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2017 Thesis Presentations: Cady Juarez’s ‘Cadence’s Castle’

We are extremely proud to present the Third Annual MFA Visual Narrative Thesis Exhibition, “And Then. . .”

These driven, hardworking students have devised exciting and wildly diverse bodies of words and pictures while maintaining a focus on narrative. The work you will see arose from the closely- held parts of our students’ own lives — using the connective tissues of their own histories, preoccupations, experiences and found stories. This process required a great deal of personal bravery and tenacity to find the voice and means necessary to achieve their own unique visions.

CADENCE’S CASTLE: Illustrative Journal

Cadence’s Castle reflects Cadence’s day-to-day realizations and struggles of growing up in Missouri with two mothers, Mom and Jackie, all thoughtfully recorded in Cadence’s personal journal. At first Cadence, a naïve teen, seems absorbed in her own fantasy, escaping her everyday bullies by building castles and creating characters with her best friend Hallee. With the support and love of her mother and Jackie, a supposed roommate, Cadence believes that her family is normal; however, unable to escape the consistent bullying from her peers, she soon uncovers the real reason behind her classmates’ jeering.

Similar to the author’s experiences, Cadence battles with the fact that she is growing up in a world that refuses to accept her parents and their identity. Cadence artfully dodges the truth of her victimization—her parents’ sexual orientation—and constantly finds herself stuck in the closet with them, refusing to believe that her mother would mislead her. When faced with her mother’s darkest secret, the world Cadence had built begins to crumble, and Cadence’s biggest fear is realized. Armed with the truth, Cadence learns to accept her mother’s identity and face her everyday bullies.

Upon receiving her BA in Art Education, Cady Juarez started teaching children about the value of arts and culture. Her artwork ranges from mixed media, to writing, illustration, and children’s books, all typically showcasing cultural diversity, identity and strong female characters. Cady strives to create a variety of children’s books touching on her personal cultural identity mixed with Mexican mythology and morals. Cadence’s Castle is only the beginning, as Cady continues to pursue new works that explore self-reflection, the taboos of childhood, and queer and gender studies.

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