Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive

March 12 - June 12, 2022

A waffle iron, a yellow bicycle, a piece of toast: These are just a few of the delicately rendered objects in Yvette Molina’s constellation of paintings, each representing a memory or story. Molina spent months meeting people, listening to and recording their stories about things that brought them love or delight, and then making detailed egg tempera paintings of representative objects from those stories, set against a background of deep blue, starry night sky. The individual panels come together in the space as a panoramic galaxy of shared joy, encouraging the viewer to contemplate their own memories of warmth and happiness. Through this collection of human experiences, Molina underscores our interconnectedness and the infinite capacity we have for joy. 

— Sarah Freeman, Curator

I am a Mexican-American artist exploring themes of justice and love. I believe the role of the artist is vital in changing the world. To this end, I use my artwork as a tool for community building, conflict resolution, and healing. My approach is multidisciplinary with a growing emphasis on public engagement. My work includes everything from performance, processional banners, costumes, and comics, to painting, installation, and sculpture. Handicraft materials and methods are often present in my work, both for their sensual beauty but also as a means of privileging what has at times been deemed women’s craft and therefore a “lesser” form of creative expression. Learning and incorporating traditional techniques and handicrafts is another way for me to connect to history, culture, and deeper forms of ancestral knowledge. I have trained in gilding and egg tempera painting as well as Byzantine and Russian Prosopon iconology. Currently I am researching the indigenous craft traditions of the Native Chippewa from my mother’s line and pre-Columbian Mexico on my father’s side. (My mother’s family was Turtle Mountain Chippewa from North Dakota. Chippewa and Ojibwe are both Anishinaabe, but in Canada they are called Ojibwe, and in the U.S. they are called Chippewa.)

Like much of my work, Big Bang Votive includes elements of ritual and community engagement while reflecting a core principle that everything is connected. Big Bang Votive has a simple thesis: The act of sharing stories that focus upon love and delight will in fact create a world more rich with love and delight. The point is not to turn away from the myriad and very real challenges facing humanity but to recognize that love and connection are the necessary ways through those challenges.

— Yvette Molina

We extend special thanks to Joshua-Michéle Ross, composer of the exhibit’s soundscape, Vermont Folklife Center, and Windham Regional Career Center for their assistance in the creation of this exhibit.


April 14, Thursday, 7 p.m. — The Delight of Listening: Interviewing for Oral History and Deeper Understanding
May 14, Saturday, 5 p.m. — Celebration of Spring Exhibits
May 14, Saturday, 8 p.m. (Rain date: May 15) — Night Skies & Stories


Virtual tour
Installation shots
Art Loves Company Blog Post: “All the Dots Connected”
Stories of Love and Delight – An artistic collaboration in Brattleboro, Vermont
Video: Yvette Molina on Big Bang Votive at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey
Video: Installation Timelapse of Big Bang Votive at BMAC
Ask the Artist!