Laura Drey, born and raised in Houston, Texas received her MFA 2018, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BA, in Studio Arts, 2015, with Honors, and Academic Distinction in Art, from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX.
Laura is an interdisciplinary artist who investigates migration as told through stories, sculpture, and installation. As a daughter of first and second-generation Mexican-American parents, she is reminiscent of ancestors and family members who spent years toiling in the agricultural fields of Mexico and the United States. Although never having migrated from one country to another, she has seen bits of her life reflected in their stories and she recognizes the similarities of existing between two cultural spaces.
Her artwork is about movement, location, and identity. It poses questions related to the liminality of migration; what does it mean to experience and exist between two cultural spaces? How is the ethnic-identity of second and third generations shaped by the experiences of their immigrant parents? How do all the ambiguity and uncertainty affect self-identity and cultural identity?
Artist Statement The identity and politics that emerge from migration have always had an impact on my practice. In my current work, I am reminiscent of ancestors and family members who spent years toiling in the agricultural fields of Mexico and the United States. I create artworks that reveal cross-generational ways of belonging in the world. My artwork incorporates packaging materials found in the farming industry such as plastics, burlap, and other product packaging supplies. The work is a hybrid of symbolic and literal objects. My work is an examination of personal and cultural identity; connecting the past, present, and future while touching upon themes of home, belonging, and Other. Combining personal narratives from life stories that are a part of my family history, as well as stories and conversations encountered along the way, I investigate notions of migration as told through stories, sculptures, and space.