Artist featured by Lubbock Arts Festival shares story of her exhibit ‘Do these stripes make me look political?’

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Crews are unwrapping art pieces and setting up displays for the return of the Lubbock Arts Festival this weekend.

America is the theme for the 44th Annual Arts Festival this year. The Civic Center will be draped in red, white and blue and showcase a series of veterans stories, among other pieces of art about the journey of America.

The National Endowment for the Arts is sponsoring one exhibit from Ramona Otto, called “Do theses stripes make me look political?”

The Iowa-raised artist uses a collection of abandoned trinkets to tell the story of America, set against the background of an American flag.

“The first flags that I made were right after 911. And, you know, flags were everywhere. People had them on their cars and I like to make things out of found objects,” Otto said.

The objects in this piece were found over many years. Ramona says collecting pieces takes just as long as building it.

Although it’s her first time in Texas, her dog pieces were inspired by Texas cattle ranchers.

“All of the pieces on those little doggies are charms that relate somehow to the Texas cattle drives. I looked up the history of everything. So if you start looking into it, if you see something like one of the state pieces, that means the cattle drives went into that state,” Otto said.

Otto said she hopes people see her work and find something valuable. Most of her work is inspired by wordplay, but she won’t say why she titled the exhibit “Do these stripes make me look political?”

“I don’t really ever tell people what I thought about it when I made it, because I want the viewer to make something valuable for their own experience. When I thought of that title, I like good wordplay,” Otto said.

Otto will be at the exhibit on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online or at the event. It is $5 for adults and children are free. The festival is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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