Bio: Julissa Llosa Vite (LMSW, M.Ed, She/They) is a ceramic artist, ceremonialist, and educator working in NYC. She grew up in Callao, Peru, where she learned the power of ancestral healing from their family. They studied Studio Art and Gender Studies at Dartmouth College, as well as Education and Social Work at Hunter College. Julissa apprenticed under Irma StartSpirit, learning indigenous healing traditions and studied Two-Eyed-Seeing; (merging indigenous and western healing modalities) under Lewis Mehl-Medrona. She is a student of Cosmoaudicion, a ceramic school grounded in ancestral technologies led by Esteban Valdivia.
My work originates in ceremonial graves, deep-dark spaces, where our ancestors lie, literally hugging ceramic vessels from millennia ago. These vessels still live today: when buried correctly, ceremoniously, they outlive all of us. Our ancestors carefully buried these vessels to be found by us, as if they saw we would come back to dig for our histories. Lots of cultures have ancient scriptures to tell their stories. We, in America, have our ceramic vessels containing our dense, visual, ancient and confusing stories and sounds. This legacy invites ceremonial reconstitution and re-birth into the creative process—we unbury them, we hold them, we re-create them. We respond to them. We are changed.
As extensions of my embodiment (queer, woman, indigenous, immigrant), my work holds my ancestors same way they held their ceramic vessels in their bodies for centuries. If I re-build these pieces, birth them into this world centuries later, I will feel how they felt, I will touch the clay the same way they touched the clay, I will enter the graves with them.