portland in color | 010: mercedes orozco

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It's been a great week for connecting with likeminded publications. This past Tuesday, I spoke with Freelancers Union about balancing freelance and passion/social responsibility. On Friday, I got to drop in at Pacific Underground, a local radio show by and for Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs), talking about freelance life and of course, this series. Sometimes working in a predominantly digital sphere can seem isolating-- it's often difficult to know who reads and finds value with this medium.

After last month's Street Roots feature and this weekend's Pacific Underground cameo, I'd hope to be more intentional about connecting with likeminded people outside the digital medium. I don't know exactly what that looks like, but I'm putting it out there! A pop up gallery, a panel-- who knows? 

This desire to hold space and connect beyond the internet ties in eloquently with today's guest, the director of a local gallery that prioritizes work by marginalized artists/communities. In a town prone to a homogenous perspective (read: the white gaze), it's critical to know and support spaces like UNA Gallery, who centers their work around POC, queer, and femme voices.

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Name: Mercedes Orozco

Pronouns: she/they

Background: Born and raised in Mexico

Medium of choice: I value the conceptual value of art so much that I couldn't possibly single out a medium. But I personally tend to mix media by collaging with illustration and photography.

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Karaoke jam: I keep it safe with screamy stuff like Violent Femmes, but have recently decided that next time, I'm going to do Smash Mouth's "Rock Star"

Tell us about one of your favorite Portland memories: Probably the very first fall season I experienced here. I am still in awe every day, even after 5 years, of the beauty that is the fall. But that very first one... wow. 

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Please share a time it was difficult living in Portland: It is often difficult living in Portland, unfortunately. I'm often drawn to seek out bigger cities with more diversity.

How do you stay inspired in Portland?: "An art a day keeps self-loathing away!"

How can Portland support you and/or your community?
By $upporting UNA Gallery and helping us stay open with fund$!

@UNAgalleryPDX on PayPal & GoFundMe, or $morozcob on Squarecash. Or by sharing this information with your rich friends or your boss.

UNA is currently hosting an exhibit celebrating Día De Muertx. For more information on upcoming exhibits, visit www.UNAgalleryPDX.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Portland in Color is a self-funded project. If you enjoyed this feature, please consider donating to keep the series going.

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