An interview conducted by Celia Hughes with Amory Pecina-Villarreal
Amory: I am Amory Pecina-Villarreal. I live in McAllen Texas with my parent. I am from Austin Texas. As Mexican and American origin from Monterrey N.L, Mexico.
Celia: When did you start creating art?
Amory: I was 6-year-old. I sat to begin to drawing the picture in my image on green table.
Celia: We met Amory when we were traveling around the state to host Dream Big! workshops with people with disabilities. Through a creative process, we helped people identify the three steps they needed to do next to reach their life goals. When we returned to Austin, we knew we had just made a new life-long friend.
In 2009, we invited Amory to exhibit in our Access Gallery Emerging Artist room. She sold out on opening night. Author note: I purchased Tweety Bird, which proudly hangs over my desk.
Amory: I was 25-year-old. I have fun time to meet you and Carol -New Media Arts founder- in person. I invited Kathy Johnson used to be my aide in my childhood and Julie Miller used to be my assistive technology in my childhood. I invited my sister family. I was so happy. I have a chance to get interview by the Reporter NBC -On The Porch with Jim Swift- at my hometown in Austin Texas. I like to have a chance to be butterfly able to change the RGV community.
Celia: Please tell us a little bit about how you use technology to talk with people.
Amory: I use my accent 1000 communication device for interviews in person. I am always afraid to drop my communication device when I use it with friends. It is heavy, bulky, and its repair it is expensive. The use of icons takes time and people are desperate when I take a lot of time to say something. Lately I only text on iPhone and iPad for my social life with my friends.
Celia: We enjoyed working with you at our summer camps. What did you enjoy the most?
Amory: I loved to be learning how to edit the video with closed caption. I still enjoy working with this animation stories.
Celia: I remember that you created a presentation about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Why is the ADA important?
Amory: I know the American Disabilities Act has increased technology for the people with speech disability and hearing impairment. Now is common that disabled people text to order some food with online using the Internet. The ADA has motivated improvements for disabled people. I know some organizations in Rio Grande Valley that have created accessible playground and baseball fields accessible for the disabled kids.
I think the RGV organizations for disabled people staff should pay more attention for the disabled young. They need to focus on the social inclusion and indoor activity also resident school for the adult with intellect and development disabilities in the Valley. There is almost nothing in McAllen for the disabled young adults. Only an Adaptive Aquatics program that is limited during the Summertime. They need to offer safe spaces for the disabled young adults so they can become independent from their older parents’ home.
Celia: You wrote this to me: “Some fan male glimpse my artwork in some the event from his fear to interview me with my disabilities.”
eCan you tell me a little more about this situation and what happened?
Amory: Sorry, I was confused about the way he stared at me. I would have liked he could talk to me without hesitant. I was 32 years old. I saw some this guy student from UTRGV stare my paint at the Cinemark in McAllen downtown at Monica Ramirez artist event. I think he might like my shark paint. I sold this paint for twenty dollars to him.
Another time I had been celebrate the ADA32 event with Valley Associate Independent Living. I saw some the student guy from Rehab UTRGV glimpsed my artwork. Then this guy brings his girlfriend take picture to me. Here also I would like he and his girlfriend could talk to me without hesitance. I long with forming part of a group of regular friends but they avoid me.
Celia: What opportunities are available for you to develop your work?
Amory: I have been developing my work as artist and digital designer. As Latina artist with disabilities have ability to keep myself to be busy to focus on artwork in sometime. I inspire work to create bracelet and necklace with the positive word.
Celia: Can you tell me more about your positive word calendars and posters?
Amory: Usually when some organization invite me to an event I take bracelets, key chains, or necklaces to sell. For me it is really demanding work to do make them, but I want to spread the word of inclusion, so I include positive messages. I write words like: Power to us, Yes, we can! United we advance! Things that make people think about us like we are strong, sweet, and beautiful in our life with our dis-not-abilities.
I also include these symbols in my paintings, I do things as digital designer. I have done mini posters for the people in RGV organization relate disabilities community. I started calendar with holiday and activist birthday for next year 2023.
Celia: Congratulations Amory on being Art Spark Texas Artist of the Month! Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Amory: I like to draw pumpkin for this Fall season then I paint the pumpkin with my cat gray for autumn holiday. I have ten cats in my backyard in my home. They are very cute and sweet. They play with me and my mom.
Celia: Cats and art! A great combination. Thanks again for speaking with me!
Note: This interview was conducted through emails over a period of days.