“I’m from Puerto Rico. We moved here in 2012. Things on the island were getting really hard. My husband’s sister was living here. We had been visiting since 1996 and we always liked the area. We enjoyed the changing of the seasons and just hanging around downtown. That was one of the main things. So it was not difficult to make the change.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist since I was little. I was doing little things here and there and when I moved here Amanda Wagner saw a piece that I had done and she kinda pushed me into actually pursuing art. I was creating constantly but I was not putting it out there. She asked me to have a show at Art House and that night at the opening I sold everything that I had available for sale. I couldn’t believe that people liked my stuff! I don’t try to be exact or realistic. I like it to be colorful and kinda cartoonish. I try to recycle stuff. I have this piece in which the whole background is postage stamps. I took them all off the envelopes and glued it to the background and then started creating. Another one of my pieces is made out of love letters between my husband’s parents.

I love creating commission work because I get to connect with the person who is asking me for the project. One of the projects was a dog that I got to paint. I love dogs. We used to have rottweilers, and leaving my dog was one of the hardest things for me moving here. They would not let him travel. It was really hard. And when I started painting this dog, all these emotions came to me. I think it was grieving the loss of my dog. I think a lot of my projects are a part of grieving and I think that makes me the person that I am. I’m very sensitive. I cry and let my emotions go and I think that helps me as a human being.

It’s been hard to balance life and art during the pandemic. My work with the school was a big load. I was constantly on the phone and on the computer with different families so I didn’t have any time to create. Art is therapy and I wasn’t able to have that during this time. I lost people and didn’t have time to grieve or share. Also, I didn’t get to do all the shows that we were supposed to do. I lost all that and those connections.”