Meet a Lab Assistant: Esperanza Rosas

Photo by  Bryan Allen Lamb

Tell us about yourself, how long have you worked as a Lab Assistant at LATITUDE?

My name is Esperanza Rosas, but many people also know me by my artist name: Runsy. I have been at LATITUDE for 10 months now (yay!). I’m a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the South Side of Chicago.

What ideas, materials or people sit at the center of the work you do?

My work is very personal, tapping into family narratives. The medium I most often work with is graphite. I draw very intricate, and realistic, illustrations and often use family photos as references for these drawings. I’ve recently found that through zine making, I can pair my drawings with some of my documentary photography to more seamlessly tell stories. The art of storytelling is something deeply personal to myself because as a Latina woman we have often been erased from museum settings.

How do you make your work art? What environment(s) do you make art within? 

I have my own art studio at home filled with boxes of photos, books, and supplies. It’s super quiet, and nobody ever walks in there unless allowed by me (I probably sound scary, but I’m very nice I promise; I just really love to make art in solitude.) My working process as an artist is very tedious, because I appreciate being self-sufficient. I draw free-handed because I believe it teaches me the principles of drawing and forces me to get better at recognizing shapes, color, the medium, etc. My photography work is documentary based, so I use those photos and let them form stories on their own. This usually occurs through questioning each of my photos, its subjects, the timeframe, my identity, and its relationship to other photos.

List five things that changed the way you look at/ make images?

  1. "Ray’s A Laugh," by Richard Billingham
  2. "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency," by Nan Goldin
  3. Vincent Valdez
  4. Phantom Sightings: Art after the the Chicano Movement
  5. My college professors from UIC

Describe yourself as a piece of furniture or household appliance/feature?    

If I were able to be a household appliance, I’d probably be a blender. Blenders turn solids into liquids. They’re necessary, but they’re also a bit intimidating being that they do have blades and can cause a mess. I think that’s somewhat like me.

What is a question you have for your viewing audience/ the world?

Who’s your favorite Latina artist? You can’t name Frida Kahlo.

Link to website: |





Staff FeaturesColleen Keihm