Portrait of Dakin Vasquez smiling next to a canvas

Dakin Fuller Vasquez, (born Kara Torres) is a nonbinary Burlington, Vermont-based experimental artist who works in a wild assortment of media, including, but never limited to, sticks, taillights, scrap cloth, acrylic on canvas, ink, polymer clay, and watercolor. As an environmentally-thoughtful and resourceful person, Dakin scavenges materials from second-hand shops, friends & family members’ junk drawers, forests and greenbelts. They use these materials to craft clothing, collages, flags, jewelry, and anything else they feel impelled to make.

Dakin held a 6-month residency at New City Gallery from 2016-2017 and won first place in the Arts Alive Festival of Fine Arts in 2018. They have had solo shows at Cavendish Gallery and the Gallery at Main Street Landing, in addition to many wonderful and supportive local restaurants, bars, coffee shops and computer stores. They have received commissions from Rice High School, SEABA, and individuals. Dakin grew up barefoot in the woods of Duxbury, VT, and spent their childhood climbing white pines and beech trees.

Dakin's art, though multifarious, leans heavily towards a 1930’s cartoon-graffiti, cosmos-constructing style; whatever medium or style Dakin is using, radical honestly and reflection on gender, society, and death emerge as central themes.


Artist Statement

My intuitive painting practice is heavily reflective of my childhood growing up in rural Vermont. I began painting as a way of processing my anxiety and working through the negative messages I received about my gender and sexuality. Generally, I start a painting with no plan for what I’d like to create. I choose a few colors that I like, focus on a specific memory, and start mapping out a visual representation of it. I often listen to music and harness the sounds within the texture and composition of the painting, varying brush strokes and sometimes even carving into the paint or painting directly on canvas with the tube of paint. As I paint, I find recognizable forms emerging, often highly-recognizable emblems of childhood and femininity, such as teeth, bows, and flowers; however, my work subverts assumptions of gender by presenting these symbols in a context that expresses passion and self-determination, defying the objectification of female humans.