From the Artist - Jodie Herrera:
This room was created in honor of the sacred feminine. The ancient symbols of the moon, triangle and circle are present to welcome the mother spirit. As grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and sisters, it is our time to navigate. There will be many directions, but if we guide with love, all directions will lead to the betterment of our collective future. This is represented by the arrows and posture of Zitkála-Šá. Her hand is up over her eyes to assist her in looking towards the light that lays ahead. We have embodied the spirit of the desert flower, represented by the prickly pear cacti in full bloom. We have blossomed despite the odds against us. We are strong, resilient, powerful and ready to rise! If you are a man staying within these walls, please take a moment to celebrate the women in your life. Remember to respect, encourage and stand behind or beside them. If you are a woman staying within these walls, I welcome you to feel the surge of empowerment, support, and appreciation around and within you. Know that there is no task too small to contribute. We must uplift and be pillars for each other. Let us work together as agents of love. But, for now, relax and let these walls embrace and recharge you. You deserve it. I chose to paint Zitkála-Šá in my artist room. She was an artist, political activist and all-around righteous Sioux (Yankton Dakota) woman who lived 1876-1938. She made it her life to fight for civil rights, better access to health care, and education for Native Americans. As an artist, she created the first Native American opera in history and authored many books that intended not only to educate white America of different Native peoples’ culture, but also to illustrate the hardship of cultural assimilation.
About Jodie Herrera:
Jodie Herrera is a Chicana Northern New Mexican painter with Apache and Comanche ancestry. She works as a Muralist, Realist Oil Painter, Illustrator, Mixed-Media Artist and Curator. All her life she has been known as “the artist" to her friends and family. In fact, her first memories are of creating art, and with the encouragement of her mother (full time jeweler and potter) and father, she has followed her path unwaveringly. Herrera’s full body of work is an homage to the sacred feminine and is created to serve and acknowledge the beauty and resilience of all women. She hopes to bring awareness to the many facets of the female experience while also uplifting women and providing a platform for important issues around intersectional feminism. She hopes her work can be a catalyst for positive change. Herrera is currently working on two art projects outside of murals and all other art related commissions and freelance. One is Women Across Borders, an International Arts and Activism project, in which Herrera travels internationally, working with refugee and immigrant women with the goal of bringing attention to the issues they face and have overcome, as well as educate and activate others around the subject. Herrera also works locally on her main project where she portrays women that have persevered through trauma. She builds personal and supportive relationships with each of her participants, striving to celebrate their beauty and strength with hopes that they may provide a source of inspiration for others. Herrera received her BFA with honors from the University of New Mexico in 2013, with a focus in oil painting. She currently resides in Albuquerque, where she works as a professional artist.
Herrera was awarded “Best Visual Artist of 2017” by Albuquerque The Magazine, and her art has been featured in such settings as The Art and History Museum of Santa Cruz, The Albuquerque Art and History Museum, The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Arts, 516 Gallery, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, among many others.