THE CENTER AWARDS: Personal Award: Arista Slater-Sandoval
Congratulations to Arista Slater-Sandoval for being selected for CENTER’s Personal Award recognizing his project, Parable for Hysteria. The Personal Award recognize work engaging in the exploration, expression, the power of self-representation and/or underrepresented experiences.
JUROR: Danyelle Means, Executive Director, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe shares her thoughts on this selection:
Identity, place, family, and the pandemic–this year’s submissions for the Personal Award focused inward recognizing that societal pressures would follow them there. Career versus caregiver, conforming versus chaos, COVID has helped redefine relationships allowing for the normally quiet introspection to become a cacophony of social media updates. Stripping away the sound, the images submitted test the nuances lost in the noise of the new normal.
Danyelle Means is the Executive Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Means has served as the Director of Advancement at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the Executive Director of the IAIA Foundation. During her tenure at IAIA, like many in the philanthropic sector, Means and her staff shifted all efforts online during the pandemic, bringing IAIA one of the most successful fundraising years ever.
Means draws from her museum experience at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) where she oversaw several exhibitions at the New York venue. The newly formed Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy recognized her work in the philanthropic sector with the inaugural Shine Award for lighting a path for other women of color in the field.
Raised on the Rosebud Reservation and proud member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, Means hopes to inspire other BIPOC philanthropic and non-profit professionals to strive for greatness, remembering that she and so many others like her are their ancestors’ greatest hopes and dreams for the future.
Arista Slater-Sandoval was born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan and moved in 2007 to Washington D.C. to pursue a BFA in photography at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. While there she completed a 5 months Teachers Assistance and residency program in New York city at the Center for Alternative Photography. After completing a BFA, she moved to Cambridge MA, and attend the College of Art and Design at Lesley University where she obtained a MFA in Fine Art Photography in 2013. While in grad school she pursued issues in communication, identity, love and romance thought alternative photographic processes.
Since moving to Santa Fe in 2016, she teaches full time at the Institute of American Indian Art while balancing studio time. She continues to work in alternative photographic processes and approaches while tackling large issues in feminine and multi-racial representation, domestic spheres and intimate relationships.
Parable for Hysteria
The threat, and eventual demonstration of physical pain is a strong coercive act. The listener may not be able to trust the confessions given but the pain is real.
Parable for Hysteria is an introspective examination on culturally conditioned aspects of femininity within the domestic sphere. Contrasting the realm of the home with photographic images alluding to mental or physical pain, the two fold nature of domesticity in contemporary life is exposed as mundane and burdensome, yet self-enforced. With no one else present, the subject becomes their own judge, jury, and executioner.
Aptitude in traditional feminine faculties are tied to the ability to maintain hearth and home. The ideal of “True Womanhood” may have been abandoned or radicalized for many, yet numbers are still indoctrinated with ideals held from the 1800’s. Self-imposed expectations learned from the dominate cultural subconscious is louder than feminist inclinations. The subject is not told what to do but is compelled. Like a captive, she falls into her own Stockholm syndrome; agreeing to go along with domestic duties to pacify the psychological distress and waning self-worth that goes along with too many dust bunnies left under the couch. The work is not an impulse for martyrdom, as that implies a self-righteousness within every action of the domestic sphere, but a desire to pick apart the cacophony of contradictory voices speaking all at once.
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