Farmington, NM-based Latina artist, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas is known for exploring gender, sexuality, and identity issues through hand-sewn human hair drawings, watercolors and on-site drawing installations. Born in Garland,Texas, she was raised and lived for many years in the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex. She received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from The University of North Texas.
Ms. Meza-DesPlas has been sewing with her own hair since 2000. Her decision to collect and sort hair to utilize as a vehicle for making art is informed by socio-cultural symbolism, feminism and body image, and religious symbolism. An article on her hand-sewn human hair drawings was featured in the Huffington Post Arts & Culture section in 2015.
In 2013 Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection, selected her hand-sewn human hair drawings and watercolors for the exhibition Art on the Edge at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. Ms. Meza-DesPlas was the exhibition director for the exhibition and cultural exchange Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art presented in Shenyang, China in 2014. She worked in partnership with the International Caucus of the Women’s Caucus for Art and LuXun Academy of Fine Arts.
Ms. Meza-DesPlas parallels the themes in her artwork with the written word and spoken word performances. She recently presented her paper titled Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images at the 8th International Conference of the Image in Venice, Italy. As an art historian, she has presented papers for the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies in Baton Rouge, LA and the Modern Art Conference at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, Turkey. Ms. Meza-DesPlas’ spoken-word performances for 2017 were at the Feminist Art Conference, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada; Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM, and ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL.