Collaborations with Vanessa B. Cruz

Golden Door

This project was created in celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday. Based on the poem O Captain! My Captain!, this short video animation illustrates the loss of a leader—or what happens in a country when leadership fails its citizens.

Golden Door portrays America’s contemporaneous state of xenophobia. Copious drawings were made from photo images captured in the digital news, immigrants crossing the borders, detention centers, children’s imprisonment camps, and loss and death. Black and white images portray America’s current racist and inhuman policies against neighboring countries and immigrants.

The title, Golden Door, is inspired by the poem The New Colossus cast at the base of the Statue of Liberty. This beacon of light, icon of freedom shared hope with many that left their homeland behind and risked their lives to reach the land of opportunities. America, the landmark of freedom that embraced many immigrant dreams, has changed; instead of keeping our Golden Doors open to the huddled masses, we are building massive walls.

This project is a collaboration project between Sheila Goloborotko and Vanessa B. Cruz and was created by composing and manipulating sketches captured from the daily news. This collaboration has an original score composed by Kim Panagsagan—a musician discovered on the internet.

Three women, multigenerational immigrants from different lands. This project is inspired by the courage of so many immigrants who lost or risked their lives seeking freedom. With this project, we honor our own families for their journeys seeking asylum in foreign lands.


Musical and visual collaboration commissioned by Jacksonville Symphony. This one-hour multimedia video animation that incorporated various hybrid technologies accompanied four live performances at the UNF Recital Hall and MOCA, in the Spring and Summer of 2017. Vanessa received the 2016 COAS Dean’s Leadership Council Faculty Fellowship to develop this massive collaboration. Successively, this animation has been showcased in the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ, and at the Kwan Fong Gallery in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Call and Response

Presented at the Grey Box Gallery Printmaking + Animation during the 2016 Southern Graphics Council International in Portland, OR. In summer 2017, this work was showcased in the Center for Book Arts in New York City and documented in an exhibition catalog.