Nives Wetzel de Cediel: Teacher, Performer

nivesphoto from Nives Wetzel de Cediel’s collection

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Nives: No. I came here in 1988 to attend Cal and never left. Though, I have lived in the Bay Area longer than any other place — 23 years!

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Nives: In retrospect I’ve always been on a creative path but I became CONSCIOUS of it when I was 17. I, for the first time, saw myself as someone who’s artful manifestations may resonate with others. Prior to that I danced and made art to amuse and challenge just me and kept my musings to myself.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Nives: Absolutely everywhere. Seemingly unrelated and even conflicting elements provide me with what I need to create. For example, I sometimes pick up pieces of strangers’ conversations on the street. The piece I hear triggers a memory, makes me laugh, makes me think and I’m off! Off like a rocket, head spinning with ideas about something old I can make new or something that I have never considered before. My inspirations manifest in dance yes, but thy also work through my artwork, how I engage with people and how I prioritize who/what is important.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Nives: Tattoo You, The Rolling Stones. I thought I was doing big things ’cause I bought it. I have to say, though, that my record collection started with the singles “Car Wash”- Rose Royce and “the Main Event” – Barbara Streisand. Can’t recall which came first but I wore those singles out.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Nives: I was honored by one of my high school dance students this past spring when he said, “Ms. Cediel, you the wettest out here, you be goin’ H.A.M.!” (transalation Hard as A Muthafucka)
Definitely a ‘had-to-be-there’ moment. I’m picturing the expression on his face and the tone of his voice – that mess makes me wanna holla’


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