Casita Triste (Sad Little House) was an outdoor guerrilla project created in 2017 in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX. Casita Triste blurs the boundaries between craft, art object, advocacy, and sentimental offering. Each 20 x 28 x 20-inch "Sad Little House" takes on anthropomorphic elements, prompting the viewer to empathize with the community's fragility, history, and experiences. The project featured multiple piñata-based works placed in or around the neighborhoods of the Oak Cliff area. Casita Triste looks to create awareness, reflection, and empathy by provoking discussion around affordable housing issues and displacement.
Inspired by the brightly painted homes in predominantly Latinx communities, Casita Triste aims to highlight cultures integral to our community's social fabric. Today, these vibrant neighborhoods are rapidly disappearing and being replaced by luxury condominiums and apartments which are often subsidized by city tax dollars. These new living spaces often attract more affluent "lifestyle renters" while displacing existing working-class families. Combined with the lack of affordable housing, the Dallas City Council has had a long and troubled history regarding affordable housing. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accused Dallas city officials of misusing federal funds. These ongoing issues only further the need to bring attention to a long-ignored dilemma.
In 2022, a version of Casita Triste was created in Los Angeles with the help of L.A. high school students and Craft in America, LA.