Maria Ortiz


Class of: 2021

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Plaster

Faculty: Carolyn Salas

Prompt: To build a 3D piece through plaster that relates or embodies a concept that pertains to Culture.

Everybody knows about Aloha, hello and goodbye. The Latin version of this is a kiss on the cheek, no matter if you’ve seen that person earlier in the day. A kiss on the cheek is more than a greeting, it is an intimate act of trust; of leaning in and truly acknowledging the person in front of you. It is a sign of warmth and welcome, happiness and acceptance. Scientifically, its proven that when you have physically touched someone you are more likely to trust them. This may be the reason why I miss a kiss on the cheek while saying hello or goodbye to someone, especially coming to a new school. It has always been a part of my life, it has always been the first step into meeting someone new, rekindling an old friendship or saying hello to the people you spend every day with. By sculpting through plaster only the area that makes contact while greeting this way, I emphasize the kind of action that this sculpture is representing, a cheek to cheek; not necessarily romantic but close and warm. The emphasize of the action, the cross section of the cheek, mouth and nose is enough to tell its two different people due to their different features, that it is a conversation and there is some kind of relationship between the two. Their hearts are outside of their chest symbolizes the intimacy and the vulnerability of leaning in and how personal it is, since the hearts are on their chests and are facing only each other, almost hidden from the world. It has been rough to not be able to connect with others the way I was taught to, it has been more difficult to not be close and warm, lean in and trust.