Women Talk Art: Ashley Mireles

Ashley Mireles is a San Antonio, interdisciplinary artist, and educator creating works based on her environment and concerns. Mireles produces drawings, prints, and murals for public consumption. Employing both homage and social critique, along with humor, she uses an illustrative style to explore cultural issues, gender roles, and the human condition. 

Mireles continues to focus her practice on community access by developing and organizing creative workshops and educational programming for regional arts institutions including Artpace San Antonio as the Education Coordinator. As a founding member of Creative Women’s Alliance, formed to create and support professional arts opportunities for women of color within the San Antonio arts community. Previously, Ashley participated as an Artist Mentor for the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Mentorship program and co-directed La Printeria, a nonprofit printmaking organization specializing in producing fine art prints for the artist community while training youths in the serigraph process.

“Apparent Drawings” exhibition, August 2019, Brick Gallery, San Antonio, TX – ink on vellum drawings (“Looking at Kapwani”; “Looking at Clifford”) installed on top of larger acrylic drawing

How did you know you wanted to be an artist? 
When drawing made me feel a type of way, I knew I wanted to draw forever. Just the process of making a mark on a blank surface can be so fun, small or large. Though if you get a chance, I highly recommend making marks larger than yourself and moving your whole body to draw a line.

What’s your favorite tool in the studio? 
Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens (Black, S, F)

“Apparent Drawings” exhibition, August 2019, Brick Gallery, San Antonio, TX – ink on vellum drawings installed on top of larger acrylic drawing

What is the most difficult part of being an artist? 
Probably finding time to take a break. It’s easy to just keep working another five minutes and then 2 hours have passed.

“Looking at Sama”, 2019, ink on vellum

If you could have lived through an art movement, which one would it be? 
How far back can we go? For the paintings, Mannerism. That’s when things started to get out of control. If we’re talking Modern Art, I’m pretty sure Surrealism would’ve provided for an interesting time.

What does your Second Saturday look like? 
Just about every Saturday evening I spend checking out a band or some bizarre movie at the Drafthouse.

What do you think you will be doing one year from now? 
Probably the same old same old, juggling a practice with the day job, with blips of mural making and other large projects I won’t say “no” to.

Who is a female artist you look up to and why? 
Mari Hernandez. As an artist, Mari is very willing to address difficult, important topics and facilitating a dialogue with the viewer. Apart from that, I met Mari many years ago and have always admired how passionate she’s been as a woman and woman of color, empowering herself with knowledge and resources to support the community.

Author: Deliasofia Zacarias

Deliasofia Zacarias is one of the Unfiltered San Antonio co-founders. Double-majored in business and studio art, Zacarias is interested in art politics, food, and a whole lot of Netflix. She is currently LACMA's Emerging Art Professional Fellow in Los Angeles, CA.

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