We had the good fortune of connecting with Kara Worrells-Gutiérrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kara, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
I want to move as many people as possible with the work that I am doing and will do—I want to be a part of the change that I want to see. The main effort of what I am making my life’s work is to inspire intangible and tangible betterment through a collective, humanitarian effort channeled through art and scholarship. I specialize in poetry, prose writing, copy editing, research, painting, photography, and pottery sculpting, so I am a multifaceted creator with a knack for adaptability. I hope to share a pursuit of goodness, truth, and justice through what I make. If I am able to see a launch of social movements making concrete, legislative changes that echo the efforts of the youth from the latter half of the 20th century, then I will have reached my end goal.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a first-gen Latin@ native of North America with dual citizenship and white privilege, I am simultaneously one of the many and an original. No soy de aquí ni de allá and I am still figuring out how to navigate the uncharted inbetween of a world that tries to convince me of who I am and who I am not. Because of this, I have spent my life thinking extensively about the ways that interpretations of truth, projections of truth, and manipulations of truth are shaped by power and influence. My creative work channels this thinking through a multimedia effort to challenge the effects of appearances and performed knowledge.

It’s exciting that my work has evolved into connecting so many different mediums like writing, sculpture, and photography, to name a few, with the purpose of communicating a multitude of ideas that I find essential for wrapping our heads around humanity. I am proud that my art and scholarship act within dialectical terms to process personal and impersonal relationships with complex identities, metaphysics, interdisciplinary critical theory, consciousness, mental health, justice, and truth. I believe that everything is relative, and I find it fascinating when the details of places, people, ideas, objects, subjects, and other unspecified nouns emerge as reincarnations across different times and spaces. My work intentionally puts these details in conversation with one another for the purpose of fostering empathy and recognition, while also unmasking the misrecognition and prejudice that keep us repeating toxic, elitist histories that serve to separate us.

The paths of shaping my personal and professional lives have not been easy. Surviving trauma, abuse, and manipulation provide the best insight into the trajectory I’ve set myself on. As such, I am grounded in strong convictions centered around accountability, honesty, and integrity. In order to see healthy progress towards the achievements I’ve earned and continue to work for, I have actively done my due diligence to strengthen the critical analysis, reading, and communication skills that are necessary in all spheres of life, and specifically in professional circumstances. These last seven years of developing where I am professionally have required focus and mindful dedication. It’s day in and day out. It’s trial and error without giving up. It’s taken a mentality of “practice makes progress” instead of “practice makes perfect.” It’s taken the perspective of “face it til you make it” instead of “fake it til you make it.”

I want the world to know that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself with a support system that aligns with your principles, intentions, and goals. No one does it alone, and no one is self-made, despite what some might sell. Today is all we have to be the change we want to see. Today is all we have to be who we want to be.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego is the place to be. We have everything here. Everywhere in the city, and the county, is worthy of a stroll.

So, if my best friend was visiting, we’d do something like: grab coffee and a croissant to start a morning off at the Prado Perk in Balboa Park, while easing our way over to the botanical garden and lily pond. We’d then make sure to peek our heads into some of the many museums, like MOPA or the Museum of Us, before admiring the urban tree forest that shields the Park and connects its satellite parts. Saying hello to the legendary Moreton Bay fig tree would be a must. We’d then be set in the direction of the various crafts installed across the way at the Spanish Village Art Center, and maybe later find ourselves crossing one of Balboa’s many bridges to give personalities to some cacti and roses.

This style of natural ebb and flow would similarly take place at:

– Chicano Park in Barrio Logan, where we’d walk around to admire the murals painted on the highway pillars.

– Coronado beach, where ice cream at MooTime Creamery meets Hotel Del and other sandy treats. And of course it would be remiss to forget breakfast at the Night & Day Cafe.

– The bus and trolley system are phenomenal in the county, and making our way over to Pacific Beach and La Jolla would be breezy. Rhythm’s fried chicken fries and sitting by the shoreline? Say less.

– Little Italy, where lunch at Nonna’s turns into an affogato at Cafe Zucchero. It’d be essential to visit Blick’s and the Mona Lisa Italian Foods supermarket. Maybe a nightcap at The Princess Pub & Grill or Born & Raised to ring out the day with a laugh.

– North Park, South Park, Hillcrest, University Avenue, and Adams Avenue would be pinballed in one go, with special focus on Verbatim Bookstore and L’Estats.

– Old Town, Seaport Village, and Liberty Station would be the breakfast, lunch, and dinner trio of the trip.

– Old Chula Vista and modern Chula Vista: cannot be surpassed. The orange tree trail at the Athlete Training Center and some fries from Wings Empire, say less.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a Santa’s list of people who’ve uplifted me to be who and where I am today. To include everyone in summary, I want to recognize my family, my chosen family, and all of my loved ones. The quality of their friendship, their nurturing, and their examples have helped shape my life.

Website: https://kworrells19.wixsite.com/madretierra

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karawpoetry/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kara-worrells-53091a210

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDMTDhn-kX6bUDqhKK8Vzmg/videos

Other: Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/SolPottery2k

Image Credits
The photo where I am reading a poem at the top of a staircase. behind a painting, is from the University of California, Irvine’s literary organization, New Forum. The photo of a flyer for the “Car Gaze” exhibition was taken by Alex Dejecacion.

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