Rochelle Joyce Arucan is a Manila born, Bay Area-based artist and writer.
Though born in the Philippines, she considers herself a Bay Area native relocating with her family to the states at age four. The granddaughter of New York's revolutionary people's artist, the late Irving Fierstein, Rochelle grew up heavily influenced in art. Her "father" Fredric Fierstein the legendary man behind Berkeley marina's The Guardian raised Rochelle and her sisters in the quirky Arch street temple home of the Berkeley hills.
The Arch street home catalyzed Rochelle's artistic journey. Learning early in life the importance of therapy through art.
"I was born into polished chaos. Right from the beginning. All of the adults in my life had artistry in their blood, it was romantic, and tragic, there was all this beautiful creativity around me, and also, pain. My grandfather was a painter, mostly oil. My mother who had always aspired to be a famous dancer and singer, and Pop, who makes magic with his hands; sculpts, builds, paints, creates. I had an interesting childhood, there was never a dull moment in our home. But it was a hard one. There was a lot of heartbreak, and loneliness."
Rochelle recalls her childhood, as she puts it, full of static. It was confusing times. Everything on the outside looked perfect, but nothing on the inside was. There was no love between her mother and father, which manifested itself into misplaced anger, particularly towards her.
"Looking at it now, there was so much resentment between the two of them, and unfortunately that made me collateral damage. I was a reminder for the both of them, for the things she lost, and the things he was not. They were people."
It was Rochelle's grandfather who gifted her first set of art supplies and a book on technique. Providing for her a mechanism to release, meditate, and find peace. In her young adult years, Rochelle would co-run a Summer Art program for youths with behavioral issues, inspired by her own experiences with art and therapy, eventually leading her to continue to direct after school programming in Berkeley for several years.
Finally brave enough to release her own artwork (primarily acrylic and watercolor) Rochelle no longer works with the youths (but hopes there's an opportunity in the future to again), and instead can be found hosting art events or shows collaborating with local Bay Area artists. The events touch on a myriad of artistic expression, music, painting, photography.
"As a community, we need to bring back the Golden Renaissance mentality. An artist shouldn't have to be accepted in order to be in art, to do art, to be called an artist. You should not have to be waitlisted in order to showcase your you. I want to help create more affordable ways for our local artists to present their work. I'll take a loss if it means that I can help share the beautiful visuals & sounds of the many talented people out here in the Bay Area."
Rochelle's art can be found online, or at local events listed on her social media. Attending the occasional open mic nights at various venues to read one of her short stories or poems, her scribbles are available on multiple media pages.