Guadalupe Marroquín, international artist: “My home is Alaska. Anchorage, my oasis”
by carlos matíAS
Her clay works are inspired by the wilderness, open spaces, and mountains of the Dena’ina homeland. She’s Guadalupe Marroquin, an artisan proud of her Hispanic heritage.
Guadalupe Marroquin’s first 18 years were spent in Michigan, in a small resort village of twenty permanent residents on the banks of the AuSable River. “We were extremely poor,” she comments. But soon “my mother’s cooking became very popular” and my parents built a small Mexican American restaurant, the only one of its kind in the area.
From the age of ten, Guadalupe worked hard in the restaurant. After graduating, she wanted to see the world. “I knew the world would be a good place to explore and I’ve always been drawn to the mountains, the wide, open spaces, the less populated and wild places.” “I came to Alaska with my first husband, with the Air Force. We chose Alaska as a destination on the Air Force wish list, and I wasn’t surprised that we were assigned here, as others preferred warmer climates.” However, Guadalupe confesses that she has suffered some judgments with not being a native Spanish speaker, to some she’s been considered not “truly Mexican” and yet to others she is not “truly American.”Even some with a “who does she think she is” attitude about her eagerness and boldness to pursue new adventures. “I feel a great value in knowing myself and understanding that we must live our own journey on this magnificent planet, without letting others crush our dreams.”
The diversity is what she loves most about Anchorage. “When I travel to other places, I miss seeing all the skin colors, hearing all the languages and accents, and tasting all our varied foods. Alaska is my home. Anchorage is an oasis of the far north, where we have the best in entertainment, arts, scientific research, education, athletics, and so much more.”
Guadalupe Marroquin became an artist in January 2017, when she took some classes at UAA. “I bought a pottery wheel right away.My partner and I created a studio and built our first wood-fired kiln from a brick fire pit. Since then, we’ve built two more upgraded kilns. My guy, Kelly, is the kiln master. Since 2017, I’ve attended dozens of online and in-person workshops, because I believe skill development is a lifelongjourney. Also, remember that I started this art adventure at age 61, and so can you. It’s always a good time to begin a new and fulfilling life adventure.”
“Clay art takes time, and I only make art when my heart is happy, and I am connected to this land. My art reflects my love for Alaska.”