City Arts Magazine: The Sugar Project
Michelle de la Vega’s work is a study of complex human relationships. Leveraging striking imagery and installations swarming with text, her multimedia Sugar Project tackles the commercial idealization of women.
“The Sugar Project uses the medium and metaphor of sugar to explore how we express and experience the commodification of women in our culture,” she says. “In addition to its feminine beauty, this image has a painful feel, a slightly violent undertone. Her mouth cannot function properly to speak, to eat, to breathe, with all that sugar on it.”
The Sugar Project is on view in Georgetown at both Bridge Productions and Oxbow through April 29.
How Seattle Artists Are Responding to the Endless Nightmare That Is This Election Season – Featuring Michelle de la Vega’s The Sugar Project
Joy and Sadness— Michelle de la Vega’s SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project
Gayle Tice for Artist Trust: http://artisttrust.org/index.php/news/blogpost/michelle_de_la_vega_the_exchange_project
Jen Graves for The Stranger: Don’t miss Michelle de la Vega’s SUCCESSION at Gallery4Culture.
There are two Pioneer Squares: One is art galleries, the other is people living on the streets right outside the galleries. Michelle de la Vega brings them into contact—people from both camps actually touching each other’s bodies—in a video that’s at the heart of her exhibition of sculptures and installations called SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project. Through simple, abstract choreography and the basic power of skin on skin and sustained eye contact, de la Vega manages to create and capture touching momentary connections between people. The show feels like it’s about much more than an “issue” called “homelessness.” JEN GRAVES http://www.thestranger.com/events/23128545/michelle-de-la-vega-succession
These Artists Podcast
Interviewed by Jeff Bettger about creative process and the SUCCESSION project. https://soundcloud.com/theseartists/michelle-de-la-vega-mixdown
King County 4Culture Guest Blog Post:
Integrating Pioneer Square’s Communities with Michelle de la Vega: Sept. 2015 http://www.4culture.org/2015/08/guest-post-integrating-pioneer-squares-communities-with-michelle-de-la-vega/
CoCA Gallery Artist Video Profile
Lest We Forget our Plexus
November 2014: Review of Plexus, visual and sound installation project in collaboration with composer Jovino Santos Neto.
“I saw the exhibit before I had stepped foot inside of CoCA through the glass windows. I remember feeling an immediate sense of play and wonder when I saw the sculptures of steel and fishing nets.”
“Plex-us is a lovely combination of the visible and invisible connection we encounter in our environments. Social networks and the internet are great but that face to face connection is what feeds our souls.”
Tiny House Nation
2014: Mini House will be featured in the pilot season of Tiny House Nation, on FYI Network.
Air Dates: August 20, 2014 10ET, 11PT, August 25 and Sept 1, 2014 at 9pm.
Watch the Tiny House Nation segment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj8pbtcsNns
Grist: Female steel artist teams up with female choreographer to create “hyper-masculine” art…
Seattle Dances by Mariko Nagashima
Against the Grain / Men in Dance Concert
Deb Wolf’s hyper-masculine piece (Crash of Days) was quite opposite in tone (than Jason Ohlberg’s tender duet). Two sculptures (by Seattle artist Michelle de la Vega) made of jumbled strips of metal bent at right angles, a macroscopic version of steel wool, hung above the stage. The movement and music were both reflective of the sculpture, filled with clanking metal noises and sharp angular motions. Both welders and pieces of metal themselves, the five men aggressively bit into the choreography, molding their bodies with defiance.
Upcoming Mini House Events:
Michelle and the Mini House will be featured on the HGTV series “Home Strange Home” hosted by comedian, actor and TV personality Chuck Nice.
Thurs, Oct 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm est/12:00 pm cst. http://www.hgtv.com/home-strange-home/tarzan-doll-hobbit-house/index.html
The Mini House is now featured in renown London designer Terrence Conran’s book How to Live in Small Spaces.
October 2012 release date
Salvage Secrets, Design and Decor, by Jane Palmisano. Three of Michelle’s design projects, including the Mini House will be featured. Release Date: May 2014 Salvage Secrets Design and Decor
When Michelle de la Vega converted a dusty old garage into a darling Mini House, she had no idea that people all over the world would end up begging her to send them floor plans of her new home. But that is what happened, so as of July this year, the artist will sell as-built digital plans of her 250 square foot green renovation project in Washington. Michelle purchased a new home but knew she would need help meeting the mortgage payment, so she opted to rent out the main house and convert the outdoor garage into a tiny home that she now lives in.
Mini House Feature
Houzz Tour: Industrial Minihouse in Seattle
An artist transforms a garage into an efficient, open home in 250 square feet in Washington state
Michelle de la Vega’s friends call her an “ant person” — a fitting description for a woman who can carry a heavy load despite her petite stature. “The biggest challenge by far with the mini house was being a single woman who at the time knew nothing about building,” she says.
Scoop Homes and Art Magazine, Western Australia
Feature article about the Mini house in the Western Australia home and art magazine. Written by Emma Wheeler
VROOM TO MOVE
When Michelle de la Vega bought this Seattle home, the rickety garage was not it’s best feature. But for mIchelle it presented a rare opportunity: to rent out the main house and turn the garage into her home, securing both an income stream and a place to live. The agent thought she was mad, but to the artist, designer and welder it was a way to turn a vision into reality.
FULL ARTICLE on Page 162:
The Mini House gets the front spread in a feature article about living in small spaces written by Dominique Browning, the former Editor in Chief of House and Garden Magazine and author of Slow Love. The photos were taken by David Meredith who includes shooting the housewares for Anthropologie’s catalog among his notable engagements.
LIVE LARGE IN A SMALL SPACE
Living Your Dream – In About 1,000 Square Feet or Less ”
After a divorce, Michelle de la Vega, a Seattle artist, bought a house, rented it out and moved into its freestanding garage, which she renovated and turned into her dream home. The size of the place – 250 square feet – suits her perfectly…”I love the freedom of not having a lot of things, of realizing that you don’t really need so much…There’s an emotional reality that comes with all the physical stuff.”
“My house is like an art installation, so that people who visit feel like they are walking into a part of me. It is very personal. Artists generally have an impulse to make a mark on their surroundings. It’s a way of life.”
Her Mother’s Daughter: “My mother has been an amazing female role model for living authentically through passion and conviction. She is also one of my best friends. Because of her, I have no idea what an ambivalent, passive or boring life feels like.”
Her Father’s Daughter: “My father was my confidant through the entire building process. He used to make elaborate architectural drawings of his dream houses. And then he helped me create my dream house.”
New York Times
March 2010, written by Andrea Codrington
SITTING on the couch in her 250-square-foot house — a garage she has transformed into her version of a dream home — Michelle de la Vega, a visual and performance artist, held a pillow in her arms. Three more pillows hung in shadowboxes on the wall above her, and a few hundred more, she said, were in an art studio nearby, part of an installation called “Dream House,” a tribute to her father.
S SEATTLE REMODEL GETS NATIONAL ATTENTION
Jane Hodges on April 22, 2010
“In a city where real estate values have stretched beyond reach for many creative and lower-income workers, it’s easy to forget that people do get creative with how they choose to live and sometimes even use real estate as a means to subsidizing a creative end, rather than an end unto itself. De la Vega, a Cornish College grad who is a visual artist and dancer, as well as welder, used her home as a rental for a time while living in the cottage.
While extensive remodels aren’t for everyone, de la Vega and others who put their all into it are inspirations to anyone mulling whether they can wedge more space onto their lots courtesy of local backyard cottage legislation. Maybe a new spouse, welding lessons, and a bunch of reclaimed stuff won’t fit into the picture, as was the case for de la Vega, but damn that little house is cute.”
“Affixed to a wall, the 300 delicate white pillows crafted by Seattle artist Michelle de la Vega for her Dream House installation defy obvious utility. They look too fragile for your couch. And forget about pillow fights. On closer inspection, they’re made of old architectural blueprints for residential designs long faded. They’re not the trendy new domiciles of Dwell or avant anything—mostly large suburban homes with yawning garages. The difference in scale between the diminutive pillows and cul de sac behemoths gives Dream House part of its poignant mystery: These headrests suggest obsolete dreams, the visions of the past. And indeed, per the artist’s statement, they are—the handiwork of her father, now in his 80s, who wasn’t an architect but obsessively sketched these designs. None of them were built. And today, their paper walls only enclose the air.” BRIAN MILLER
The Boston Globe
“Michelle de la Vega illustrates a never-realized American dream by encasing her father’s house blueprints with sewn paper pillows.”