I got to interview Patricia E. Rangel, this week, on her work from Rebuilding. This art exhibition is influenced by agriculture. Rangel was born and raised in the same house her whole life, so there was a culture shock when she came to Long Beach. She is now more accustomed to the city life.
Rangel said that she had all of spring break to set up her work in the gallery. She was very fortunate to have the extra time of a week, because artists usually only get a couple of days to set up their work. Rangel informed me that she built all of her pieces in the gallery. It took her about a day to finish each piece. It is difficult for her to keep some of her pieces up, sometimes, because they break easily.
In order to build the pieces, Rangel used wooden molds. She then uses a sandcastle consistency of dirt and water to be compacted into the molds. She slowly compacts the dirt until her piece is finished. Furthermore, Rangel is not able to predict when cracking will happen.
If Rangel feels that something needs to be brought in, she’ll bring it. It does not matter what it is. For example, Rangel found some grape trellises on the side of the road, so she brought them in for one of her pieces.
In the pictures above, Rangel informed me that there is 14 carat gold in them.
Rangel’s work impressed me because she recycles most of her pieces. She reuses and remixes the dirt, as needed. Her pieces will never look the same after she dismounts them from the gallery.