Jaque Fragua, an acclaimed multi-media artist from New Mexico
Tell me a little bit about your background, where you grew up, and what inspired you to become an artist?
I am from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. This is a little reservation about 45 minutes northwest of Albuquerque. I was born in the Santa Fe Indian hospital. I grew up mostly on-reservation, although I have moved on and off to places like Houston, Denver, and Albuquerque.
When I was just a young child growing up on the reservation, I guess there were arts and crafts. I don’t know what you would have considered it, perhaps traditional (Pueblo) art work. And at that point, I really didn’t know what “art” was. I really didn’t know what art was until I was in college. Although, I knew that what I was doing was a cultural practice more than anything.
As a kid, I grew up farming and where I come from traditional farming is a big thing in the community. I would get into the other things you might find on any reservation… hunting, fighting with other neighborhood kids, laughs
I was just going to say…every reservation is kind of rough. These are rural areas, there isn’t much entertainment, so you have to kind of build it yourself. I was up for all the physical stuff, farming, hunting and what not, but I found a creative side too. I got tired of beating up my neighbors and being beat up. I would just hang out, draw, and at some point I picked up the guitar and started learning how to play all kinds of music. Music was my first passion. And art was sort of secondary, I suppose.
Inspiration wise, I was stimulated just by things I witnessed growing up. For example, there were a lot of different signs, folk art, southwestern textiles, and the kinds of things you would find in a tourist shop on highway 66 or any reservation highway. All this folk art or road art was for the tourists and it makes sense because tourism is the biggest economy in New Mexico today. The whole state is full of Native American culture. The state government exploits Native culture to the umpteenth degree.
Growing up within the actual culture definitely inspired me, but I didn’t realize how much it would fuel the content for what I do now. It just sort of naturally happened. I would visit my ancestral homelands and visit sacred sites. There are miles and miles of wild art, etchings and carvings–marks that really got me inspired to do graffiti. And when I moved to Denver for high school, I continually had flashbacks to the wall art in my ancestral homelands. I like to believe I’m continuing a tradition. It’s not using the same materials but it is definitely in the same spirit.
In Denver I started running around with the rebellious crowd of kids and I was into the graffiti scene, but like I said, music was my passion. I took an art elective my senior year, and that’s where I learned art basics, like history, different mediums, etc. I’ve since gotten a hang of photography, printmaking and other types of contemporary art mediums. I’ve always been interested in burgeoning mediums, such as digital media. This sparked my path in using film, the internet, graphic design, gifs, etc. I really enjoyed conceptual art as well, I still do. In retrospect, I felt graffiti could evolve into something more conceptual. I started bombing in ‘99 and during that time, there was a big movement in street art. Traditional graffiti had been around for a long time already, but stencil art and wheatpasting gained popularity in the late 90s. It was an interesting time. There was the San Francisco Mission School art movement, with Margaret Kilgallen, Juxtapoz magazine, OBEY, and other forces of underground inspiration that I stumbled upon.
So fast forward to now, all of that underground material is popular, very hip, and mainstream. But back then, it was just sort of this… really crazy sub-culture. I was viewed as crazy for liking it or knowing about it.
After high school, I moved to Seattle and that didn’t work out. I decided to go to the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.
What made you take that decision?
I moved to Seattle for music school, but the scholarship fell through in the last minute and the only college that would accept me was IAIA– unlike other colleges you can apply a month before it starts. I don’t know if they still do that though. So I applied and I got in. That was 2004. And then the Indian art world opened up to me. I was just so perplexed at how there was this whole other genre of art that existed alongside contemporary art, complete with it’s own rules, social hierarchy, heroes, and money. At this time graffiti was also a whole other category. But now graffiti is considered “art” and is within the genre of contemporary. But as far as Indian art, it’s still on the fringe of what you may consider legitimate art by Western standards. I feel like it’s more of a curio or it’s just decorative.
Tell me about that a little bit more. In terms of defining native art and this constant struggle between the traditional versus the more contemporary native art?
There is always that tension between tradition and contemporary or modern. And that is not only with the art work itself, but with the culture, the people. There is this ebb and flow, this push and pull between what is considered, I guess, right and wrong.
Like I was saying, there is always this argument between what works, what we can progress with and what we want to hold on to. And I think that’s why Native art as a whole is relevant–it is not moving so fast, it’s eternal. We don’t adopt new technology and test it blindly. A lot is at stake for Native culture because of our sensitive history. A lot of Native communities don’t want to jump the gun and try out a new method without the proper due diligence. But this is also a flaw because it inhibits our creativity, and the possibilities of solutions. I feel that healing involves letting go and making mistakes and understanding the strength in failing. Healing really is a faith based action and most Native communities lack the confidence to take risks and make mistakes, even if there is a bright future at stake. Native communities rather be ignorant of perpetuating the suffering and continue to just get by. It is a regression or a de-evolution of our own progress. Although, I do believe we have to be careful of what we get ourselves into. We are still super sensitive.
Do you make it back to Pueblo very often? Do you have family back there?
Yeah. I live most of the time on the road, so if I’m not home I’m somewhere else doing a mural or project. But it’s my community; it is naturally where I feel most comfortable. But it’s discomforting when I realize that the community isn’t doing as well as I would like it to be. It is pretty demoralizing to hear about the abusive environments, murders and DUIs. So sometimes it is hard to be there, but these challenges give me energy to continue my work, keep doing something that changes that environment. I always have something in the works. I am always keeping the balance between staying on the reservation and staying active externally. And of course, I have a lot of family in Jemez and others who have migrated to start new tribes in other parts of the world.
How many people live on the reservation?
There are around 3400 members, and about 2000 live on the land.
If you could just tell me a little bit about the specific things you are working on right now.
Right now, I just finished a show in Phoenix called #NATIVEAMERICA. Simply, it’s about imagery that continues to colonize us. By creating fine art out of these visuals and emphasizing the images ad nauseum, it creates the opposite effect. Sort of like Warhol’s soup cans. This is a big project. It is actually the first installment of the larger project. I had only 20 or so paintings for this show. But I want to increase it to 60 art works. It’s imagery that I have been wanting to share with the world for a long time. I’m trying to bring the show to different cities and see how it’s received. I’m always trying to push the idea of what Native America is and who is a part of it and who wants to contribute. I want to make it more interactive and engaging.
Libra: Sweet Art Education student who seem traumatized by the weirdo studio majors, always smiling, super long hair
Pisces: New Age, Eccentric Sculpture student who goes to music festivals every weekend, makes projects about the Illuminati and NWO, more #woke than you will ever be
Aquarius: Reserved Drawing/Illustration Major who draws hella good anime, never opens their mouth in critique until forced, vegan, fandom tees
Leo: Hipster painting student who thinks they’re the absolute shit, brags about smoking hookah and everything they do is meant to be ironic
Scorpio: Irritated Photography student who hates being in class but is always there, favorite color is black, always looks like they need a nap, opinionated
Aries: Yuppie Visual Communications student who brags about their love of craft beer, blood made of coffee, has really strong opinions about fonts, needs to relax
Virgo: Chill Ceramics student who smokes a lot of weed, thinks they suck but they really slay, succulents and cable knit sweaters
Capricorn: Super skilled Furniture Design student who can find a solution to anything, wears flannels and steel toed boots and it actually looks natural, works 109 hours a week
Cancer: Friendly but reserved Art Therapy student who is quietly reading everyone like a book, internal dialogue is constantly sassy, pastel hair, always on the verge of mental breakdown
Taurus: Edgy Printmaking student who shops at stores no one has heard of, small clique, loves to read, super detail oriented, doesn’t accept criticism well, makes everyone uncomfortable by bickering with professor
Gemini: General Fine Arts Student who floats from clique to clique seamlessly, indecisive, friendly but values alone time, inquisitive, listens to Nirvana and also Disney Soundtracks
Sagittarius: Headstrong Double Major who can’t keep their thoughts straight, skips class a lot, obsessed with Tim Burton movies, smokes cigarettes for aesthetic, talks too much during critique
Accounting, Business law, Business management, Consumer education, Entrepreneurial skills, Introduction to business, Marketing, Personal finance,
Computer Science/Information Technology
Animation, App development, Audio production, Computer programming, Computer repair, Film production, Graphic design, Media technology, Music production, Typing, Video game development, Web design, Web programming, Word processing
American literature, British literature, Contemporary literature, Creative writing, Communication skills, Debate, English language and composition, English literature and composition, Humanities, Journalism, Literary analysis, Modern literature, Poetry, Popular literature, Rhetoric, Technical writing, Works of Shakespeare, World literature, Written and oral communication
Family and Consumer Science
Chemistry of foods, CPR training, Culinary arts, Early childhood development, Early childhood education, Family studies, Fashion and retail merchandising, Fashion construction, Home economics, Interior design, Nutrition
American Sign Language, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Cultural anthropology, Current events, European history, Geography, Global , studies, Human geography, International relations, Law, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Modern world studies, Physical anthropology, Political studies, Psychology, Religious studies, Sociology, US government, US history, Women’s studies, World history, World politics, World religions
3-D art, Art history, Ceramics, Digital media, Drawing, Film production, Jewelry design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture
Auto body repair, Auto mechanics, Building construction, Computer-aided rafting, Cosmetology, Criminal justice, Driver education, Electronics, FFA, Fire science, Heating and cooling systems, Hospitality and tourism, JROTC, Metalworking, Networking, Plumbing, Production technology, Refrigeration fundamentals, Robotics, Woodworking
Advanced Placement Classes
AP Research, AP Seminar
AP Art history, AP Music theory, AP Studio art: 2-D design, AP Studio art: 3-D design, AP Studio art: drawing
AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition
History & Social Science
AP Comparative government and politics, AP European history, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Psychology, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History, Math & Computer Science, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Statistics
AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based, AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based,
World Languages and Cultures
AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP French Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture, AP Italian Language and Culture, AP Japanese Language and Culture, AP Latin, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture
Little is known about this rare find, rescued from the trash
bin at the Athens Book Center in Ohio. After falling in love with the marbled
cover and discovering the beautifully illustrated fold out diagrams, I knew
this copy of The Art of Gardening would be one of the jewels of the rare books
collection at The Enchanted Home.
Printed in 1718 and a piece of Ohio State University’s first library,
this book is a magical piece of history.
Something in the way she moves Attracts me like no other lover Something in the way she woos me…
A/N: so this was based off a bunch of posts on peach of my friends’ commentary of this picture. i sort of fell in love with the idea of an art school fic but i had a terrible time deciding between all the boys so this may become a series? we’ll see, but for now i hope you guys like this one! and i’m sorry i’ve been so absent but i’ve literally been working on this day and night since i finished the drabbles. i’m gonna do a few requests after this so if you’ve been waiting, i’m sorry but they’re coming soon!! love you all <3
before college, jungkook played around with a lot of design software and photoshop and illustrator became his favorites bc all of the things he could do like making vectors and drawing and etc.
at first, he was like yeah i’m gonna major in visual arts bc graphic design but later developed a fear that he may not be able to lead the kind of lifestyle he wanted or get a really good job but like of course you can
so to be safe, he decided to major in informatics with a concentration in media technology which kinda combines a lot of the things he enjoys so jungkook decided that was the major for him
minors in visual arts bc it was highly recommended for informatics + media technology majors which is like an additional 21 credit hours (7 classes) plus 6 more (2 classes) when his major already requires about 30 credit hours per semester
but the good thing is that he was able to pick the 2 classes and he chose intro to printmaking and digital photography and the older boys helped him with scheduling and told him when and where to get textbooks and scantrons
yeah so like this bunny was so excited before the 1st week of classes bc his schedule looked great and he had like an hour between each of his classes but the bad thing was that he and the others somehow forgot to check the time for his precalculus algebra & trig class and it’at 8AM on like mwf
which sucks bc as soon as this kid was done with his assignments (or about 75% bc he procrastinated) he’d play video games up until like midnight
also watching anime with the other members of the anime club
okay so you know how taehyung, jimin, and hoseok all work at that restaurant mentioned in tae’s? well not hoseok bc he graduated but yeah jungkook usually passed out there even though it’s farther than the dorms
like as soon as he was done with his afternoon classes he’d just show up at the restaurant and jimin would find him at a table near the back, drooling on a menu but good thing they were laminated
so they’d have to wake him up and walk him to the dorms he’d be so disoriented like he was going on about his calc class and how much he dislikes his the writing class he has to take and the kid was just really stressed out
but it gets better during his 2nd semester bc he didn’t schedule any 8AM classes which meant more sleep and this kid loves sleep like a lot which is important in college and it just seems like can you never get enough
he’s definitely the type to have a skateboard or bike and he’d just listen to his music on his way to class. sometimes he’d be seen racing taehyung on their way to the little restaurant bc it’s like their hangout
okay so there’s track tryouts during the spring semester and he was kinda shy about trying out but with the right amount of nudging from tae and jimin he eventually tried out and made the team
also joins a dance team/club that post dance covers on youtube and create choreo and jungkook was very excited bc he was in his element
now even though he’s good at a lot of things, most people had no idea that he could sing but you did
one night there was a meeting for the anime club in one of the rooms in the auditorium which was just the members catching up on anime
and you were there but not in the same room bc you volunteered to help clean for the guest lecture the next day and you’d occasionally hear shouting which was the anime club and just kinda shrug it off
yeah so the club meeting ended and jungkook kinda stayed behind to sing bc he thought no one was on that side of the auditorium but you were and you heard someone singing and it sounded really nice
and you just continued to clean but you had to check all of the rooms to make sure they were in good condition and the last room you checked happened to be the one jungkook was in and he was just froze in place when the door opened
you apologized and he was like “nah it’s cool” and you explained what you were doing and he;s like ah okay well gotta go and he was so red and scurried out so fast that you weren’t able to compliment him on his singing
so a few days went by and jungkook didn’t really think anything of your encounter and that’s probably bc he was so busy with his classes and track meets that jimin and taehyung weren’t surprised to find him passed out at the restaurant almost every day
you happened to visit the restaurant every now and then and the one day that you went you find jungkook passed out at like the only available table and you were kinda !! bc you didn’t want to make him uncomfortable
and jimin was like “are you sure you wanna see here? i think his drool is gonna reach your end of the table soon” and you were like “it’s okay” but you were kinda screaming on the inside bc what if he wakes up but then jimin assured you that he wouldn’t
so you just kinda sat there and ate while jungkook snored and occasionally talked in his sleep and then he jolted up when taehyung placed a burger in front of him and he kinda stared at you for a second
he thanked taehyung and the two of you ate in silence before you told him that you liked his voice and he slowly came out of his shell after that and exchanged numbers
the two of you started out as best friends bc you were both in the same writing class and bonded over anime and video games and he showed you some of his graphics and he’s really good like they’re very distinguishable from any other graphic designs you had seen
some nights the two of you would go bowling and see who could eat the most slices of pizza and jungkook would regret it the next day bc of track practice
he shyly invited you to one of his meets and he was so surprised when you said yes but he was happy to have you cheer for him in the stands and then a bunny smile appears and it’s so cute
he had an assignment in his digital photography class where he was asked to photograph things that he saw daily that made him feel some sense of happiness and he asked you and the rest of bangtan if he could take the pictures and it was cool
and he edited them and they came out really nice even though he almost blurred the boys’ faces and kept yours as the main focus
but that’s okay bc he also had an assignment in his graphic design fundamentals class but he had more creative freedom so he drew a silhouette of someone which was actually you and added different geometric shapes in different colors to contrast with this b&w of the silhouette
and he added little quotes here and there that were actual things you said and the end product is kinda minimalistic with a lot of negative space but he left room for viewers to interpret the focus as they pleased. like it was almost interactive like is the focus the shapes, quotes, or the silhouette? which kinda added depth to the piece in a way
he got a’s on both assignments and a chance for them to be featured in the campus art gallery for a month but he turned it down bc the pieces were kinda personal and he wanted to be the one to show you the graphic he created
so he went to your dorm room one afternoon, laptop clasped in his hands and showed you and you thought it was amazing and the quotes kinda made you realize that the silhouette was you
and you found yourself pulling him into a hug and before either of you knew it, you kissed and it was short and sweet and left both of you stuttering apologies but then jungkook got this bout of confidence and kissed you again
not long after that the two of you were officially a thing and taehyung called you over to the restaurant bc he baked a cake to celebrate and you and jungkook are blushing like crazy bc it’s kinda over the top but you could tell that taehyung and jimin were genuinely happy for you
some days you’d see jungkook riding his bike from class and he’d always stop to ask how your day was going and if he couldn’t he’d definitely made sure to text you as he was running up 5 flights of stairs and the text actually said something like dhwoieh kjeod but then he’d text you again with a message you could understand
you’d be the first person he showed any of his graphics to and the model in any of the photographs he’d take
the two of you still went bowling but it was officially called dates where he’d walk you back to your dorm with your hand in his and maybe kiss you goodnight if his heart could take it
also, dates at the restaurant and taehyung and jimin filming your entire date and cooing at the two of you like proud parents and send it to the rest of bangtan
college jungkook is just a very sweet, multi-talented kid who likes eating pizza and watching anime with his best friends and of course you