My Art, Passion and Work

Mara Perez Arctic

Uprooted and Hanging by a Thread

Name of piece: “Uprooted and Hanging by the Thread”
100 percent handmade and designed by glass artist and jeweler Mara Perez—

Description: Anodized recycled aluminum, sterling silver, steel, Pyrex glass and Austrian crystals; black aluminum armature 9” by 9” and diameter of inner circle 8.5”; sterling silver bar 5”; hanging wires (top to bottom of glass elements) 18”; glass elements 1 ¼” in length.

For decades, undocumented Mexicans have been uprooting themselves and crossing the Mexico-U.S. border, facing a wall, patrols and a hostile landscape. The historic failures on the part of the U.S. government to enact an effective and fair migration policy have caused millions of hardworking individuals to be left hanging by a thread in the U.S. Moreover, to cross the border and subsequently live in community and work in the U.S., Mexican migrants are forced to become invisible and live—as much as possible—as if they were transparent to avoid detection and deportation.

On Jan. 28, 2013, The New York Times reported that a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has drafted a set of guiding principles for immigration reform, an initiative to be taken by President Obama and Congress in the coming months. This could lead to a path to legalization for more than 10 million undocumented migrants in the U.S., including a large number of Mexicans. History tells us that similar actions have been protracted and have repeatedly failed. Let’s hope Congress gets it right this time.

Uprooted and Hanging by a ThreadUprooted and Hanging by a Thread

Having a doctorate in sociology with a focus on Mexican migration to the U.S., I feel very connected to this piece. I was born in Argentina and live in California. While in graduate school, I traveled to Mexico more than 20 times for research on immigration and lived there in the late 1990s. This project has enabled me to express, as an artist/jeweler, thoughts and reflections about immigration policy that I examine on a regular basis.


Name of piece: “Arctic”

100 percent made and designed by artist Mara Perez

Description: Clear, textured glass elements cover a 17-inch sterling silver chain

Very light in weight and feel, this flowing necklace is inspired by the beauty of melting ice and metaphorically captures those moments in which solid begins to melt.

In this piece, I seek to communicate the intrinsic connection of two states of being in transition—the melting of a solid that is becoming a liquid—while reflecting on climate change in the Arctic.

Mara Perez Cascade

Name of piece: "Cascade"
100 percent made and designed by artist Mara Perez

Description: Cascading glass necklace with five clear glass elements, of which three feature multicolor dots and two have caramel-tone edges; elements connected with coated copper wire and fastened with copper crimps; cascading pendant hangs from a coated copper wire and closes with a copper clasp; five-piece pendant approximately 2.5" long and 3/4" wide.

This piece reflects my appreciation for the natural environment and speaks about concerns regarding climate change and how it might affect Earth’s forests.
Cascade won a second-place award in the Fine Art Jewelry category at the 2012 Marin County Fair in San Rafael, Calif.
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About the author

Mara Perez

Mara Perez, Ph.D. As Founder and Principal of Mara Perez, Fund Development and Planning Services, Mara provides fundraising and strategic planning services to non-profits. Mara has helped over seventy organizations obtain funding, design innovative work strategies, and execute growth plans. Mara holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago.  Community service includes:  2010-present Board Member of Marin General Hospital; 2002-2012 Board Member Canal Alliance, twice Board President; 2005 Spirit of Marin Award, Business Person of the Year; Coro Leadership Community Fellow.  She has published articles about immigration, social change, and fundraising.  Born in Argentina, Mara resides in California.