Artist Spotlight: Gaby Yoque
For Puget Sound junior Gaby Yoque, the arts are not merely an event; they are a passion.
With a double major in studio art and computer science, Yoque hopes to pursue a career in graphic design.
“Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure I was going to major in studio art because I thought my parents would be opposed to it [because of] the stigma,” Yoque said. “When I had to declare my major, I threw caution to the wind and decided that I was going to spend my college days doing what I love most. I stopped thinking about ‘What am I going to do with this?’ Yeah, graphic design is a possibility, but so is living the ‘starving artist’ life.”
No matter the difficulty, the life of an artist is something that Yoque is willing to accept, because in no small way, art is a means of expression and a deeply personal one at that.
“I love that you can show people what you see and think. Whether it’s a political statement or beautiful color combinations, you present yourself to an audience. Creation is a personal process no matter what your intention is,” Yoque said.
While she will not be able to “specialize” in a preferred medium until senior year, in the meantime Yoque has tried her hand at several artistic media, including printmaking, sculpture and painting.
“I don’t think I have stuck to a single medium for very long. Even though I have taken multiple printmaking classes, we learn many different processes. It won’t be until my senior year that I’ll be able to choose to work with my preferred medium. If I had to choose, [it would be] good ‘ol pencil and paper,” Yoque said.
Soon enough, Yoque may specialize in an artistic medium and take her experiences into the world outside of Puget Sound, but for now she remains versatile in her approach to her preferred medium.
“It varies a lot. Although printmaking is my emphasis, I tend to lean towards drawing and painting, but I have found that different mediums give my pieces different meanings,” Yoque said. “Last semester I did a print of hands holding a vagina, and it resulted in an unexpected reaction from my peers and friends that I ended up making an enormous version of it in my metal sculpture class.”
That apparent versatility would seem to fit Yoque’s attitude towards creation, which seems to be one that implies creation fits one’s varying experiences.
“Creation is a personal process. You spend hours on end on a single piece. It’s something that becomes a part of you, whether you think about it or not. Your work is driven by you, by your ideas, by what you believe in, by your experiences,” Yoque said.
Most of the time, Yoque says, her work is a personal reaction, whether that’s based upon a mood, a class, an article or otherwise. Yoque contends that, in no small part, the University of Puget Sound’s Art Department has prepared her to work off the basis of her reactions. In other words, she contends that the Art Department is preparing her to think critically and creatively as both a person and an artist.
For some time now, her work has revolved around women.
“The past year or so my work has revolved around the theme of women. It started off with my idea of the land being female, to a commentary on sexuality and the fear of vaginas, to further commentary on sexuality,” Yoque said. “As of late, I’m toying with the idea of the experience of the Latina woman, which is a reaction from my Latin Literature class and my own experience as a Latina woman.”
Yoque’s artwork has been recognized several times and has been displayed in the Kittredge Gallery and the Jones Student Gallery. Currently, Yoque is working on a series of screen paintings that focus on the seasons, as well as on a lithograph focusing on women and nature.