An artist of all trades, Leticia Bajuyo is no stranger to the art of being a career creator. Bajuyo is deeply tied to arts education, and in addition to obtaining her BFA and MFA in sculpture, she has taught art at the university level for over 20 years. Currently, she is the Associate Professor of Art–Sculpture at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. However, to understand Bajuyo, one must absorb the full spectrum of her artistry.
Bajuyo is an interdisciplinary artist and object maker whose work is largely site-specific. That doesn’t mean she creates with a specific space, gallery or museum in mind; rather, she can manipulate an installation piece for each unique space, so the narrative she strives to convey somehow remains intact while taking on a life of its own.
It is unclear whether her superpower lies in her ability to teach aspiring artists to push boundaries and perspectives, or if it’s the influence Bajuyo creates with her own art that challenges important cultural topics such as the pressure of assimilation and cultural privilege. Perhaps the force to be reckoned with is simply that no one else can or will be Leticia Bajuyo.
In many of her recent works, she explores the use of artificial turf and irrigation materials to examine how we as a culture have a competitive desire to maintain a well-kept lawn. Bajuyo digs past the surface of this concept to ask the question, “Why is this such an ingrained component of the American dream, about being able to contain but also comparing?”
She grapples with the concept of wanting the yard to look pristine while challenging where this want comes from. Earlier this year, Bajuyo contributed her sculpture, Forces of Nature: Blue Skies, Slinkys, and Hurricanes, to the Art Museum of South Texas’s Texas Artists: Women of Abstraction exhibition, which consists of three circular forms that appear to be large “slinkys” perched atop perfectly-maintained “lawns” of artificial grass.
“I want to be aware of why this is a system within our culture that is a multi-billion dollar component within our GDP to get us to buy all of those [materials] to be able to have that [idyllic] yard view,” the artist said.
Without fail, Bajuyo gives voice to subject matters that are typically discussed in the shadows, if at all, and often left fragmented. However, there is an inclusivity with which she presents the work that encourages the viewer to abandon society’s acceptable limitations and venture into parts and worlds unknown.