ATeeL: Meet Laura Vela

By Lakecia Hammond
March 23, 2018

We’ve teamed up with ArtsATL and Fallen Arrows to bring you exclusive, limited-edition tees designed by local Atlanta artists.


Laura Vela is a Chicana Multimedia interdisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work explores identity, womanhood, race, and mental illness through oil painting, watercolor, ink, photo, zine and collage. 

We had a chance to chat with her about her work and her role as an artist.

How would you describe your art in 3 words:
Latinx, Artista, detail-oriented 

Why is an Alternative tee the perfect canvas for your art?
An alternative tee is the perfect canvas for my artwork because you can wear it! I also love Alternative Apparel’s commitment to sustainability and to the local art community. 
Laura vela tee on Alternative tee
Describe a piece of art that you’re most proud of.
The piece I’m most proud of is a painting of my mother. I made it five or six years ago, but it’s still my favorite. I feel like it will be something that’s passed down for generations in my family. It’s in a completely different style from what I have been working on for the past few years, but one that I will be getting back into for my next projects. 
Why is your Latinx identity pertinent to the work you put out?
To understand my work, you have to understand the Chicana / immigrant / first generation mindset. A little confusion, with a lot of determination. My work is about finding who I am through the opportunities my mother created for me. She came to this country to offer me more. There’s guilt, confusion, grit, detail and appreciation in my work, which all stem from the first generation complex. 

Who is your art for? Describe them.
I like to think that my work speaks to people of color, immigrants, and first generation immigrants, who are finding who they are and creating their own culture. Breaking from tradition, but still honoring where they come from. 
Stay tuned for next month’s exclusive tee.
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Lakecia Hammond is a Freelance Writer based in Atlanta. She can be found discussing social change over a bottle of merlot with perfect strangers or on Instagram @lakecia_hammond.

Related: Art & Design, Atlanta, Modern Creatives

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