‘Community Conversations’ with abstract painter Anna Sofia Amezcua – Redheaded Blackbelt
Here is a press release from the Town of Eureka:
ANNA SOFIA AMEZCUA
I am Anna Sofia Amezcua. I am an abstract painter. I paint in acrylics. I painted in oils for years but switched to acrylics 10 years ago. And my goal has almost always been abstraction.
I do work that is really informed by movement and physicality, by explorations of gender – femininity, masculinity and the whole spectrum of genres. I really want to bring a strong and powerful sense of femininity to the public sphere, to the world, to make some kind of strong feminist statement.
I have been at Eureka for 17 years. I think Eureka is the kind of place you drive through, and it isn’t – it takes a little longer to see what is so wonderful about Eureka. It’s like there are a lot of hidden gems. There is like a grain of sand that I appreciate, and also the beauty and the fresh and clean air and this magnificent architecture. And a lot of people just improve it. I think there is such a sense of community. I feel like I have friends in all aspects of city life, and it’s great to be able to participate so actively in where you live.
Over the years I’ve really seen – I mean there’s always been so much support for artists here. And that’s one of the things that attracted me. But in recent years, it feels like there has been a real infusion of youthful energy into the art scene. And so much community support.
Being an artist is difficult. You have to figure out how to support yourself and do your job, and it can be really exhausting and difficult to do these things. I think that living here, there is this ability to have a better quality of life without being in the grind. And for me as an artist, being healthy and whole is a really important part of being able to do a good job. Our community has so much, takes so much pleasure in us and really comes for it.
I have had the opportunity to do some murals in Eureka over the past few years. The Eureka Street Art Festival has been such a cool addition to the city and such a cool event. My first mural was finished on Opera Alley, it’s next to the Speakeasy. There is a large mural by Blake Reagan of a jazz singer. And then just to the right of that is a little piece. It’s purely abstract and it’s mine. I have another mural on F and 7, it’s right in front of the Morris Graves. So if you stand on the porch at Morris Graves, you’ll be looking straight at it.
I have always been very discreet about my painting process and have always wanted to do public pieces. Public art is something I really appreciate. As a painter, I have always wanted to show a very strong femininity, like a very powerful femininity. The opportunity to do it in public, like bringing the feminine, which has been set aside in our culture to the interior spaces, and being able to bring that powerful femininity into those exteriors, the public sphere was so gratifying and just like what my work concerns.