Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Verónica Gaona

Multidisciplinary Artist

Houston, TX


My work addresses the relationships between architecture, migration, and death by using aesthetics and material culture of trokiando, or truck culture. I attempt to make artworks that resolve fragmented memories by piecing together aluminum images, subvert systems of power by using polarized glass as a form of resistance and solidifying a place of belonging in the Mexico landscape by depicting Ford F- 150 truck parts as a symbol for labor.

Verónica Gaona (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist from Brownsville, Texas, a city along the South Texas-Mexico border landscape, living and working in Houston. Informed by her transnational identity and the sociopolitical climate, Gaona investigates notions of architecture, migration, and death. As a first-generation Mexican American from a family of migrants who have frequently relocated to search for employment, Gaona investigates migrants’ decision to live and work in the North, their building aspirations in the homeland, and end-of-life planning. By considering the voices of displaced and exploited communities, Gaona materializes characteristics of diaspora such as transnationality and impermanence to redress traditional approaches to memorialization. Her artwork exists at the intersection of sculpture, photography and installation and it brings to the foreground labor and spatial issues at play. 

Gaona received a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. She has been the recipient of the national Artadia Award and the Chispa Award by The US Latinx Art Forum. In 2022, Gaona participated in Monumentality in Art: Memory, History, and Impermanence in Diaspora panel at the CAA conference in Chicago and participated in the Engaging Latinx Art: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston and is an artist-in-residence at Lawndale Art Center.

Selected Works

Seven black baseball caps covered in shattered polarized glass are stacked on each other and hung vertically on a steel rod.
Family portraits are interspersed amongst fragments of a Ford-150 that have been arranged into two sculptural forms, one of which is hung on a wall, and the other of which stands upright on the ground.
Hazy smoke emanates from the rear wheels of a white pickup truck.