My name is Emily Trujillo and I’m a 24 year-old 8th generation Weaver. I’m also the daughter of master weavers Irvin and Lisa Trujillo. It took me so long to start this because I had what I like to call a ’24 year teenage rebellion.’ You see, I grew up being asked if I was a tapestry artist by almost everyone, and I resented it (irrational, I know). Out of angst and a need to rebel, I played around with almost every other art medium: from jewelry to watercolors, tape sculptures to Photoshop. Though the day finally came: I changed my mind and started weaving. The catalyst? My college career. One of my majors was ‘Ethnology,’ the study of culture, and it really made me appreciate my own heritage. All over the world, culture is dying, and it’s heartbreaking. I, however, have the opportunity to save my own. So here I am, announcing myself to the world. I came back to Chimayo to make sure Rio Grande Weaving doesn’t end with seven generations.
This is my first piece that my mom named for me: “Emily’s Triforce.” I sold it before I was even ready to sell it and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to at the time. I’m still not sure if I should have sold it. The story goes: I showed it to someone before it was even photographed, and they asked to buy it. So I quickly shot this – sadly – warped picture to document it.
This piece meant a lot to me, not only because it was my first, but also because at the time I was weaving it I was getting ready for my first figure skating competition. I was skating to the theme of “Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker,” a video game I played with my brother as a kid. Because of this, I was listening to the soundtrack from Windwaker & other various Zelda games for the entire seven hours it took me to weave this. So this piece represents a particular slice of my life. The triangle in the center is like a Triforce (an important symbol within the game series), but I wasn’t skilled enough to weave a triforce yet. However, in the game there are islands and mountains you explore, so I wove what was meant to represent the terrain surrounded by the seas you explore within a triangle.
This story is important to my introduction as a weaver because I hope to learn the traditional styles and techniques, but I want to use them as building blocks. I want to incorporate my own personality and experience and create something that separates my generation and represents me as a person. I am my own artist with my own personality and life story, and it will reflect in my pieces. I hope to one day create works of art like my parents, but works that stand apart as my own. Only time and hard work will get me there, so I’m going to give it my all. I hope I don’t disappoint.