Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu

Stevenson ‘20, history of art and visual culture

Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu (Stevenson ‘20, history of art and visual culture)

Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and is the first member in her family to leave home and attend a four-year university. 

These were challenges, she said, but more importantly they are the source of her strength and her focus. 

“I knew that I had to make every personal sacrifice, and the sacrifices that my parents went through, count,” she said. 

Lopez-Anleu has packed a lot into her four years at UC Santa Cruz. Besides her B.A., she is completing minors in Latin American and Latino studies and history of consciousness.

During her second year, she studied contemporary curatorial practices at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and engaged with different methods of studying art history at UCLA. She also interned at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Broad.

These experiences starkly illustrated how limiting the traditional art world can be, and she has dedicated her efforts to bring underrepresented artists from communities of color to the forefront. 

“I do this in hopes that by seeing art that engages with their identity, communities of color and queer communities of color will arrive at an understanding that art and careers in the arts is not something that is inaccessible to them," Lopez-Anleu said. “Those were all sentiments that I felt growing up in a household and community where a relationship to art did not exist.”

She curated and organized “The Beat Within,” an exhibition of drawings and poems by incarcerated youths, and continues to help with the programming of "Solitary Garden"—a participatory public sculpture and garden project on campus.

Lopez-Anleu said her UCSC experience “has been marked by passionate departments full of strong and dedicated faculty who really support undergraduates and encourage us to pursue any opportunity.” 

“I emphasize this,” she said, “because being a first-generation, queer, Central American student,  having a supportive environment as I navigated higher education and its stressors has been a key aspect to my success.”

During her four years, Lopez-Anleu has made a point to help other students as a member of the Arts Division student advisory board. The board spearheaded the History of Art and Visual Culture Mentor/Mentee program that offers guidance to students as they begin the major. She was also the curatorial intern for UCSC’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

She knows that graduating in the midst of a pandemic won’t be easy, but soon she will begin as a curatorial and program assistant at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions to assist with an exhibition that brings together artworks examining violence generated from physical and conceptual borders and severe immigrant policies.