January 18 to April 7

Kukuli Velarde

Free, Total, Faithful, and Fruitful

Philadelphia-based Peruvian artist Kukuli Velarde draws from indigenous Peruvian and European Catholic iconographies to engage with the lasting personal and cultural impacts of colonization. Her works simultaneously investigate faith, female identities, and womanhood.

The resulting exhibition includes self-portraits that exalt the realities of Velarde’s changing body, ceramic infants separated from their mothers and left unattended, and sculptures of pre-Columbian religious figures that survived colonization by adopting the guise of Catholic saints and virgins.

About the artist

Peruvian-born, Philadelphia-based artist Kukuli Velarde draws deeply on her cultural heritage in a practice that spans ceramic sculpture and painting. The artist’s work is represented in museum collections including the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Her work was included in the 2021 exhibition New Grit: Art & Philly Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Kukuli Velarde, Virgen de Belén, 2015/2016. Image courtesy of the artist.Kukuli Velarde, Virgen de Belén, 2015/2016. Image courtesy of the artist.