This page is an overview of all of the events associated with Perez’s residency project. To learn more about the shadow / echo / memory exhibition, click the button below.
Photograph by Coco McCracken.

We are excited to announce our Spring 2023 artist-in-residence, Veronica A. Perez. Perez’s work is between interdisciplinary sculpture and community practice, encouraging a reflection on identity for participants and viewers alike.

Perez’s project with the University is an immersive installation featuring hair and oral stories ruminating on themes such as fractured identity, representation, and power, as articulated through the vision of students and community members. Together, these themes convey intimate stories commenting on larger systemic issues that affect BIPOC folx in our immediate communities.

“My work lies at the intersection of identity, vulnerability, protection & power, using materials such as hair, sugar, and chain link fencing to reveal hidden & forgotten parts of one’s identity. They reflect the experience of the artist and an experience of a diaspora of Latinx folx. My practice is further informed by research on the effects of colonialism & gentrification within individuals relating to identity politics. This research-based practice about the psychological impact of white supremacy is related to my personal experiences as a biracial person. My father, a Puerto Rican man, would openly wish for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child. I assumed he wanted a kid that looked like my mom. I now realize years after his death, he hoped for his children to have an easier time navigating this world. For this reason, visual art has served as a catalyst for understanding the world. Art helps me understand socio-political issues that affect me and the communities that surround me. In turn, this aids me in working together with said communities toward mutual aid, representation, and interdependence.”
— Veronica A. Perez, 2023 USM Artist-in-Residence
A long white table with braided artifical hair in blonde and black is laid out. An arm with a long black sleeve reaches out to continue braiding. The braids are in circles, like trivets.
Photo: Ben Wheeler
A woman works at a large table. She has a mask over her face and is wearing an apron. Her hair is in pig tails. Behind her, a large sculpture of artificial hair hangs on a wall.
Photograph: Ben Wheeler.
Learn more about our artist-in-residence program here.

This program is made possible with generous support from The Warren Foundation, the University of Southern Maine Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Council, the University’s Center for Collaboration and Development, and the University’s Women & Gender Studies Department. Funded by the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission.