Getting to know local artist and professor Mandy Cano Villalobos

We sat down with Mandy Cano Villalobos, a local artist and professor who works in everything from two dimensional to sculpture to installation and even the occasional performance work, often creating stunning beauty and multi-layered narratives out of discarded and worn materials. Mandy sat down with us to talk about her practice, and how she takes hair, teeth, and blocks of cheese hidden in jewelry boxes—and somehow makes layers of beauty and conceptual thought out of them.


Often focusing on the mundane and futile and finding the sacred meaning and histories within them, Mandy’s work has been seen often at SiTE:LAB as well as the local gallery representing her, LaFontsee Galleries.

Of course, we couldn’t talk to Mandy about her art without talking about her tea bag quilts—those representations of time passed and memories collected, stitched into precious quilts and presented in an art context. We also got a chance to find out a little bit about her new work and where her interests are moving next—and though it doesn’t smell very good, it sure is beautiful.

To learn more about Mandy’s work, you can follow her on Instagram, visit her website, or take a look at some of her work in person at LaFontsee Galleries in Lake Drive.

All images courtesy of Mandy Cano Villalobs.