Writer, Photographer, Folk Artist
ABOUT: “It’s all about the story,” says Ella Veres. Simply by telling her own immigrant story through her photographs, writing, and artisanal crafts, the Transylvania native brings a nostalgic, Eastern European quality to each place she touches in El Barrio. Though she still gets most of her artistic inspiration from the folk traditions of her homeland, Veres has grown to see El Barrio as an inviting “family neighborhood.” “I’ve seen a sweetness [in the people here],” she notes while describing the partnerships she has set up with local business owners. Some have donated leftover materials for her projects, while others have exhibited her photographs on the walls of their business. Veres is one of many artists who are bridging the gap between El Barrio’s arts and business communities, drawing the area back to the days when it was a community of neighbors.
COMMUNITY VISIONS: Though Veres finds some individual community members to be supportive of her work as an artist, she hopes the city bureaucracy will make changes that would allow the arts to truly flourish in El Barrio; for instance, she would like to see more artists receive permits to sell on the streets, as well as the costs for artists' booths at street fairs lowered. She has also voiced interest in affordable housing for artists, more opportunities for artists to exhibit work in local businesses, and an arts organization that would facilitate networking and collaboration.