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Urban Jupena

Day at the Beach | 60″ x 46″ x 6″ | Wool and linen, carved floss in plexiglass case | 2000

Artist Statement

I have been creating fiber works for more than 50 years.  Persistence and endurance are what my work is about.  If you compare a person’s life to a stone wall, the stones comprise all the people, memories, joys and hardships that make up that life.  My work is like the mortar that holds the stones together and makes the wall endure.  Without the mortar, my life would just be a pile of rocks.  The need to produce — to keep on exploring and solving problems — provides me with that mortar and the persistence to live.
Day at the Beach recollects a scene from gay life before the AIDS pandemic changed so many of our lives.   Blaze of Glory  consists of three pieces:  Spark, the discovery of life, Blaze, the all encompassing part of life, and Afterglow, a reflection on that life that eventually leads to rebirth.   In all of these works, we know that life will return, but will never be the same.

Artwork/s at the following locations:
Collected Detroit

Artist Website + Social Media:

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.