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Biography

Michelle de la Vega is a multidisciplinary, installation, public, and community engagement artist based in Spring Valley, MN and Seattle, WA. Her creative ventures investigate social and aesthetic boundaries through fostering dialogue, bridging divides, and investing in community on a wide scale. Michelle’s social practice model deeply integrates groups and individuals into the generative processes and exhibitions of her cross-disciplinary projects. Her conceptually driven work includes sculpture, immersive environmental design, video and film, collage, photography, choreography, text, and partnership building through project based community engagement.

Michelle’s work has been exhibited at Gallery 4Culture, Bridge Productions, The Center on Contemporary Art, Oxbow and more, and she is currently working on a monumental permanent outdoor sculpture for the Sound Transit Light Rail at the new Kent/Des Moines station in King County, WA. She is a former Artist Trust Fellow, and City Arts Magazine Artist of the Year recipient. She was honored to be a 2019 finalist for the MN Department of Transportation Artist in Residence position. Through her investment in women’s care Michelle co-founded the women’s King County Jail Art Workshop for incarcerated women in partnership with The Organization for Prostitution Survivors where she has been an ally for 7 years. She is very excited to have recently joined the steering committee for Path with Art's new Reintegration from Incarceration art program. Michelle is currently working on feature film documentary project that focuses on BIPOC agriculture land access in Minnesota. She is also a beekeeper, an elder caregiver, and lives on a small farmstead in Southeastern Minnesota where she and her husband keep bees, grow food, build, and run a boutique metal fabrication shop.

Michelle’s work has received support from Artist Trust, The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, King County 4Culture, the Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia (iET+I) at Cornish College of the Arts, The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, The Seattle Foundation, The Millay Colony, The Center on Contemporary Art, Equinox Studios, Bootstrapper Studios, The Puffin Foundation, Springboard for the Arts,  and a consortium of private patrons. She has served on the 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee, and as a program development consultant for the WA State Arts Commission, Artist Up and The Organization for Prostitution Survivors. As a teaching artist Michelle has worked with diverse and underserved communities, including folks in recovery from multiple traumas, specifically through Path With Art in Seattle and in her own projects. 

Michelle received her education and training from Otis Parsons in Los Angeles, CA (visual art), Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA (dance), and the South Seattle Community College Welding and Metal Fabrication Program.

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