Rebecca Potts Aguirre (she/her, b. 1982, Montana) is an artist based in Los Angeles whose practice centers around documenting daily life. Her work explores themes of feminism and gendered labor, memory and visibility, trauma and healing. With a background in printmaking, Potts Aguirre works across media as materiality is central to her concepts.
She is a member of Spilt Milk Gallery and is listed in the curated directories All She Makes and Visionary Art Collective. She was represented by Stay Home Gallery for 2021. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Australia at spaces including The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Zhou B. Art Center, New York Studio Gallery, Art Share L.A., and SoLA Contemporary.
In 2010, her essay on art and climate change, “Creating a Fourth Culture,” was published in 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century. Rebecca’s MFA Thesis in 2009 also addressed the role of art and artists in addressing climate change. She earned her MFA in Visual Arts from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and her BA in Studio Art & Geography from Middlebury College.
Potts Aguirre founded and hosts Teaching Artist Podcast, coordinates the Teaching Artists’ Lounge, in collaboration with Victoria J. Fry, and runs Play + Inspire Gallery in partnership with Maria Coit. Rebecca is also a K-12 Curriculum Designer for The Art of Education University. She lives in Hawthorne, CA with her daughter and husband.
She welcomes studio visits, commissions, and collaborations. For inquiries regarding work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am both documenting and finding metaphors in childhood and motherhood. My practice centers around photographing daily life, with attention to color and light. I curate these photos as both works on their own and references for work with polymer clay, play-doh, cyanotype, or linocut prints. Water is a recurring theme in my work, a place of calm, peace, chaos, and danger; a valuable diminishing resource; making up ~60% of our bodies. My work takes on the blues of this blue gold, the rainbows refracted in its ripples, and the muted neons of pink stucco and the yellow-gray smoggy LA sky.
When creating my clay work, I meditatively mix and blend colors, rolling and squishing the clay with my hands. I use a small clay blade and a sewing pin to shape and place each color onto glass where I build my images. I plan my cyanotypes and prints from photos, working carefully with light or a knife. As my hands stay busy, my mind wanders between my flickering memories, the history of the water in my body (has it existed in the sea, the clouds, another body?), and my child’s future. I keep climate anxiety at bay as I unearth childhood traumas and rewrite my history through my daughter. By elevating “low-brow” child’s materials into a referent for the work of mothers, I’m making visible the often unseen act of mothering and ignored inner worlds of children.