Maria Patiño

Ellas y Nosotras
mixed media artwork
36 x 36 inches

My name is Maria Patino co-curator of “19” an exhibition held at the Green Gallery located inside the Green Library at Florida International University, from March 1st to March 27th 2020. “19” is a collective women exhibition that celebrates International Women’s Month and recognizes 100 years of US women’s right to vote.

In the mid-1950s, the Catholic bishops made headlines when they condemned married working mothers for deserting their children and helping to destroy the home. Allowing women to regulate their fertility was dangerous to what the church considered the natural order of things: women as receptors of God’s will as expressed through the acceptance of pregnancy. I created Ellas y Nosotras, a 36 x 36 inches mixed media artwork. I depict a portrait of a young woman facing the right side of the canvas. The background has a rich texture done with paper collage, ink and faded ephemera. The female portrait looks fearless and determined, she lives her truth guided by self-empowerment and justice.

I was born in a small town in Colombia. My mother Luz was born in 1930, she married my dad in her twenties who was twenty-six years older than her. He was a widow with eleven children from his previous marriage. My mother Luz gave birth to eleven children which only eight survived, and I’m the youngest child. I was raised in a very religious family, my parents attended mass constantly and practice the catholic faith in every way possible. This included rejection of any type of contraceptives.

Through my mixed media piece, “Ellas y nosotras” I honor my daughter Sabrina, all my female ancestors including my mother Luz and her constant life pursuit to follow her dreams despite her life challenges. My painting depicts courage, empowerment, and endurance as a way of inspiring young women to embrace and honor themselves. I want to inspire young women to break any unhealthy patterns learned in childhood and to pursue a life of truth, justice and happiness. A call to young women to honor their bodies and live a fulfilled life by making healthy choices regarding their life situations and career choices. A call to young women to speak up against injustice and an invitation to live their truth, achieve their dreams and change the world. 

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