The Artist

About Paloma

I am primarily a printmaker, but I also work in drawing, painting, mixed media, and fibers. I was born in Lima, Peru; my mother is Mexican and my father is Chinese-Peruvian. In 1983, when I was 9 years old, my parents made the difficult decision to uproot our family and flee to Mexico because of the guerrilla wars (Sendero Luminoso), as well as the social and economic instability Peru was going through. In Mexico I grew up in close proximity to my aunt, who was a talented stained glass artist. Together we sewed, made preserves, and worked on stained glass; she always told me I was an artist. She taught me to believe in myself and that is how I started to see myself as an artist.

I attended art college in Mexico, where I came face to face with printmaking during my first year at the Facultad de Artes Plásticas (College of Arts) in Xalapa, Veracruz. At that time, printmaking was a difficult class to pass. It was a male-dominated field where I was one of the only women, and etching with nitric acid without much ventilation was the first project in the program. The professor was well known for giving harsh critiques to the students’ art work, yet I decided to stick around. I became fascinated with the possibility of having more than one print of my own pieces, with the many possibilities printmaking offers, as well as its importance in popular resistance throughout history. In 1997, I transferred to the Rochester Institute of Technology. I received the RIT International Scholarship Award, and the Mowris/Mulligan Scholarship Award, and I enrolled in the Fine Arts Program with a concentration in printmaking and painting. In 2000, I earned my BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Currently, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am a resident artist at Ypsi Alloy Studios, where I am part of a collective of 16 artists that work in many different media such as sculpture, wood working, silversmithing, drawing, and painting. My artwork is shown and sold at galleries around the country. A collection of my prints recently became part of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute Art Collection. My prints have been published in many different catalogs and magazines such as the 2022 13th Biennial Miniature Print International Exhibition Catalog, the 2021 Members Catalog of The Print Club of Rochester, and the Print EXPO 2021 and 2023 catalogs.

I am also a printmaking instructor. I usually teach at my own studio but on many occasions I am also invited to teach workshops at different places such as the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), Lansing Art Gallery and Educational Center (Lansing, MI), Signal Return (Detroit, MI), and the Ann Arbor Art Center (Ann Arbor, MI).

My work is closely related to my experiences of living abroad — the impermanence, the precarious construction of one’s present and even less of one’s future. It is about starting over with whatever is at hand, and about the rootlessness of those of us who move from place to place. Amongst the subjects that interest me are human migration, social visibility, and the intrinsic relation of humans to the universe as well as our dislocated relationship to it. I am an incessantly positive artist and I profoundly believe art is a tool to create social change that can lead us to thoughtful actions, bettering ourselves and our communities.

Artist Statement

“Human migration, social in/visibility, the intrinsicness of human-to-human relationships, our desensitized relationship to the universe — this is where my work finds refuge. Ink and paper tell stories of impermanence and of the experiences of living in far away foreign places. I deal with the overarching subject of starting over with whatever is at hand, and of the rootlessness of those of us who move from place to place. My artwork is my ritual to make myself fit into oftentimes unwelcoming worlds that I seldom feel that I belong to. Touching a gouge to a plate, I strive to help other rootless ones like me, and those the world deems invisible, find their place too.”

Get to know Paloma

We took a visit to see Paloma at her studio in Ann Arbor. Get to know more about Paloma, her inspirations, her background, and why she does what she does in this behind-the-scenes look at our visit.


This Week at the SCA

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts connects people, sparks conversation, and builds community through a bold mix of entertaining, educational, and inspiring creative experiences.

Won’t you join us?

Looking for exhibits?

Entertainment at the SCA