Araceli Zuniga | Mikey Cody Apollo
Curated by Melissa K Mursch
Language/Visual is a partnership with Milwaukee based curator Melissa K Mursch. The exhibition was inspired by the collection of poems “Black girls, silence, and other things made of gold," written by Mikey Cody Apollo. With Language/Visual, Mursch selected artist Araceli Zuniga to collaborate with Apollo, and translate the written word into lush figurations upon canvas. Together, Zuniga and Apollo embarked on a call and response that traversed the distance between visual and literary disciplines. The result was a vibrant display of vignettes depicting the complex struggles, triumphs and nuance of the proud Black femme.
Araceli Zuniga is an illustrator based in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their distinct work is defined by vibrant colors and fluid figures. Her relationship with her own mental health and how she manages its fluctuation are key themes in her personal work. After joining L.U.N.A (Latinas Unidas en Las Artes) Collective, completing the BlackPaint Studios’ Creative Leadership Program, and now working with Communication, a non profit dedicated to fostering a vibrant creative community, Araceli is propelling her creative practice beyond personal work to include collaborative zine-making, workshop teaching, and collaborations. Araceli’s work has been featured at Union Art Gallery, Art Bar, the Urban Ecology Center and more. Her ultimate goal is to increase Latinx representation in the arts, to destigmatize mental illness, to support the growth of underrepresented communities, and to one-day open an inclusive community art space
Mikey Cody Apollo is a poet and creative artist born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Much of her work revolves around her lived experiences as a Black woman. Apollo discovered her love for writing after her first grade teacher introduced her to Junie B. Jones. When Apollo is not updating her Facebook page, procrastinating, or falling in love, you can find her planning events for Milwaukee Film's Black Lens. Apollo credits Kendrick Lamar, Barry Jenkins, Genesis Renji, and Issa Rae as some of her greatest inspirations. Her first collection of poems, "Black Girls, Silence, and Other Things Made of Gold," was self-published in July 2017. She hopes to release her second collection soon, so that people will quit bugging her about it.
Melissa K Mursch's creative practice exists between multiple realms. Within the fine arts, her practice includes making fibrous works along with facilitating cultural & curatorial projects. In 2019 she curated the show “Alternative Love” at Facilitating Situations & led curatorial efforts for Milwaukee’s Riverwest Femfest. Her practice also extends to poetry, which you can read in her self-published zines, as well as in publications like Golddust Magazine and Genre: Urban Arts. In everything she does, Melissa continuously hopes to share her identities and vulnerabilities with others in hopes of creating deeper understanding, accessibility and connection while using art as the vehicle to do so.