Lucy Carranza

"As a transgender Latina artist, my experiences have deeply informed and inspired my work. Being raised in El Paso and now residing in Houston, I have faced numerous obstacles related to my gender identity. Through my art, I explore the fragility of the human experience, whether that be through individual struggles or the broader environmental impact of human actions. As someone who is disconnected from my own cultural roots, I strive to explore my heritage in non-traditional ways, using my unique perspective to create new and innovative forms of expression."


About The Artist

Lucy Carranza is firmly dedicated to exploring and expressing her Latinx culture in a unique and unconventional manner. Her love of travel and deep connection with nature inspires her artwork, which incorporates photography, film, fiber arts, wood work, metal work, and sculpture. Carranza has made significant contributions to student learning in her recent four-year occupancy as a student worker in the Sculpture Department at the University of Houston. In her role, she collaborated with peers and takes on contract work, including graduation photoshoots, business portraits, artist collaborations, and construction arrangements for art buildings at UH. Through her multifaceted engagement in collaborative projects and contributions to the artistic infrastructure, Carranza exemplifies a dynamic artist who not only explores her creative vision but also actively participates in and enriches the artistic community.

Lucy's artistic journey is a celebration of identity, "Conquering" adversities, and an embrace of the myriad nuances of creative expression. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Lucy draws inspiration from the landscapes that have shaped her perspective and the challenges that have molded her identity. As a transgender woman, her art serves as a reflection, not only of her personal journey but also as a mirror reflecting the broader struggles of Human fragility and self-discovery.

At the heart of her creative process lies the belief in art's universal language, transcending borders. Lucy channels her encounters with transphobia. The difficult history between her parents and their finding out of Lucys identity to the remarkable progress in her relationship with her parents, into visual narratives that resonate beyond the personal, advocating for understanding and change. She is driven to share her journey, shedding light on the realities faced by the transgender community and Minorities.

As a specialist in photo and digital media, Lucy employs these mediums to tell stories that capture the essence of her experiences. However, her artistic vision transcends these boundaries. Her work draws strength from a profound connection to her Latinx heritage, embracing the beauty of nature and her love for travel. Photography, film, fiber arts, woodworking, and metalwork interweave in her creations, amplifying the impact of her message. This fusion allows her to evoke emotions and invite contemplation, transcending mere words.

Lucy's academic journey brought her to the Sculpture Department at the University of Houston, where she spent four years not only honing her skills but also engaging in collaborative projects. Her commitment to personal growth extends to nurturing an artistic community that feels like family. Beyond the classroom, she delves into contract work, collaborates with peers, and contributes to the construction of art buildings on and off-campus, further enriching her journey and community.

In recent works, Lucy has embraced a mixed palette of mediums to address pressing social and political issues. While her focus remains rooted in photo and digital media, she explores realms beyond, including infrared photography, 3D modeling, printmaking, woodworking, fiber arts, and film. This multidisciplinary approach allows her to weave narratives that touch upon the struggles of the transgender community and the urgency of climate action. Her art has found its place in esteemed institutions like the Menil Collection's Aurora Picture Show BYOB event, the Blaffer Art Museum, and Art League Houston, Frisco Municipal Center, Frisco Discovery Center, and Sawyer Yards, along with international exhibitions in Rome.

Lucy's art is an invitation to explore identity, resilience, and the large network of mediums that shape the creative landscape. Through each creation, she endeavors to inspire introspection, empathy, and change. She believes that by sharing our stories and communicating with one another we foster understanding, celebrate diversity, and pave the way for a world that embraces all voices.

Featured Work

Altar Para La Tierra

An ongoing installation piece. This method captures light beyond the visible spectrum, specifically in the near-infrared range, typically between 700 to 900 nanometers. The result is striking imagery featuring vibrant, healthy vegetation in bright white hues, while distressed or lifeless plants appear dark. This technique leverages the fact that living plants reflect more near-infrared light than visible light, whereas stressed or dead plants reflect less.

The arrangement of these materials on an ofrenda, a traditional Mexican altar, creates a powerful visual display that conveys the idea of the environment's gradual demise due to pollution and other forms of environmental harm, as if in anticipation of its demise. The ofrenda is a poignant symbol of remembrance and mourning, often used to honor the departed. In my art, it serves as a poignant reminder of the irreversible damage caused by human actions to the environment.

My artistic process involves gathering materials from various locations throughout the Houston area, including Baytown, Freeport, Pearland, Sugarland, West Columbia, and Alvin. By incorporating these materials, I aim to establish a tangible sense of place and context within my artwork. Each location possesses distinct characteristics reflected in the materials I collect, whether it's the industrial remnants from Baytown, the sandy beach elements from Freeport, or the animal bones from rural Alvin.

Whispers of Neglect

"Whispers of Neglect" is a thought-provoking art series that delves into the profound issues surrounding the areas where minority communities predominantly reside in Houston. Through this series of photographic images, I aim to shed light on the neglect these neighborhoods endure, whether it's due to inadequate maintenance, the presence of unsafe streets resulting from corrupt officials, the pressing issue of overpriced housing, or the relentless force of gentrification.

Emphasizes the often-overlooked consequences of urban development, particularly the construction of highways and overpasses that not only contribute to a dystopian atmosphere but also have a detrimental impact on the surrounding properties and residents. 

The oppressive presence of highways and overpasses, often constructed without proper consideration, not only imparts a dystopian atmosphere to these locales but also detrimentally impacts the surrounding properties and neighborhoods.

ESS Studios Upstairs Shelves

In collaboration with Francis Giampietro, I embarked on an exciting and challenging project at the Elgin Street studio. Our mission was to design and construct a distinctive shelving installation on the studio's higher level. The unique aspect of this project was the need to attach the shelves securely to the support beams of the building, demanding a meticulous and precise approach

Francis and I dedicating a span of one to two months. We poured our energy and expertise into this endeavor, ensuring that every step was executed with the utmost care and precision. From the initial planning and precise measurements to the final installation

Corn Maze Collaboration

Collaborated with artist Lorena Molina as her Assistant and Fabricator on the "At What Cost" Corn Maze project, a significant undertaking that played a pivotal role in two successful exhibitions: Assembly Gallery and Sawyer Yards.

Throughout the project, my responsibilities were instrumental in its realization. These included planning, designing the maze layout, driving a 29ft truck multiple times, tending to tasks like cleaning corn stalks, implementing bug control measures, and modifying large crates with foam and chicken wire to accommodate the stalks. I also played a key role in installations for electrical wiring, sanding wood surfaces, angle grinding roofing materials, and their installation within the maze, among other tasks. 

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