History of the Wall Drawings

In 1998 I created an on-site wall drawing installation titled Marianismo at 500X Gallery’s project room (Dallas, Texas). The narrative drawing, created out of conte, covered three walls. At the time I was looking for an artistic challenge in terms of scale and dexterity. Drawing the figurative forms larger than life size in a loose gestural manner over the course of four days was an exhilarating experience – the drawing came to life through a mere weaving of lines. I was like a circus performer working without a net; I didn’t know if I could complete the drawing installation in a timely manner and I purposely worked without correction tools (no erasers or such). This stunt of high intensity drawing would become part of my artistic repertoire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wall drawing installations have been created at numerous galleries since 1998: Conduit Gallery, ARC Gallery, Durango Arts Center, H. Paxton Moore Gallery, Gallery at UT @ Arlington, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Gallery, and Actuel’Art Lagalerie.  The earlier installations had some collage components but the latter ones are solely conte crayon.

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Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas
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University of Texas @ Arlington, Texas Gallery

 

I was literally leaving my mark everywhere. These ephemeral drawing installations existed approximately thirty days before being painted over. The impermanent nature of the work was appealing to me. While my marks were painted over at the conclusion of each exhibition, they did live on forever beneath a layer of white gallery paint. I reveled in the idea that my mark-making existed somewhere underneath all these walls – my marks frozen into strata.

 

 

 

 

 

The line work in the wall drawing installations looks similar to the line work of hair. An artist friend offer this observation to me one day as we looked at one of my on-site installations.

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500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Rosemary Meza-slide
H. Paxton Moore Gallery, El Centro College, Dallas, Texas

These large scale drawings are physically demanding; some artworks require intensive drawing of 8 to 10 hours a day for several days in a row. The necessity of scaling up the human figure for these on-site installations is sometimes a daunting task.  I do not use opaque projectors; I use a line gesture to capture the initial image onto the wall surface.  Redrawing to change proportions, I leave my early marks as a visible map of the drawings’ development and progression.

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Actuel’Art Lagalerie, Paris, France, 2011
Wall Drawing 1
ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2017
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Durango Arts Center, Durango, CO, 2018

 

Author: rosemarymezadesplas

Farmington, NM-based Latina artist, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas is known for exploring gender, sexuality, and identity issues through hand-sewn human hair drawings, watercolors and on-site drawing installations. She received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA from The University of North Texas. Ms. Meza-DesPlas has been sewing with her own hair since 2000. Her decision to collect and sort hair to utilize as a vehicle for making art is informed by socio-cultural symbolism, feminism, body image, and religious symbolism. An article on her hand-sewn human hair drawings was featured in the Huffington Post Arts & Culture section in 2015. Meza-DesPlas’ most recent drawings incorporate her gray hair. In 2019, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas was featured in Santa Fe, NM’s the/magazine as “12 Artists in New Mexico to Know Now”. Ms. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her artwork with the written word and spoken word performances. In 2018, she presented the academic paper Reclaiming the Tool of Anger: Year of the Angry Women at the 9th International Conference of the Image in Hong Kong. Ms. Meza-DesPlas’ recent spoken word performances were at the Feminist Art Conference, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada; Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM; ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL and the Durango Arts Center in Durango, CO.

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