Dana Caldera is a visual and installation artist living and working in the Houston Heights. Her work focuses on human interaction with deep roots in psychology and sociology. She draws her inspiration from her experiences and observations of community.
Caldera came to the arts via an undergraduate degree in engineering. She spent four years employed as a petroleum engineer in Houston before embracing her identity as an artist. Caldera fought her way back into the art world through teaching art at a high school, developing a portfolio and studio practice, and subsequently earning her MFA from HBU in May 2017.
Caldera’s artwork has been selected for numerous juried shows in Texas, including the 2017 Texas National Show at Cole Art Center in Nacogdoches, the 2018 and 2017 Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art Show at Williams Tower Gallery, and the 2016 and 2017 Rising Eyes of Texas Shows at Rockport Art Center. Notable jurors that have selected my work include Benito Huerta, Clint Willour, D.M. Allison, and Jose Esparza Chong Cuy.
Caldera continues to create two dimensional, photo and collage based artwork in her studio. In 2018 you can find her artwork in Williams Tower Gallery in Houston. She is currently preparing a proposal for a large digital media installation, with the hopes of showing it in 2019.
Contact Caldera directly if you would like to arrange for a studio visit or inquire about a work. You can also follow along with her process and thoughts on Instagram.
About the Work
I explore the moments in a relationship where our impressions about others and our place in the community are forming.
“I am interested in representing our experiences with others, specifically strangers. I explore the moments in a relationship where our impressions about others and our place in the community are forming. I work from found photographs, drawing inspiration from the images of people who are strangers to me. The layering and collage elements are the complexities of human individuality; the clarity of representational images combined with sketched forms and abstracted areas of paint and mark-making illustrate our growing understanding of others. The transparent layers in my artwork reveal moments of intimacy and recognition within the larger composition. You can find these moments as you spend time observing and getting close to the surface of the artwork; meditating on my work reflects the process of getting to know someone for the first time.
My installation pieces are participatory, focused on community and self-reflection. Through interaction with the installation, one is asked to consider themselves through the lens of others and simultaneously given the chance to view their community as a work of art. Participation is anonymous, begging the question: What do we share when we are free?”