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Paper Wings


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Paper Wings is an exhibition by Sandra de la Rosa where the artist catalogs her journey in the immigration system by creating an installation consisting of a swarm of monarch butterflies made from 10 years worth of immigration documents. The installation serves to show the challenges faced while navigating the immigration system and the unwavering resilience of undocumented immigrants in the United States. The collection of documents includes five DACA renewal applications and an adjustment of status application. This represents the arduous and fragmented journey experienced by immigrants. Monarch butterflies symbolize both renewal and are often used in pro-immigration movements in the United States. In Paper Wings, these butterflies evoke a sense of freedom, mirroring the artist's own liberation after a decade of navigating the complexities of the immigration system.

Sandra de la Rosa is Houston based artist and educator. She is the president of BOX 13 ArtSpace, and an accomplished local artist who has been a resident at Vermont Studio Center, and whose work has shown at Big Medium and the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, as well as the Holocaust Museum in Houston. She writes:

"As a Mexican immigrant, I experience a liminal space where I feel confined and exposed at the same time. This liminal experience manifests from the ambiguity and uncertainty of living in the United States as someone with a hybridized identity: Mexican, American, Texan, undocumented, DACA recipient, brown, other. The spaces depicted in my work are representations of experiences felt by immigrants, including myself. We are both surrounded and kept out by metaphorical walls that creates a liminal space felt internally. I create these spaces through painting and drawing."