Thursday, February 16-Saturday, April 22, 2023

Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery and Sherwood Payne Quillen '71 Reception Gallery



In the face of inevitable change and displacement, memories find a home in the relic. Yanira Collado explores the ideas of migration, reliquary, and memory through construction and ritual.

Collado’s work ranges in size from the smallest snail shell to full-room installations. Maintaining an unfinished, rough aesthetic, her work often features raw edges, jagged fragmentations, and uneven textile scraps. The hand of the artist is evident in every aspect of the construction of Collado’s work, bringing further attention to the labor with which these objects were produced. Brightly colored fabrics contrast with neutral-toned building materials to lead the eye of the viewer throughout these pieces. Painted shapes and patterns provide sites of ritual critical to Collado’s reconstruction of memory and tradition.

While many of Collado’s works are wall sculptures, she also creates free-standing works and textiles. Some of her works are reminiscent of quilts and take inspiration from the American quilting movement through the use repeated symbols. Preferring to leave discussion to the viewer, Collado leaves her process open-ended and takes a spiritual approach to her artistic practice.


Yanira Collado was born in 1975 in Brooklyn, New York. Collado attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. Using found objects, she constructs three-dimensional collages that confront ideas of identity and history. Using materials with inherent geographic histories and processes, Collado implies consideration of both personalized and public memory. Scraps of textiles, paper, cardboard, and building materials are often found in her works, used to create a visual language of how such objects came to be. These fragments, in turn, create a whole; a re-construction with ritualistic undertones that recognizes the memory of both object and place.

Considering her Dominican heritage, Collado’s work attempts to retain and uplift cultural values and traditions by encoding their meanings within her works. Through a symbolic process that produces abstract form, she uses fragments to reconstruct narratives of the past, lost to time. This offers a healing process for Collado and viewers alike. Collado is represented by Emerson Dorsch gallery in Miami, Florida.

Yanira Collado will be a visiting artist-in-residence February 5-19 in the university’s Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Program residence hall. During her residency, Collado will work closely with Virginia Tech students and faculty in the realization of several site-specific works for her exhibition. She will also visit secondary students at a Roanoke City public school to talk about her work and exhibition at the Moss Arts Center.

Header Image:
Yanira Collado
Areito, 2022 (detail)
Oil pastels, paint, gel medium transfers, and textile on custom made frame
120 x 132 x 4 inches
Courtesy of the artist