By Tania Lopez
As a Latina artist or simply as a Latina period, I feel that is our duty to stay in the know of emerging Latinx artists in the scene. So what better way to launch Art y Són than by sharing 5 Latinx artists that I absolutely adore and that you should definitely be following. So check them out and stay tune for a more in depth spotlight of these artists, plus more.
Vanessa Ayala otherwise known as @Artbyayala on IG, is an American/Colombian artist, singer and song writer out of NYC. Her style of art is Pop Art in Acrylic and her art pieces have been described as “Iconic Celebrity Paintings” by Latina.com.
I absolutely LOVE Vanessa’s artwork and I am definitely one of her 15.5k followers. Also, the fact that she was soo approachable made it a joy to learn more about her. Besides her personal art page, Vanessa has paired up with @blackgirlswhopaint to create their counterparts @latinaswhopaint, an IG page that in her words, “Celebrate Latina/Afro-Latina artists”.
I asked all of the artists what famous artist from the past or present they would have a tazita de cafe with and this was her answer;
“If I could have a cup of coffee with a famous artist, it would be Selena Quintanilla. She had such an electric personality and was so incredibly talented in every way. I would love to talk to her about music, her fashion designs and being an empowered woman in a genre of men”.
Shawnick Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican visual artist and jewelery maker out of New Jersey. You may find her on Etsy, IG and Facebook by @ARTBYSIR. Her artwork portrays puertorican culture, from the food, the music to the wonderful people. You can expect her pieces, to include her jewelry, to be full of vibrant colors.
In my interview I asked, how did they feel Latina artists were being represented in the art scene. To this she answered;
“Growing up, I didn’t see Latina artists being represented other than Frida Kahlo. She was the only Latina artist at the time, who paved the way for Latinas as myself. As I’ve gotten older I see more and more artists coming out and showing what our culture is about”.
Do you feel artists of Caribbean-Latin descent, are represented as well or as much as Latin artists with South-American descent?
“Honestly I don’t. As I stated, only Frida was being represented for us. Yet, in Puerto Rico we have Myrna Baez who was considered one of the most important artists of our time but wasn’t represented as she should have been.”
Carmen Serrano Luna
Carmen Serrano Luna is a representational artist born and raised in Puerto Rico but currently residing in Newark, NJ. You may find her on Instagram under @Serralunart. I would most likely call her artwork as a time traveling machine to the island itself. Her artwork, as she describes, portrays her nostalgia and memories of her childhood in Puerto Rico. “Memories of the good old days when people lived a simpler life.”
When I asked, “How do you feel Latina artists are represented in the art scene?”, I found her answer to be truly inspirational;
“I think Latinas have taken it upon themselves to put their names out there. Thanks to social media, we are able to open our own doors and represent our work. We have the opportunity to have our own voice in the art world and not wait for someone to discover us. We are our own advocates. Because of this we are now seen in a different light. We are not the stay at home mom, maid , sex symbol stereotypes that magazines and movies usually make us out to be. We can project our strength and talents to the world and change the way other cultures perceive Latina women.”
Josie Del Castillo
Mexican-American artist Josie Del Castillo born in Brownsville, Texas, is a Latina who has a LOT under her belt. A contemporary portraiture artist who mainly works with oil, acrylic and watercolors on wood panel. Among other awards, she has recently received the “People’s Choice” award for the Brownsville Mural Program where she was selected to paint a mural design in Historic Downtown Brownsville.
I see her as an artist of the new generation and with such a DEEP message. In her work, Josie portrays individuals who struggle with anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. In her words, Josie states “Instead of emphasizing dark connotations associated with mental health, I challenge and contrast them with vibrant colors and figure gestures associated with confidence and positivity “.
For more on Josie, visit her website https://josiedelcastillo.com or follow her on IG @josieleila.
Beca Maldonado is a puertorican artist, writer and poet from NY, now residing in Virginia. I was attracted to Beca’s page primarily because she reminds me that artists are usually multifaceted. Her visual art mainly consist of pencil drawing, marker and ink. When asked how did she feel Latina artists were represented in the art scene, her reply was, ” I definitely feel that we are underrepresented. I admire a lot of Afrocentric artwork, but I rarely find art that reflect people like myself, somewhere in the middle. And when I’ve searched for more Latin Art, it’s often been more folk art and not representative of modern Latin culture.”
For 2019, Beca’s primary goal is to self publish her book of poetry “Feathers, Fire, and Song”. SUPER exciting!!
Follow her on Instagram @feathersandsong or @rivermoriarty.
It has been such a pleasure to speak to these ladies and I hope to continue speaking to other inspirational artists. Do you have a favorite Latin artist that you follow?