What an amazing way to get back into something I really enjoy doing. Having stepped away from mural work, I didn't think I would want to do it again. But, a very special project was worth getting back into it. The opportunity to portray women as pillars of strength and determination in the face of adversity, while honoring a valuable part of my hometown's history and reconnecting with my heritage wasn't something I could pass on. This project was the perfect combination of purpose, placement and timing. The level of community support has been astounding. I'm incredibly grateful for everyone involved, from Sarah McNamara for having the vision, to every sponsor and partner that helped it come to life and every one of my special supports who encouraged me behind the scenes. A truly remarkable experience all around.
Here is a bit about the mural content:
The overall concept of my design was to honor the march and the women who participated not only in terms of the local effort, but also recognize them as valuable parts of a global movement. In researching this project, I was moved by the level of commitment this community gave to equity and civil rights locally, but also globally.
Top figure: Dolores Ibarrui who coined the slogan “No Pasarán” (They shall not pass!) in a 1936 speech. Her nickname was la Pasionaria or the Passionflower, which is why the flower is depicted in the mural.
Middle figure: Luisa Moreno (Blanca Rosa Lopez Rodriguez) A Guatamalan-born labor organizer and civil rights activist. She was sent to be an organizer in FL by the American Federal Labor Union in 1935.
Bottom figure: Margot Falcón Blanco, Sarah McNamara’s great aunt who participated in the 1937 march. Given the age of the march photograph provided in the packet, it would have been difficult to identify marchers. Luckily, there were 2 name written on it. This is based on a photograph on a woman who marched that day in 1937. She is representative of the Ybor collective of women and claiming their rightful place as vital forces in the movement.
The color scheme was chosen to blend in with the surrounding area and "feel" natural to Historic Ybor. Having numerous people ask if I was bringing an old painting back to life was one of the biggest complements I could have gotten.
For more information on this project and the corresponding historical marker, feel free to dig through the links below: