I created a painting of una mujer freeing birds and butterflies unto the sky. The moon and sun are filled with landscapes to represent migration from one home to another home. The style of the birds were influenced by my culture’s Salvadoran folk art. I wanted the painting to feel soft and peaceful by using different shades of pink, purple, and blues. Using these colors and subjects can evoke an emotion of hope and healing for my latinx community.
I added plants to represent personal growth because she is centered in the middle but she is not alone. She surrounded by the moon, the sun, the birds, and the butterflies and she is calm. When personal growth starts with self love we then begin recognizing our shared humanity.
Manuela Guillén is a freelance painter, muralist, and digital illustrator currently living in Philadelphia. Born in Miami to Cuban and Salvadoran immigrant parents, Manuela has always had a love for art. She has collaborated with local, national, and global art organizations such as PangeaSeed, Fung Collaboratives, 48 Blocks, and When We Vote. Her murals can be found in both the U.S. and Mexico. Inspired by plants, tropical colors, and her cultural upbringing, Manuela aims to bring awareness to art education, sociopolitical and environmental issues. As a Spanish Art teacher, Manuela hopes to inspire her students to be creative as she continues to bring communities closer together through art.
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