September - November, 2019
HOOPS began as an idea for the annual Var Gallery 30x30x30 show, to have artists in the collective create a total of 30 different works in homage to one of our favorite accessories — Hoops! The collective had multiple conversations about how Hoops made us feel powerful and connected to our Latinx identities and while we were not accepted into that show, we were not discouraged — a hoops show would happen!
Through Nicole Acosta’s connections, we were able to secure our own 2 month exhibition at the gallery housed inside the Urban Ecology Center, Menomonee Valley. And Nicole, a LUNA member, also had an amazing marketing idea: shoot portraits of our artists wearing our hoops. Nicole set up a photo shoot and with the help of another photographer in the group, Irma Roman, they took amazing, glamour headshots of each artist donning hoops, feeling absolutely powerful!
“HOOPS” did not showcase these photos but is a collective representation of our various Latinx roots, rituals, and spirituality. From chunky to dainty, bodega purchased or passed onto us from our familias; see how we deconstruct stigmas and reclaim our HOOPS journeys.After this project Nicole Acosta has expanded the project outside of LUNA members, photographing and asking her subjects "What do hoop earrings mean to you?” This turned into The HOOPS Portrait Project that got national attention and landed her two exhibitions in Milwaukee at Arts @ Large and Chicago at AMFM.
Katie Avila Loughmiller
Francheska L. Gomez Rodriguez
Rozalia Singh Hernandez
"We were born into them. They have become both a marker of our identities and symbols of home. For some, they became gifts celebrating a coming of age, and for others they evoke memories of self-revelation."
Nicole Acosta | HOOPS Creator