Category Archives: Art for the Good

Support the Latinas Unidas Womens Scholarship Funds

As a previous Board Member of the Latinas Unidas, I was more than happy to create a painting where posters could be created to conmmerate the 2012 Reconocimiento Awards. The Reconocimiento Awards is a luncheon, whereby latinas are recognized here in Rochester, New York. I had the blessing of chairing this event 2008 and I have to say it was a work of love!

The theme for the luncheon was “Women as work of art”, what a perfect fit, huh? The first challenge was zoning down what the perfect image that would convey this 6 word statement. As we exchanged ideas and suggestions, it became more difficult. At this point I had to seek further inspiration from a latina artist. Who better than Frida Kahlo! As I researched and learn more about the complexity and painful life of this talented mexican artist, my inspiration grew.

I aplogize in advance, this post may be a bit longer than expected, however, I want to share with you my talking points from the luncheon as we unveiled the painting to get the full picture;

Unveiling 2

{About the Latina Unidas Womens Scholarship Fund}

The Latina Women Scholarship Fund emerged for the need to support adult Latinas with the desire to pursue educational initiatives that do not receive funding from traditional sources, particularly women ages 25 and older, who are seeking additional training to develop skills required for job advancement. Our goal is to ensure that the lives of Latinas in our community will be touched and changed. We wish to create an environment in which Latinas have the tools to overcome social and economic barriers while realizing their full potential.

The Endowment started in 2001 with seed money from State Farm and Kodak, with a generous donation of $5,000., from each company.  Currently managed by the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley now proudly stands at $97,000. We have hope to reach six figures by April 2013.  Since 2002, the Endowment has helped make a difference in the lives of 8 latinas and counting.

{The inspiration}

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán.  Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico,  as an emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form. Her work has also been described as “surrealist”, and in 1938 one surrealist described Kahlo herself as a “ribbon around a bomb”.

At the age of 18, she was seriously injured in a bus accident. She spent over a year in bed recovering from fractures to her spine, collarbone and ribs, a shattered pelvis, and shoulder and foot injuries. She endured more than 30 operations in her lifetime and during her convalescence she began to paint.

At 22,  she married the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, 20 years her senior. Their stormy, passionate relationship survived infidelities, the pressures of careers, divorce, remarriage, Frida’s bi-sexual affairs, her poor health and her inability to have children. During her lifetime, Frida created some 200 paintings, drawings and sketches related to her experiences in life, physical and emotional pain and her turbulent relationship with Diego. In 1953, Frida Kahlo had her first and only solo exhibition in Mexico. At the time of her exhibition opening, Frida’s health was such that her Doctor told her that she was not to leave her bed. She insisted that she was going to attend her opening, and, in Frida style, she did. She arrived in an ambulance and her bed in the back of a truck. She was placed in her bed and four men carried her in to the waiting guests, where she entertained her guests with jokes, drinking and singing!

Her husband and artist, Diego Rivera referred to Frida as “hard as steel… and fine as a butterfly’s wing”

{Unveiling}

Ladies and gentleman I present “Strong as Steel , Gentle as a Butterfly

Strong as Steel, Gentle as a Butterfly

The model in the painting is my niece, Chandel Correa, she has an absentee father and her mother passed away when she was 7 years old, yet despite the cards that life has dealt her, she is a strong young lady with a beautiful outlook and determined to succeed in life. Today is the day to start making a difference in the life a latina! When you look at this painting think of how you can change, improve and further the career of a sister, co-worker or an employee, give the gift of believing in someone and the difference it can make in her life, her children or family.

This was by far the most difficult painting to create, not only I do not specialize in portraits, my niece looks exactly like my sister and it was like looking at Margie, may she rejoice in heaven and be proud of her daughter.

Latinas Unidas 2012 poster

Here is the poster we created, it’s a stunning 11×14″ print, we have a limited supply of 20 posters available for purchase for $20, this includes shipping and handling (48 states in the US) through my Etsy shop, “La Galeria“. The proceeds will go directly to the Latina Unidas “Scholarship Fund”, we look forward to hearing from you!

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