Keysha Rivera (any pronouns) was raised in “Little Puerto Rico” aka Holyoke, Massachusetts. Keysha is a technologist, designer and poetic researcher of afro-indigenous (Taâino) ancestry who practices in the South. Keysha’s fusion of digital images, ancestral memory, and textiles as a type of visual storytelling and counter-archiving. Her work being rooted in the connection of material and process, creates soft sculptures, designs, and installations that point to the conversation around the vulnerability of home, the bodily connection to nature, and the tenderness of memory and remembrance.

Recognizing craft’s continually relevant and subversive nature, Keysha views its material language as an organic knowledge system and vehicle for healing—where craft becomes an expression of Puerto Rican and Indigenous autonomy and futurity. Keysha is enrolled in VCU’s Kinetic Imaging Program and has an undergraduate degree in Biology. She’s been a resident at Mass Moca, has been awarded a Craft Innovator Grant and has participated in a show at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. 

Keysha is an auntie and loves the water. 


Artist Statement:

My recent creative process has shifted towards textile sculptural world-building using my mother’s film photo archive. This process emerged as a reaction to the restrictions of conventional ways of archiving memory and mediums. Rather than working within a defined area and material, I like exploring different materials, shapes, and sizes. My process typically starts with exploring my family’s film collection and altering the images. I like to think my practice is rooted in the idea of creating in the spirit of the wind, responding to the conditions and feelings of the moment.

Following that, I like to conduct biological research on non-human connections such as fungi, moss, and plants. I believe my works are interconnected manifestations of memory (or networks of memory). Memorizing as an act of sacred responsibility, my work explores the debt of remembrance and the nature of relation.

As can be seen, my work is a deliberate exploration into the intersection of craft and technology, where I seek to establish connections between these seemingly disparate realms. By exploring into each domain separately or together, I unravel the unique potentials they offer.