Karen Jaimes

Exalting the overlooked and exposing truth is a sublime act. By resurrecting ancient Precolumbian ceramic forms, I invoke the rich visual language of my ancestors to address the systemic impact of colonization on indigenous people and the natural world. I combine various techniques using globally sourced ceramic materials and stained glass to create ecovative sculptures. Through the hybridization of Precolumbian forms with iconic contemporary imagery, I revive indigenous knowledge and provide new narratives from the diverse Latinx diaspora in the US. The hybrids assert their autonomy, challenge pervasive Western ideologies, and ask viewers to consider the past, present, and future.


Abuelos, Pipil and Maya descendants, red earthenware, terra sigillata, glaze, 2018

Homage to my grandparents who fled the Salvadoran “Civil” War, a US Proxy War against a popular Leftist government whose goal was to reclaim the land taken by the Fourteen European Families to return it to the indigenous people.

Mirna, Pipil and Maya descendant, custom stoneware with slip and glaze, 2019

Homage to my mother, who escaped the violent military dictatorship that persecuted students, unions, and other democratic reformers during the Salvadoran “Civil” War (1932-1992).

Head of Household (M.C.), Mexica (Aztec) descendant, Mexico, custom stoneware, colorful engobes, glaze, 2019

Homage to Maria, who works two jobs to support her family.

Collateral Damage, Maya descendant, Guatemala, custom low-shrinkage ^10 clay body with oxide wash, stains, glaze, 2019

This spout vessel was made in response to the US’ actions of defending an imaginary border that shouldn’t exist in the first place. The US-Mexican border crossed the people who migrated freely from the South to the North before Europeans arrived. What is the human cost of militarizing borders?

Banana Republic, clay, glaze, stained glass, metal alloy solder, LED lamp, 2020

Homage to the indigenous men, women, and children of Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Columbia who were forced from their land and were later exploited as workers on banana plantations owned by the United Fruit Company (UFCO). 

Land Theft, red earthenware, glaze, decals, stained glass, solder, LED light fixture, 2020

Retribution for the colonized people of Abiayala (the Americas).

Land Theft (detail)
US Intervention in Latin America, red earthenware with glaze and metal oxides, 2020

US gun manufacturers continue to fuel instability throughout Latin America by supplying guns through licit and illicit weapon sales across the border.

California Cash Crop. Red is gold. red earthenware, glaze, neon green spray paint, 2020
Ofrenda by Marco A Barrioz (D.I.A.L.E.K.T.O) MIXTECO, cedar and carbon powder mixed with acrylic on cardboard, L. 47’ x H. 7’, 2020

Mural collaboration. Backdrop for the installation of Karen Jaimes’ exhibition.