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July Artist-in-Residence: Jewel Castro

July 3, 2013July 28, 2013

Walking with Ancestors Wednesdays–Sundays, 1:00–5:00 p.m., plus Fridays 6-8:45 p.m.

de Young Artist-in-Residence Jewel Castro is an artist whose work engages Samoan history, transnational movement as it relates to cultural identification, Samoan art forms and production, and Castro’s relationships with her ancestors. Her art expresses an Oceanic way of being, the collective experience which is both visible and invisible; in the skin and in the air, in the blood, and the harmony of voices, the quality of light, the color of weather and water, movement, wild life, architecture, landscape, textiles, and maybe most significant, an organic process of engaging history in the present.

For her residency, Castro will collaborate with museumgoers to create an artwork that shares some of the histories of their families. Can you imagine or recall your ancestors or elder family members? What were their names? Where did they come from? How and when did they arrive in the United states? How did they dress? did they look like you? And, most importantly, how have their lives inspired yours? Visitors will have the opportunity to sketch their ancestors from imagination, or from photocopied images or other resources brought from home. Castro will keep and reference these sketches in order to create a painting that celebrates the community of ancestors whose families visit the de Young.

Jewel (Rasmussen) Castro was born in Chicago and raised in San Diego. Castro's mother was from Manua in American Samoa and her father was a “Danish/Irish fellow who dreamed of living in the Pacific.” Her maternal grandparents, the late Rev. and Mrs. Suitonu Galea'i, established the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church in San Diego in the early 1960s. The family's activities revolved around their house on the church grounds and extended family events. "So much of the art, architecture, sounds, people, food, colors, and textures that were in my Grandparents' house and church influence my art today."

Castro works as an artist, writer, and public speaker, and teaches studio art courses part-time at the University of Washington at Tacoma, and Mesa and MiraCosta Colleges in San Diego. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at San Diego and is a member of the Pacific Arts Association, the College Art Association, and is a speaker/mentor for the National Pacific Islanders Educators’ Network.

Friday, July 26, 6-8:45 pm | Artist Reception
Celebrate the artist's residency  with an artist talk in the Koret Auditorium from 6 to 7:15 pm, followed by light refreshments in the Kimball education Gallery.


The Artist Studio program is a part of FAMSF’s Cultural Encounters initiative designed to attract new and diverse audiences to the Museums and provide exposure to emerging artists. Supported in part by