[Mamiverse’s Bilingual Plus is an online channel devoted to bringing parents and educators the bilingual learning tools they need in the form of digital picture books, sing-alongs, and free curriculum-based family activities.]
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I think of those individuals who influenced our life path. For this once young, frizzy-haired Mexican-American woman from Southern California who dreamed of being an artist, that person was Yolanda Lopez.
While I was an art student in college, I completely immersed myself in Chicano Art. Studying at CSULA, that would stand to reason—East L.A is the birthplace of Chicano arts and activism. The Chicano artists of the 70s fascinated me, especially female artists. Their work strove to break the stereotypes of the day, and it gave me immense pride in my heritage.
I fell in love with Yolanda Lopez and herartwork, specifically the series she created using La Virgen. It spoke to me. More important was the message that the artist herself taught me. It was possible to be a mother, a wife, a woman of Mexican descent and an artist. I can do this. I can have a family and still be who I am. I can create art that is relevant to me and people will get it.
To put it simply, she gave me vision.