Cuban-American painter, Nereida Garcia Ferraz, has established a firm spot as a finalist in Jose Cuervo’s ‘Tradicional Mural Project’ for her oil mural, ‘Una Isla en Cada Huella - An Island in Each Foot Print.’ As one of ten finalists, she has an opportunity to win a $15,000 grant and a $15,000 donation to be given to a local Florida organization. Each artist represents a different area of the country, and the artist and mural with the most votes is awarded the grand prize. The clock is ticking! Visit www.facebook.com/losamigosdejose to register your vote before February 28. The grand-prize winner will be announced in March.
“When I heard that I was selected to do a mural representing Florida, I got to work right away sketching and preparing my mural,” said Garcia Ferraz. “To be part of the ‘Tradicional Mural Project’ has been a great challenge and a source of pride, and it would be a dream to win.”
Garcia Ferraz’s mural, a lively composition bursting with vibrant yellow, red, blue and green hues, has a story to tell. The colorful piece features an emblematic figure of a woman representing the strength, love, and rich culture that Caribbean women carry with them from their islands.
“I feel the presence of the Caribbean here in Miami is extraordinary, and we are not just Americans but we are also part of this great group of islands with different languages, cultures, food, etc. I wanted to paint about this connection between us, and about belonging to a very particular hybrid culture,” Garcia Ferraz expressed. “This mural represents our time, our presence and our warmth.”
Jose Cuervo’s ‘Tradicional Mural Project’ showcases the original works of ten artists from Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, Northern California, Southern California, Washington, Texas, New York and Arizona. Each mural explores Latino themes that help paint the nation’s cultural melting pot through a range of traditional and contemporary painting styles. The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures serves as consultant to the program.
Collectively referring to women from the Caribbean islands as ‘hermanas’ (sisters), Garcia Ferraz dedicated her mural to them and added, “They are our mothers, sisters, friends, and colleagues. Their care and love make all of us a little better everyday.”
Garcia Ferraz, who has a space at The Fountainhead Studios, has taught at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, San Francisco Art Institute and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The painter, photographer and video maker shares her artistry and expertise with Miami-based community outreach programs that focus on teens including Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami’s ‘Women on the Rise!’ and Miami Art Museum’s ‘Brick x Brick.’