Orquidia Violeta


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About Orquidia

Orquidia looks into the future

Orquidia Violeta is a Salvadoran-American textile artist. Growing up in a dirt-floored farmhouse in Central America, she remembers the embroidered pink dress her mother sent her from the US. Orquidia crossed the US border as a six-year-old refugee and went on to earn an Associate of the Arts degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Exposure to labor exploitation in the garment industry led her to co-found LaborFruit — a prominent artist-cooperative storefront and gallery specializing in clothing as artform.

At LaborFruit and within the Los Angeles creative community, Orquidia created colorful wearable artwork and performances. For the annual Ofrendas: Calavera Fashion Show and Walking Altars, her elaborate costumed multi-person performances were featured for eight years. Orquidia also sold her work every Sunday at the Hollywood Farmers Market on a custom Boutique on a Bike. Orquidia moved to Portland Oregon in 2013, further developing her car-free and localized salvage production methods. She sells Veggie-Onesies (hand-dyed kids clothes with unique vegetable and fruit appliques) at local stores, farmers markets, and the excellent My People’s Market.

Orquidia won Best Cultural Outfit at the first ever Día de Muertos celebration at the Portland Art Museum. She danced in her Vestido de Calaveras, a hoop-skirted black gown covered in colorful applique calaveras representing the women who died in the Salvadoran Civil War. Last year she won second place in the SHIFT: House of the Absurd Runway Show for her Looming Objects — A nonsensical process-driven woven sculptural costume of neo-primitive materials. This year, Orquidia’s Madrina was selected for the permanent Small Works Collection of the City of Portland. A flat portrait of her Godmother in denim, printed cotton, and embroidered flowers, the piece is part of the Social Landscape of Portland soon to be on display in the remodeled iconic postmodern Portland Building.

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