have been recycled. She loves incorporating different types of paper that she acquires or used textiles. She shares, “I really think about the environment and how we clutter the world with old clothes and trash. So being able to add anything to my art that can remove it from the ground makes me feel good.” These recycled materials add the perfect touch to her work while also reducing environmental waste. One of her goals is to use found items to create a cohesive piece that will make people think more about the effects they’re having on their environment and motivate change.
“I am inspired to share with everyone my personal experiences with homelessness, how I feel about recycling, and my enjoyment of sewing the textile world. I also want to show my raw emotions in an abstract way.”
Chacalit is apart of the REACH program at the RedLine Contemporary Arts Center. RedLine is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting emerging artists and providing creative opportunities for local residents, while providing equitable access to the arts for under-resourced populations. She appreciates being able to learn and grow with peers and have a space outside of her apartment to explore her creativity. Chacalit feels connected to ArtLifting as well, explaining that “ArtLifting shows that they care about people like myself that have had a difficult journey and that they want to help them with their artistic journey.”
Passionate about helping others from her experiences, she also dedicates her time to various social justice initiatives to improve the lives of others who are experiencing being unhoused, living with substance use and mental health conditions. She is a board member of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, serves on an addiction education panel, and participates in a podcast to educate the public about homelessness. Chacalit wants each person going through these experiences to feel worthy, regardless of their current situation. She shares, “I love to help people around me. The more that I progress with my creativity, advocacy, and recognition, the more others want to follow. I don't want to leave people behind so I try my best to offer them solutions, tools, and resources to help them succeed in a way that suits them.”
In terms of the future, she dreams of having her own studio and being better able to help others through her craft. She hopes to have workshops to help others, like herself, process their traumas through creativity. Through ArtLifting, she hopes to come out of her shell and work as a professional artist. In her free time, she enjoys socializing with friends, watching art videos with my niece, sewing, beading, and enjoying the outdoors.
ArtLifting champions artists impacted by disabilities and housing insecurity by connecting their art with socially-conscious customers . Learn more here.