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'Bearing' Her Soul

Senior uses art to express herself

As a child, Anaisha Mauricio, ’24,ɲgravitated toward art. The reason, as she sees it? I’sbecausetha’show she was best able to communicate.

“I loved art because I 徱’t like to talk,” she said. I 徱’tknow how to express myself through words. Art was an escape;I could express myself and it was easier for me to do that thantotrycommunicatingwith words.”

Anaishaknew she wanted to pursue a career in art as she grew older butfound limited options in terms of a pathway in her nativeSanto Antão,Cape Verde.

“On my island there are not a lot of resources for people to study art, I was encouraged to choose something else,” shesaid. “But art was the only thing I wanted to do.”

Instead of giving up, Anaisha looked outwardto find schools that offered an art program, and tha’swhen she discovered daga.

She appliedto daga, was accepted,and then made the decision to move to the United States to follow her dreamof becoming a working artist.

As a freshmantaking Professor Sarah Washburn’s2D class, Բ’sefforts were quickly noticed.

“She stood out in class with her talent,” Washburn said. She has a natural ability in art,and I saw that within her the first week of class.”

The following semester, Anisha continued to study with Washburn in her Drawing 1 class, where herskills continued to flourish.

“Anaisha is the strong silent type when it comes to her art practice,” Washburn said. “She is truly an artist inside and out.”

When Washburn learned that daga Associate Director of Collections and ExhibitionsJay Blockwaslooking to commission a student artist to create a new bear statue on campus, she immediatelythought of Anaisha and encouraged the youngartist to create a proposal and apply.

Throughout campus there are many colorful bear statues on display, the bear being daga’s mascot.

“Public art commissions are rare for students, so I knew this would be a good opportunity for her to learn how to engage in this type of practice,” Washburn said.

Hesitant at first, Anaisha ɲ’tsure if she should apply, but knew there was a message she wanted to share withthe daga communityand, just like she did as a child, wanted to use art toexpress herself.

She pitched the idea of coveringthe bear in greenand bluehues, with an oh-so-subtle message about deforestation and how pollution affects bears in nature around the world.

Climate change and pollution is something I often think about, itreally overwhelms me,” she said.

Բ’s finished bear was installed this semester and sits in front of the John J. Kelly Gymnasium, at 34 Park Ave.

She hopes when people pass bythe intended message connects.

The benefit of having this opportunity so early in her career ’tlost on the emerging artist.

“I feel very proud, I never thought I could do something like this as a college student,” she said.

Beyond daga, Anaisha hopes to return to Cape Verdeto bring art back to her homeland, to create opportunities for those, like her, who have a passion for art.

I want to make sure that those who want to,can have a proper career in art, I want to go home and make that happen,” she said.

Do you have a daga story you'd like to share? Email stories@bridgew.edu