Maria Ramirez shocked and amazed with her new installation entitled “Cherry Bomb.” This exhibit is a continuation of a previous performance art piece that essentially acted as the first part of “Cherry Bomb.” The exhibit was set up in the Old Arts Building; when entering you were greeted with the first section of the installation, which is a stunning indoor forest composed of bamboo standing upright with bricks acting at the base in a half circle. Lighting and chairs are set to sit in the center and admire the art. To the left of this, is a series of wooden platforms set up in the form of a square; in the center of this, you see a black box sitting on a mound of mulch; the box is filled with water and there is a water pump in the center of it giving a stunning fountain effect.
The mulch is littered with dead shrubs and leaves and gives a very eerie depressing atmosphere which blends in well with the run down old arts building. This installation has three parts; the indoor bamboo forest, the depressing fountain and boardwalk, and the cherry bomb exhibit. At another end of the room, you see the most beautiful mural of the sky; a blend of pinks yellows underneath fluffy white clouds and the words “Cherry Bomb” painted above it all. To top this all off, a series of chairs are set up facing a blank wall with nothing but an amp and a man playing bass guitar; the chords and notes echo throughout the entire building and add a funky atmosphere to the exhibits. Visitors of the art show sit and watch and admire the music to take a short break from the installations.
The contrast between the lively and dark atmospheres is no coincidence; cherry bomb has a much deeper meaning than one may assume at first glance. Cherry Bomb itself is not simply one installation, but a series of installations and preformance art pieces that all represent a loss of innocence. Maria Ramirez, the creator of Cherry Bomb, has been a victom of sexual abuse and experienced an intense battle with the school for nearly six months to remove her abuser off of campus. By creating Cherry Bomb, she was intending to send a powerful message to women experiencing sexual abuse or abuse of any kind they are not alone. This art piece was her contribution to the movement to have these women's voices heard and it stands as a very important moment in Antioch’s History.
By Tennyson Love 6/16/22