Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places.  Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Dimelza Broche | Artist

I am originally from Cuba and I lived there till I was 16 years old. I have brittle bones disease or OI and I have been a wheelchair user since a young age. Because of the limitations my country faces to provide more options for differently-abled people it was always a challenge for my parents to make a normal life for me. They are wonderful people and always sacrificed themselves so that I could have what any child growing up needs. Both my parents are incredibly hardworking people which is something that has always helped me growing up as a person and as an artist. I have an MFA and years of art training thanks to how my parents raised me to always give my 100% on my work and my believes. It is that constant support that has definitely impacted who I am today. It has influenced why I make art and the subject matter of my work. And though we faced many hardships through the years I am extremely thankful and will never trade my upbringing because it shaped me. Read more>>

Luciana Ravazzi | Doctor of Dental Surgery

I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Being from a very urban and metropolitan area, I had an enriching and lively childhood by enjoying all that the big and dynamic city would offer culturally. Also, when on my school vacations, I had the opportunity to experience the country side, which allowed me to live and enjoy a completely different environment. I believe that those experiences have molded my personality by making me more open, adaptable and ready to face the challenges that life would bring to me. It was absolutely worth it. Read more>>

Kristopher Biernat | Writer & Artist

I spend a lot of time thinking about where I’m from and what exactly that means. I was born in Florida, but didn’t stay long. I spent a number of years in Michigan (with most of them in Battle Creek), and I went to high school in Fayetteville, then Goldsboro, North Carolina. I spent a few more years in Goldsboro before returning to Florida, where I’ve moved to a new town every few months. Currently I’m living in Melbourne, Florida, and I hope to stay here for a while. What all of this moving means for me is that, like a lot of military children, I’ve developed the ability to blend in and adapt to the situations around me. It has also left me wondering who I really am, if I’m just one of those adaptations, or something different entirely. A lot of my art involves distortions and change, trying to find the essence of an image, a poem, or a film. Read more>>

Sheila Khiatani | Jeweler

Being from the little but big island of Jamaica has colored my life with many memories, both literally and figuratively. My parents emigrated from India in the 1950’s and launched their own jewelry store shortly after. So my childhood was “colored” by the vivid blues and greens of my surroundings as well as by the various hues of the gemstones in my parents’ store. I grew up in the business, having to spend my afternoons after school and Saturday mornings assisting customers. Only then could I take off to the beach, free diving into the blue waters in search of shell “treasures”. My friends came from many different backgrounds: Arabic, English, American, European and Asian, so I was exposed to a myriad of cultures and styles which only allowed me to develop an appreciation for all types of jewelry. My love for jewelry and gemstones increased with every trip to India…….the sheer number and sizes of the gemstones were breathtaking! Read more>>