Jackpot! Ángela García finds her art history home


Photo credit: Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh

Photo by Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh

Junior Ángela García is an artist. A DJ. A self-proclaimed perfectionist.

García used to make collages centering on themes such as iconography in Mexican culture or gun violence, but she said that being a perfectionist made her question if her pieces were good enough, if they needed something more, something less.

“I’m way harder on myself than I am on others,” García said. “The stress and the anxiety that is surrounded by perfectionism sometimes leads to a wonderful product in the end that once you see what you’ve pushed yourself to do, you realize maybe it was worth all the stress you put on yourself to make it perfect.”

In addition to joining the Trinity Art Collective this semester, García DJs for KRTU on Wednesdays from 3–5 p.m. She plays jazz music, a genre she never thought she’d like but now loves to share over the radio.

“There’s definitely art and music that was created to share, to be vulnerable, to show an experience or emotions,” García said. “I try to put in the music that I like or that’s been stuck in my head. I usually end an announcing set with, ‘Hope you all enjoy,’ because it’s true.”

García wasn’t always a part of the Trinity arts scene, however. She came to Trinity intending to be a pre-med student. When she was questioning her major choices and feeling like she wasn’t doing the right thing, she said some Aramark workers were nicer to her than other students on campus.

“In the three years that I’ve been here, I’ve talked to some of the Aramark workers, and they work really hard,” García said. “I think it’s important for Trinity students to acknowledge what they do. I feel that they are just as important here at Trinity as anybody else, and I just wanted to shout them out and say thank you.”

This is García’s first semester without a single STEM class because she finally found her passion for art history. She sometimes wonders if she wasted her first two years in college on a different track than she is now, but her friends and family remind her how important self-discovery is. No time is wasted.

García takes this openness to new disciplines and new directions to heart, especially looking at art.

“If you’re close-minded and stuck in what you believe and you refuse to ever open up your mind to something new, a new way of thinking, a new way of creating, a new way of being, how can you ever grow?” García asked. “How can you ever mature? How can you ever become more worldly, know what else the world has to offer, what else people have to offer?”

She sees value in keeping an open mind when it comes to art, music or anything in life.

“I have this painting that my 8-year-old sister made for me, and it’s just a chicken that’s colored all these different colors,” García said. “It has this crazy long tongue that’s sticking out. There’s no deep sociopolitical economic meaning under that, but it’s one of my favorite pieces of art.”

Though García’s perfectionism and passion for art might sound eloquent in writing, she said it’s made her work to the point of exhausting all-nighters perfecting essays. However, she also believes her strong desire to succeed pushes her to step out of her comfort zone. She made mistakes while first learning how to DJ and grew as an artist because of it.

“My first show, it was live, and I forgot to turn off the mic,” García said. “I started talking to my boss behind me, and he freaked out [because] the mic was on. Something that I’ve realized is that you can’t take everything so seriously.”

Growing through her art history major, García gravitates toward Latin American art and architecture with Kathryn O’Rourke as a go-to professor since she originally helped García find her love for art history. Her perfectionism is always there, but she is learning how to stay open-minded and trust the process.

“It sounds like the end of some stupid book,” García said. “But is anything really ever perfect?”