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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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Celeste Contreras

artist bio

Celeste Contreras is my artist name.
My full legal name is Jessicanne Celeste Skierski.
My Spirit Name is Citlali Nikwe, means the Women Who Wears the Skirt of Stars.
Mexican-Mexica,Polish-Blackfeet Cherokee.
Artist. Activist. Student. Teacher.
Born in Dallas raised in Milwaukee.
Founder of Dia de los Muertos Parade Project. 2010-present.
Currently working towards a B.A. in Art Education at Alverno College.

On-line portfolios:


Mediums: Trained in fine arts; drawing, painting (oil, acrylics, water colors), sculpture & assemblage. Book binding, book arts, fibers, fashion design, doll making, puppets, printing, poster making, and parade making.

artist statement

My work of art reflects myself through self-portraits and shrines. My reflections come from past experiences that were life altering and sometimes difficult. A big theme is death, rebirth, and family. Some of my biggest influences have been living abroad in other countries, my family history, and folk art from different cultures. While I was living in Thailand I experienced a death of my ‘Host’ Sister from the family I was living with. Her eight-day funeral taught me a lot about death, culture, and tradition. After this experience I moved to México to find my roots. Running on mountains, touching the land of my ancestors and experiencing El Día de los Muertos, has formed and shaped the artist I am and hope to become. My work is a reflection of myself through three-dimensional shrines and self-portraits drawings and paintings. In my shrines I use found objects, hand made wood pieces, and mixed media. In my self-portraits I tend to use ink, paint, charcoal, paper, board, and canvas. Using a mixture of materials and mixed media truly reflects the way my hands and heart let me create art in this world.

#makemasarte translates to, MAKE MORE ART