As the COVID-19 crisis set in, Jacalyn Lopez Garcia, a La Quinta–based transmedia storyteller, postponed events at her family-owned and operated Goldie’s Farm Artist Retreat and Spiritual Healing Center in a West Shore neighborhood of the Salton Sea, and was suddenly faced with time to work on new and back-burner art projects.
“I enjoy challenging audiences to think in new and unconventional ways with regard to what art is or what art can be about,” she says, explaining how she uses photography, QR code technology, text, sound, visual art, and video “to examine the significance of virtual space, the impact of social networking sites on public and private behavior, and the nature of contemporary society.”
The mix of traditional and new media allows Lopez Garcia to reflect the past and add new understandings in dynamic fashion. Her 12-by-12-inch self-portrait printed on aluminum panel, titled Interactive Portrait of the Artist, has a QR code embedded in the image that requires the viewer to scan it with a smart phone or tablet to access her intimate story at her soon-to-be launched website, “Mi Casa Es Su Casa.”
The work earned Lopez Garcia a $500 grant to “Keep Art Alive” from the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC). Partnering with affiliate La Quinta Arts Foundation, the nonprofit CDAC is offering relief for working visual and performing artists in the Coachella Valley whose livelihood has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant winners are selected for their thoughtful, inspiring, and relevant works responding to the crisis.
“My desire to expand the visual story beyond is what fuels my interest in pushing through the boundaries of museum walls,” she says. “Once the interactivity begins, the viewer will immediately be transported to the landing page for “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” scheduled to premiere in 2021. It is the sequel to her previous work, “Glass Houses: A View of American Assimilation From a Mexican-American Perspective.”
Incidentally, Lopez Garcia also uses her shelter-at-home time to design a tiny house/artist studio and brainstorm ideas for a drive-by video art installation project. “I imagine this will consist of is a conceptual installation that can be viewed by looking into the windows and doors of the tiny house by vehicle or foot,” she says. “My intention is to attract a diverse audience and raise awareness about the need to reduce the footprint we leave behind on the planet.”
Lopez Garcia, who received her MFA from Claremont Graduate University, has exhibited at the California Museum of Photography; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Palace of Fine Arts (Bellas Artes), Mexico City; and many other venues near and far.
Visit Jacalyn Lopez Garcia online at http://artelunasol.com