GPAC CELEBRATES THE VISUAL ARTS BY EXHIBITING A DIVERSE COLLECTION OF ARTWORK BY EMERGING AND PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE REGION LIKE Yancy Villa Calvo.
In the Lobby Gallery April 6 - May 4
Her multimedia work seeks to create awareness, provoke thought, and engage in conversation on issues of social justice, equality, and prosperity. She does this from many different angles:
Villa-Calvo created the initiative Go Engage Memphis Soul (GEMS) while working as a city artist with the Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Growth City Plan. Through GEMS, Yancy applied art as an engagement tool with city residents as part of their neighborhood planning and development process.
Her latest visual work is Barrier Free, a traveling, interactive art installation that asks viewers to reflect on the “human-made and systemic barriers that divide us, from unjust immigration laws to mass incarceration. The installation has been exhibited around the U.S. in Washington, D.C, Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ, Baltimore, MD, and in various cities in Tennessee including Memphis, Murfreesboro, and Nashville.
Her work is an intertwining web of art and life. Her life experiences have influenced how she defines, makes, and experiences art. Experiences such as being born and raised in Mexico, living in Mozambique, and traveling to many countries have provided her with a cross-cultural perspective and an awareness of her place as a global citizen. A Mexican-American, Yancy now calls the U.S., her own.
Her work appears in diverse forms ranging from visual art to activism to performing art to urban planning. The creative process starts by questioning current systems and social dynamics. It encourages her to produce asset-based artwork that is aesthetically and emotionally powerful and that emphasizes dialogue, participation, and action. Her art form provides a platform to see that within our complex humanity there it exists common ground and encourages civic engagement for the betterment of our shared space.
Villa-Calvo is a recipient of grants and art commissions from the Smithsonian Institute Latino Center, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Tennessee Arts Commission, ArtsMemphis, UnidosUS, the Funders’ Network, the UrbanArt Commission, and the City of Memphis, among others.
She received her formal art education at Christian Brothers University and Memphis College of Art with a B.A. in Psychology, a B.F.A. in Studio Art, and an M.B.A. She volunteers at Latino Memphis and serves on boards and committees including Overton Park Conservancy, ArtsMemphis, The Brooks Museum, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital National Leadership Council, Off The Walls, and Planned Parenthood.
She frequently exhibits in solo shows, group shows, and collaborative projects. Her paintings are displayed in private collections in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Israel, and the Netherlands.