Eloa Jane Pereira
A native of Brazil, Eloa Jane Pereira moved to the United States in the mid-2000s for a fresh start. She had been artistic growing up, but her unstable financial condition and the many unanticipated pressures of being an immigrant put her in a fragile emotional state. Now, after a twenty-five-year architecture career and a drastic relocation, the art of her youth has resurfaced as a healing tool.
With little resources, she began experimenting with materials many would consider garbage. She made baskets and wearables before moving on to more daring creations. She signed up for her first craft show in 2008 and, later that year, joined an art gallery. From then on, she continued to create and exhibit at various galleries in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Arkansas. Some highlights are the 2014 WAH Center Special Merit Award, the 2019 Best-In-Show by Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA), an Honorable Mention by Circle Foundation for the Arts (CFA) in Lyon, France, and the 2020 Artist Award winner of the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Most notably, she was awarded the Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovation Grant in 2019, which allowed her to create Neighbors & Neighborhood, her first series and largest-scale project yet, whose works have been featured in publications such as artGuidemag and The Idle Class.
I create art out of recycled paper. I reuse office paper, magazines, newspapers, phone books, and even coffee filters in order to create wall reliefs, sculptures, vases, and wearable art. To achieve that, I carefully sift and sort through a variety of paper to create a color palette. I then roll the paper into tubes, which are the building blocks of my work. Through coiling and weaving, I can construct different shapes and varying levels of relief.
When I started my artistic career, I looked to the most immediate and most abundant resource I had at my disposal, namely, junk mail. The prospect of reusing what was to become trash appealed to my concern for the environment. Moreover, the transformation of that which is worthless into something valuable resonated with my own journey of reinventing my life. The result is a series of artworks that showcase not only technique but also meaningful personal experiences.