As a Latina born and raised in New York City Alisha states, "Creating with my hands is an ancestral way of moving my thoughts. Not only is this an ode to my family but a way to keep this tradition alive."
Born and raised in New York City, Alisha Soto, an Artist, and Kindergarten Teacher, has always seen street art and thought it to be bold and empowering. The Murals in Spanish Harlem have impacted her sense of self and identity. Being a Puerto Rican woman living in Spanish Harlem most of her life, pride, and the desire to inspire, as those murals have, has been etched in her thoughts since young. Alisha states, “Art has always been an escape, a place to create a bond between emotions and a sensory experience, especially with fiber.”
As a Latina, artistry has been a way of life in her family for generations. Handwork from embroidery, sewing, crocheting, knitting, and more were the ways the woman in her family made a living. Alisha states,” Creating with my hands is an ancestral way of moving my thoughts. When the world is too heavy, I can create and make a statement with fiber. It is a form of therapy, similar to meditation; I can connect better to myself and those before me, with yarn in hand. Not only is this an ode to my family but a way to keep this tradition alive. As a teacher, I am also aware of a child’s sensory connection with art, textures, and emotions. In adulthood, this connection is deeper once we find it and harness it. It expands one’s understanding of the world.”
Some techniques used in her art are crochet, knit macrame and embroidery. In recent pieces Alisha has been creating more sculptured and three dimensional sculptures. Art, creativity and passion move her to continue to experiment mixing mediums. Alisha has collaborated in many fiber pieces displayed throughout Manhattan dedicated to health care workers, social movements, and the community. She has also exhibited large (10x12) fiber art murals in Coney Island, Brooklyn, Milan, Italy and Mexico City, Mexico. In addition, she has created over thirty fiber art tree murals for various community events.