Carolina Quintanilla

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Salvadoran American, Carolina Quintanilla, is a Los Angeles native also raised in Bakersfield. From the age of ten she learned crochet alongside her mother. Crochet has become her art craft, but even more, crocheting next to her mother created a sacred space for conversations about womanhood and survival. She is interested in exploring the intersection between art, race, and place-making. She is a graduate of California State University, Northridge where she received her BA in Asian American Studies and is currently an MA student in the Ethnic Studies department at San Francisco State University.

Artist Statement

This installation features the stories of artists in two San Francisco alternative spaces; Bindlestiff Studios and Artillery Apparel Gallery. Bindlestiff is the only permanent Filipino theatre in the nation and Artillery is a Mission based Latino owned and operated apparel shop and gallery. I interviewed artists as a contribution to this exhibit and research on the impact that gentrification has on artist cultural workers. This installation presents the responses of six artists to the question: How do you define an alternative space?

The crochet notepad is symbolic of my research and highlights the importance of storytelling. I learned crochet with my mom and it was a time when we would have meaningful conversations about womanhood, her youth, and her hopes. Crocheting became a ritual of storytelling, reflection, acceptance, and healing. I incorporated crochet into some of these interviews by offering crochet gifts. This, to me, began my ritual and expressed my gratitude for their stories and allowing me into their space.

Exhibited Work

Carolina Quintanilla with contributing artists from Bindlestiff Studios and Artillery Apparel Gallery Untitled

Participatory crochet/audio installation

About this Article

This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.