To Top

Daily Inspiration: Meet Veronica Ceci

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica Ceci.

Hi Veronica, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In high school in Wisconsin I took a vocational class where I began working with printing presses. That started me on a career that lasted two decades. I went on to receive several degrees in printing with an emphasis on antiquated techniques that are used primarily in fine art, like stone lithography. I moved to Austin after completing my education seventeen years ago. With all the training I had, I found work pretty quickly collaborating with other artists like Luis Jimenez and Michael Ray Charles. Those artists would utilize my niche skill set to realize their vision in limited edition hand printed art pieces. Working so closely with talented people taught me a lot, and I have brought all that experience and those lessons with me into what I do now. These days I keep my skills for myself, I am my own artist. I have an arts business, Flash Collective, through which I curate exhibitions, present events like workshops and talks and also facilitate the creation of public art. The mural Meander, which is at the north end of Pease Park, by 30th and Lamar, is a Flash Collective project. In personal practice I have an exhibition called Keeping House which has been traveling around the country since 2016. Each version of it grows from the previous one. It will be shown in Austin for the first time this September at the Dougherty Art Center. I almost always have some art on display somewhere in a group show, right now I am in a really epic exhibition at The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, and later this year I am part of a show at the CICA Museum in Korea. My art is also in many permanent archives, including the Library of Congress.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I’m reluctant to give too much personal history, my past is a little wild and a little sad. There were some family troubles in my youth and it took a long time to find my center. I am sober. I am Queer. I am a woman. All of those are at odds with certain expectations. Any time you push up against the norm you’re going to get pushed back a little, or a lot, depending. Sobriety is definitely my biggest ongoing challenge. So much of our social structure is built around drinking, and it appears to be an escape from life’s troubles. It just isn’t something I can safely have in my life anymore.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My current body of work, Keeping House, was initially inspired by the years in my life when I was working as both a fine artist and a housekeeper. The work in the arts was prestigious, but not enough to make ends meet, so I was cleaning on the weekends to get by. The two jobs felt to me like they had a lot in common. However, artist has the potential to be an elite status, maid does not. My point of view in these works is as part of a class of laborers, in a spiritual union with other people who clean. The cleaner is presented as a hero who has special knowledge, ancient tools and powerful potions to save us all from the dirt that builds up in our modern society. Sometimes that means actual dirt, but more often in my art the dirt stands as a metaphor for oppressive systems. Lately, the theme has been manifesting as sculpture and performance. The sculptures are bespoke items, which functionally could be used to clean or have been used to clean but are presented as art. A broom will be hung on a gallery wall and the viewer will not question it as art, because I have painstakingly hand created that broom to highlight the beauty in its function. The performance comes in because sweeping is art too. Sweeping a broom across a floor changes that floor, just like sweeping a brush across a canvas changes that canvas.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
The printmaking community in Austin is great, and although print is no longer the focus of what I do, I owe a lot to the many people who make it up. Flatbed Press took a chance on me when I was in my twenties and had a lot of education but very little experience. Working there gave me legitimacy that opened a lot of doors. It is where I met Tracy Mayrello of Creekside Studio, who has been so gracious to include me in her latest pursuits. I’m also grateful to Cathy Savage and Paloma Mayorga of PrintAustin who are always open to include my wacky schemes in their event. Recently I have become a member of ICOSA collective, which has a gallery space at Canopy, and I’m very happy to be a part of such a dedicated group of artists. I will be part of a group show there called In Character this July.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Installation progress shot – Cressandra Thibodeaux FUtility II and Reckoning – Cynthia Caravajal See Change and Meander – Philip Rogers

Suggest a Story: VoyageAustin is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Uncategorized