An introduction to Debra Yepa-Pappan from Chip Thomas

March 27th, 2014 | By | No Comments »
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“Spock was a Half-Breed (Live Long and Prosper)”

Note from the editor: I’m pleased today to have this guest post from Chip Thomas aka Jetsonorama, an artist we have covered on Vandalog many times and also the organizer of The Painted Desert Project. The most recent contributor to the project is Debra Yepa-Pappan, whose piece is shown above. Yepa-Pappan’s work is new to me, so we’re also publishing an interview that Thomas did with her. – RJ

Chip Thomas: Can you tell me a bit about yourself?  Where are you from originally, how did you meet and end up in Chicago?

Debra Yepa-Pappan: I was born in Korea. My father was in the Army and was stationed in Korea where he met my mother. I was born after he had been moved back to the U.S. When I was 5 months old, my mother and I emigrated to the States to be with him. We lived in Jemez for a short time, then on the Army base with my dad in Alabama and then Mississippi, where my parents were married. By the time I was one year old, my dad was discharged from the Army and we moved to Chicago. I’ve been here ever since, although I maintain a strong connection with Jemez and my Korean side. Throughout my childhood and teen years, my parents and I would visit Jemez frequently. And I ultimately went to school at IAIA in Santa Fe to meet other Natives and to be close to “home” that being Jemez Pueblo. Chris and I met there, and I brought him back to Chicago with me when we were both done at IAIA. We’ve been together for 22 years and married for 19 years with a beautiful 12 year old daughter.

CT: What is your art training?

DYP: Growing up, I never really thought of “becoming an artist.” My interest in art started late in high school and I was focused more on design. When I attended IAIA, I began by taking jewelry and then photography. I fell in love with photography. I felt at home in the darkroom and I enjoyed the hands on process of developing my own film and prints. My instructor was Meridel Rubenstien. What I really appreciated about her was that she didn’t teach me to just be a photographer, but she taught me to be an artist. So I’ve never really thought of myself as a photographer, but an artist who uses photography as my medium. I continued on at Columbia College of Chicago where I learned to refine my darkroom skills and where I learned how to use the digital medium, but then I had to “take a break” when I became pregnant. I’m still on that break!

debra-at-dusk

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Category: Guest Posts, Interview | Tags: , ,

Brian Barneclo at The Painted Desert Project

May 21st, 2013 | By | 2 Comments »

Brian Barneclo, Alexis Diaz of La Pandilla and Ever recently spent two weeks at The Painted Desert Project, a mural project in the Navajo Nation organized by Jetsonorama. We posted about Ever’s work in the desert last week and Diaz’s walls over the weekend. Finally, here’s what Barneclo painted.

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Brian needs a bit of help with his spelling, but… Click to view large

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Jetsonorama and Brian Barneclo. Click to view large.

Photos courtesy of Jetsonorama


Category: Festivals | Tags: ,

Alexis Diaz of La Pandilla at The Painted Desert Project

May 18th, 2013 | By | 2 Comments »
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Photo by Jetsonorama. Click to view large.

Alexis Diaz of La Pandilla, Ever and Brian Barneclo just wrapped up their visit to The Painted Desert Project, a mural project in the Navajo Nation organized by Jetsonorama. We posted about Ever’s work in the desert earlier this week. Here’s Alexis Diaz contributions. Look out for another post with Brian Barneclo’s work soon.

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Photo by Jetsonorama. Click to view large.

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Photo by Jetsonorama. Click to view large.

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Photo by Alexis Diaz. Click to view large.

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Photo by Alexis Diaz

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Photo by Alexis Diaz

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Photo by Alexis Diaz. Click to view large

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Photo by Jetsonorama

Photos by Jetsonorama and Alexis Diaz


Category: Festivals | Tags: ,

Ever at The Painted Desert Project

May 15th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »
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“Plastic exercise to describe the alteration of reality”

Ever, Alexis Diaz of La Pandilla and Brian Barneclo just wrapped up their visit to The Painted Desert Project, a mural project in the Navajo Nation organized by Jetsonorama. Most of the work for the project is painted on the small stands that pepper the roadside. I’ll be posting more from the project over the next couple of days, but to start with, here’s what Ever painted.

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“The people pray to the goddess of crops.” Click to view large.

Photos courtesy of Jetsonorama


Category: Festivals | Tags: ,

2501 and Pixelpancho in the desert

November 22nd, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Pixelpancho and 2501. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio. Click to view large.

Pixelpancho and 2501 were recently in the Navajo Nation region of Arizona for the latest round of The Painted Desert Project, which has previously brought Gaia, Overunder, and others to the region. Here’s what Pixelpancho and 2501 managed to paint:

Pixelpancho. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio. Click to view large.

2501. Photo by Elisabetta Riccio. Click to view large.

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Category: Photos | Tags: , ,

Pixel Pancho and 2501 in Baltimore

November 7th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Pixel Pancho. Photo by Martha Cooper.

Pixel Pancho and 2501 were recently in Baltimore for Articulate Baltimore. Here are the two walls that Pixel Pancho painted and the one wall that 2501 painted. Martha Cooper has more photos. They pair are now out in Arizona at The Painted Desert Project. Here’s a video from day one out there.

2501. Photo by 2501.

2501 detail. Photo by 2501.

Pixel Pancho. Photo by Martha Cooper.

2501. Photo by 2501. Click to view large.

Photos by Martha Cooper and 2501


Category: Festivals, Photos | Tags: , ,

The Painted Desert Project – round 1, post 2

July 15th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Tom Greyeyes

This is part 2 of our series of The Painted Desert Project, in which Gaia, Overunder, Doodles, Labrona, Jetsonorama, Tom Greyeyes and Breeze painted and wheatpasted in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. The first post can be found here.

Here’s how Overunder describes the impetus for the project:

The Painted Desert Project began as Jetsonorama, aka Chip Thomas pasted one of his photographs on an abandoned roadside stand only to return months down the road and see the very same stand now open for business. Amazed, he pulled over and chatted with the folks only to learn that their impetus to re-open was based on seeing tourists stop to take photos of the art work. They figured it was the best captive audience they’d seen in years and the only thing to make it better was if there was another one for traffic going the opposite direction. Unabashadly Chip let them know about his altar ego Jetsonorama and the cogs started turning.

Before the paste could dry Chip and fellow street artist Yote had a plan to bring some of their favorite artist to the Painted Desert to paint run-down stands in an attempt to rejuvenate the life of those in need of business and as Chip states, “explore how this might build community.”

Overunder has more about his part in the project on his blog.

After the jump, we have photos of work by Jetsonorama, Doodles and Gaia… Read the rest of this article »


Category: Events, Photos | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Painted Desert Project – round 1, post 1

July 10th, 2012 | By | 2 Comments »

Tom Greyeyes

Last month, Gaia, Overunder, Doodles, Labrona, Jetsonorama, Tom Greyeyes and Breeze participated in the first iteration of The Painted Desert Project, a project developed by Yote and Jetsonorama and which took place in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona.

Of the project, Jetsonorama says:

We hoped to connect artists with vendors working along the roadside in homemade structures where food and jewelery are sold. We attempted to familiarize artists with the culture before they started painting. Because of the location of this project where large walls are few, the emphasis was on establishing a connection with the community. Both Tom Greyeyes and Breeze are Native American and came to the project already sensitized. We’d hoped to get more local youth involved in working with the artists but will have to pursue this with future iterations of the project.

As much as I enjoy the mural projects going on around the world right now, things like The Painted Desert Project are fantastic low-key but potentially impactful counterpoints to the hype and huge walls that seem to accompany more urban festivals.

Some of the crew

Jetsonorama is a talented photographer who took some spectacular photos of the artists at work and of the finished walls and signs, so it’s going to take more than one post to show everything. After the jump, we’ll start with work by Labrona, Breeze and Overunder… Read the rest of this article »


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