Cohort 52 is a platform for emerging voices from the Applied Art & Design program at Sierra College in Northern California. Cohort 52 is facilitated by Assistant Professor Vincent Pacheco.


Veronica Nelson

It was sort of a pause, reflect and realign...




Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I am a 2nd time college student, back in school again after getting married and having children. I am a realtor full time and also enjoy crafting in any spare time I have.  I also have a passion for photography and graphic design. 


How much experience do you have with collage?

I do not have any experience with collage.


Collage artists tend to be picky when it comes to their source material. Can you talk about your approach for selecting your images and/or publications?

I used the magazines that we had at home. It was a mixture of Cosmopolitan, Realtor, GQ and a few Home Magazines. 


Were there any large themes you intended to explore or unpack before you began with this series of work? Did you stay on theme, or did things change as you began physically cutting and pasting images?

No large themes, I just really wanted to find representation of my thoughts. I pretty much stayed on theme when I began picking out my material.  The design however took its shape through certain pieces I found.


How did your background and life experiences inform your collages?

I based the whole theme on my background and experiences.  I basically told the story of my life depicted by the influences and struggles I experienced.


What was your environment and set-up like when making the work? Did you listen to music? Did you work in isolation, or were you surrounded by distraction? Do you think this influenced the work you made?

I sat comfortably at home in both my office and bedroom carefully choosing the images.  I turned the tv on set to a mindless program for just background noise.  I did not have many distractions and do not feel like it influenced my work in any way.


Scissors or X-Acto?



Was there anything unexpected that emerged while creating your work? Any new epiphanies?

Yes, a few small things.  As I was unable to find the exact image I was looking for I settled for other pieces and gave them new meaning to my collage. 


Looking at your work again, has your understanding of your collages changed over time? Has any hidden meaning emerged?

Yes, the more artists work I saw, the more appreciation I gained for it.


Many artists are using the pandemic as a moment to pause and reflect. Do you think Covid-19 informed your work in any way? 

I don’t think so.  I really enjoyed the home we spent in quarantine.  My whole family had the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time together without the hustle and bustle work and student life.  It was sort of a pause, reflect and realign but we were not really in a bad way prior to so for us it was just a further strengthening of the bond we already had. I have been very blessed to have such an amazing family and extremely grateful that we maintained our health during the outbreak.