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why did I want to start Fat Artist Network?

This idea (need) came about because in one of my classes (currently in grad school!) we were told to write down artist names that we are looking at & who we are researching so that we can read about them and/or watch an artist talk/lecture. At the end of the semester, we ended up not really talking about any fat artists or fat artwork (other than my own presentation on the fat gaze) and when the professor approached me he mentioned he could not find anything on the web that had an artist lecture or artist talk recorded and publicly available for him to be able to share with the class. How could that be? I started to look up and try to find anything and he was right- there really isn't a central space or anything where research about fat art or fat artists is available to the public. I started to think about my own research for my practice and most of it I came to know about from social media or by talking with other fat artists who had heard or read about it from elsewhere. Even when talking with other fat artists the common thread talked about is that there are so many of us, yet we don't really know of each other? Maybe some on social media, but there is no space where we can connect directly.

Fat Artist Network - what if this can be the space for research and connection?

This project is born out of the yearning to connect with other fat artists and also be able to have resources and an archive for artists not just in the present, but also the future.

a queer fat latine person with tattoos wearing a light blue dress and black tennis shoes sits in a school desk chair that is too small
Jacq Garcia, FAN founder. Photo Credits: Annie Eversz

My name is Jacq Garcia (they/them) and I am the founder of Fat Artist Network. I am a current MFA Candidate at Ohio University and I completed my BFA at University of Houston Clearlake. I am currently a Gallery Assistant and my career goals involve being an academic Gallery Director/ Coordinator.

Throughout my life experience, building community has been one of the biggest focuses. I love being able to foster connection between people as well as getting to know others. This is love of connection and community is what has driven me to want to create this network! In my want to connect fat artists, last year I started Fat Print Exchange- an annual printmaking exchange specifically consisting of fat printmakers.

My hope is to continue to develop this site to benefit the fat artist community and listen to wants/needs of the space so it can become a space where fat artists from all over can feel seen, heard, and in community.

Some not so serious fun facts are I’m a Gemini/ Virgo/ Virgo! My favorite colors are pastel pinks, lavender, yellow, and black. I collect cow themed Knick knacks- also pigs! I love to bake even though I am not that great at it and cooking meals for people is one of my favorite things to do! Some of my favorite foods to eat include pupusas, tacos, chicken fried steak, pollo con tajadas, eel sushi, chocolate (all forms), and ice cream. In my free time, I typically watch YouTube or play video games (Animal Crossing, Genshin Impact, Cookie Run, Super Auto Pets, Pokemon) I am a fairly open book, so if you have any questions let me know!

Artist Bio:

Jacq Garcia is a fat, queer, nonbinary, latine artist whose work explores the intersections of community, fatness, food, and sexuality. They received their BFA from the University of Houston Clear Lake and they are currently an MFA candidate at Ohio University. Their work has been shown both nationally and internationally including in ELLIO Fine Art in Houston, Texas, Kink Contemporary in Cleveland, Ohio, and University of Sharjah in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. They are the founder of Fat Artist Network and they organize a yearly print exchange, Fat Print with a varying theme exclusively for fat artists by fat artists.

Artist Statement:

Growing up in a latine household, food has always been an integral part of my life. Food has been a way to show love and appreciation to my community- to my family. Although my personal relationship with food has always been a fulfilling one, societal pressures force me to question that relationship as a fat person. In conflating food with love, I now realize an excess of food is a projection of my own desire for love which is so often denied to fat bodies. Fatness and food are inextricably linked, my latine heritage and the community fostering that food provides conflicts with the self-imposed restriction so often expected of fat bodies. My work exemplifies the unseen labor and sexuality of fat, latine bodies like mine.

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