Carolina Pollard: a Chico artist finding an outlet during COVID-19


Carolina Pollard draws inspiration for her art from the female body. nature, and her culture. Photo by Maricarmen Becerra-Gonzalez Sep. 9, 2021.

When the world came to a halt in March 2020, it appeared to be the ideal time to pick up a brand new hobby. Carolina Pollard, a Chico native and self-taught artist, was no different⁠ — she learned the art of stained glass over the course of COVID-19.

Pollard is the face behind the “Encantos Curios” stand at Chico’s Thursday Night Market. She displays earrings, necklaces, macramé and her specialty⁠, stained glass. Before becoming a stand at the market, Pollard described being the only member of her family without a knack for art.

“Unlike my brother and sister, who are amazing at drawing, I can’t draw to save my life, so I never thought about taking art seriously,” Pollard said.

She has previously tried other artistic outlets, but none stuck like this one.

“I’ve been doing stained glass [for] about 18 months now,” Pollard said. “I’m self-taught for the most part, but I have found a great online community that shares tips and their process.”

Stained glass art is an ancient practice consisting of fastening glass shards together with a lead frame. It’s a delicate art that takes time to master. Pollard’s stained glass designs are original, but she does draw inspiration from her Latina culture, the female reproductive system and nature.

“I’ve always found it fascinating,” Pollard said. “I remember going to church when I was little and just studying the windows the entire time. I never imagined I could do that.”

Pollard creates several pieces highlighting the female body. From multi-colored uteruses to portraits of women’s bodies. Femininity is a strong theme throughout her artwork.

Heidi McMillan is a frequent customer of Pollard who works in reproductive healthcare. She recalled purchasing a uterus piece from Pollard the week that Texas began challenging abortion rights in the state.

“I especially felt inspired to see this lovely uterus hanging in the wind and sunlight to trigger the mind and people to think about what is going on in this country when it comes to women’s rights,” McMillan said.

McMillan has purchased three of Pollard’s pieces as of now and plans on collaborating with her to create custom pieces in the future.

“I plan to get presents for family and friends from her,” McMillan said. “All quality, unique, and inspiring.”

Creating art has benefited Pollard in unexpected ways.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but it has helped my mental health tremendously,” Pollard said.

Paloma Miranda, Pollard’s sister, also designs and creates earrings for their stand. She described the way that art has impacted her sister.

“Even if people aren’t buying her piece and just them admiring one of her pieces brings her so much joy,” Miranda said. “She could sell nothing and be so proud.”

Miranda reflected on her family’s passion for art and her sister’s journey from paper to glass.

“She’s kind of a jack of all trades,” Miranda said. “She’s always super excited to create.”

Pollard has one future goal in mind; to create for her audience and for herself.

“I just want my art to brighten people’s days the way creating it brightens mine,” Pollard said. “I never thought I could be an artist but this experience has proven otherwise.”

Pollard’s art can be found on Instagram or on Etsy

Maricarmen Becerra-Gonzalez can be reached at [email protected]