In Search of Culture

Andrea Lemus

Marpolitan, 2016

Artist Statement

My art practice uses colourful and whimsical motifs as I play with the balance of different ideologies and the mix of cultures from my experiences as a child immigrant to Canada. I use my life experiences as an immigrant from Guatemala to create works that deal with the balance of different ideologies and cultures that create and inform my own identity. My work examines belonging, identity, social dynamics, and multiculturalism that reflect the diverse communities to which I have belonged to. I use the modalities of illustration, printmaking, and public art to challenge the blurred lines of the “In Between” culture of multiculturalism. I also look to explore Canadian society’s compartmentalization of cultures to challenge views of what encompasses cultural appropriation. My works explore the connection between my experiences and the mixed cultural identity that leads to the creation of the “In Between” culture.


6″x 9″ Woven Lino cut prints on Mulberry paper


As an artist who has consistently tried to create an art practice that is a self-reflection of herself, Andrea has often found herself in-between cultures. Born in Guatemala yet having grown up in Canada, she struggled with creating work that is not appropriating another culture even though Andrea was exposed to other cultures which she found more of a connection with than her
cultural heritage. As such, this series of works is a journey of self-discovery through learning about Guatemalan culture and specifically Mayan heritage such as the use of textiles to pass down a visual history of spirituality and culture. In doing so Andrea hopes to explore more the idea of the in-between and find the connection to culture.

Left: Atitlán

Left: Disjoined 18″ x 24

The Cost of The System

6″ x 9″ Lino cuts on Rice paper


Inspired by the discourse brought about by the mandates, misinformation, isolation and the dissolution of community during the pandemic, this series was created to reflect conversations had with people coming from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Left: Mark of the System

Left: Loss of Connection (Hidden)

La Negrita

18″ x 24″ Pastrel matt card cut-out on a Washi paper backdrop


This piece explores the normalization of colonial myths found in oral stories and songs passed down to children. Inspired by La Negrita Cucurumbé written by Francisco Gabilondo Solar, a song written to give children the message of finding beauty in oneself and self-acceptance, even though the language used negates this purpose. Through, this artwork, Andrea aims to understand and rewrite the racial code and societal constructs learnt from childhood.

Andrea Lemus

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Andrea Lemus is a social practice multidisciplinary artist. She takes daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values. Andrea often creates works using the idea of participatory art as a way of generating an audience that creates, connects, and reevaluates public spaces while forging dialogue. 

The main themes of her art practice are identity and community. Andrea is interested in examining social dynamics, identity, belonging, cultural identity, and multiculturalism as she often finds aspects of her work reflect the communities she has belonged to. The question she most often asks herself is how to find the balance between her own ethnic background and the cultural diversity of the community she grew up in, to which she strongly relates. Using her work Andrea aims to explore this idea of the “In Between”.

Past exhibitions include The Commons Gallery, Royal BC Museum, and Open Space. Her design work has also included freelance projects and content creation for clients such as Marople BIA, SACHA, Artian Markets, VPI Working Solutions, HolliCare Holistic Health Practices and PureRealty Brokerage.

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