This collage is of my Grandmother, Connie Trenga. She is such an amazing and strong woman. She is from a school who still believes you should get to know your neighbors, send them plates of dinner when you have plenty to give, and take time out to talk over food. This is a picture of her when she was in her twenties. She was a a real heart-throb. Her influence on my life is immeasurable and its effects are still being discovered.
This collage piece is based upon my father, Alberto Zapata, experiences growing up in Pittsburgh as a Mexican American in the 40-50s. He had lived with multiple family members at the same time. This is a photo of him with his cousin, Mary Rose. I used needle and thread to hand stitch the paper pieces together creating a book like appearance. My family was proud. Because they were not rich, they worked hard to piece together a good life together as a family, sharing in responsibilities, such as helping to raise each other’s children. His life was like a quilt, a lot of worn, weathered pieces put together by a labor of love. The result was a solid life experience with such depth and mysteries still being discovered. My father passed away September of 2006, less than a year ago. I still think sometimes that he has not called in a while, I’m due to hear from him any minute. Then I remember and say a prayer.
This collage is called The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The first image on the left represents the Holy Ghost, a mystery, impermanence, and absense of sometimes categorized of fathers. Next is the son, a boyhood image of my father while he is riding on a donkey that used to be paraded in the East Liberty Streets for the children to ride. Last is the Holy Ghost. This is a tie-in to my father’s devout Catholic religious beliefs. This dedication to faith is admirable and inspirational to me.
This collage is of my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother throughout the three phases of their lives. Their love is passed on in each generation.
This is collage that I am still working on. Its meaning, I am not sure of yet.
This is a collage of Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionary who brought empowerment to the indigenous farmers. He is a symbol of strength and pride to all of Mexico.