In the evening glow of warm candlelight, a young girl plays with the tassels of her mother’s shawl as the woman adorns her child’s hair in this exquisite work unveiled at the 2013 Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale. Any woman who has experienced this maternal joy associated with dressing up a daughter or granddaughter knows there’s a special bond that occurs during this time-honored ritual.
JoAnn Peralta’s inspiration for her artwork springs from her admiration and deep bond she had with her grandmother, Anita Peralta. She paints under her surname to pay homage to her. Both sides of Peralta’s parents’ lineage come directly from Spain as well as from Italy. The families eventually migrated to Mexico and then to the U.S. Anita arrived in California along with her husband, Ramon, in the early 20’s. They established a meager living from itinerant farm work, picking seasonal crops and traveling via bus to those sites.
“My mother has memories as a little girl of being in the fields while her mom picked walnuts” explains Peralta. “It is my belief that my grandmother’s work ethic deeply influenced my mother and in turn each of her children because we’ve all strived to become the best at what we do. I look to pay tribute to the culture that helped shape my grandmother. I’m capturing moments of cultural experiences as well as the beauty of what helped shape my family.”