Over the weekend, there’s a good chance your social media feeds were flooded with photos and video from Coachella.
Over the past two decades, the music festival has become a kind of unavoidable cultural juggernaut, famously spawning not just scores of imitators, but also an entire season on the fashion calendar.
For Sofia Enriquez, a painter and clothing designer who was born and raised in the Coachella Valley, designing a piece for the festival was a chance to add a new skill to her repertoire: large-scale installations.
“They taught me how to weld,” she said.
Ms. Enriquez started visiting the Coachella Art Studios at the festival in high school.
Now 26, she said the experience helped her understand how to seek out resources and how to physically build a massive, three-dimensional sculpture. And Mr. Clemente said Ms. Enriquez’s work added a welcome local perspective to the festival’s art program.
Ms. Enriquez’s piece, “Mismo,” is a garden of six wooden paisleys, each with its own color scheme and lighting.
She said the idea was to choose a shape that cuts across cultures, ages and socioeconomic groups — from farm workers’ bandannas to silk ties, from things her grandmother stitches to the slinky tops young women wear to the fest.
“In this community out here, it’s interesting because there’s a lot of really wealthy people and there are a lot of families that are struggling — I grew up cleaning houses,” Ms. Enriquez said. But she said she’s come to believe that people share more similarities than they might realize. And that’s what she tries to draw out in her work.
“I try to see the equality in people.”
Not going to Coachella? You can actually see Enriquez's work right here on campus. Her mural was chosen for the 2018 Alumni Mural competition and is currently installed on the second floor of Ahmanson.
Image: Sofia Enriquez’s installation, “Mismo,” at Coachella courtesy of Sofia Enriquez.