Las Muralistas discuss their aesthetics and heritage in virtual event

Sandra+Gonzalez+is+seen+working+on+her+latest+project+located+in+San+Antonio.

Sandra Garcia's Instagram

Sandra Gonzalez is seen working on her latest project located in San Antonio.

Karina Garcia, Riptide Anchor

Las Muralistas is a group made up of three talented latinx artists, Sandra Gonzalez, Monica Marie Garcia, and Mayra Zamora. They individually paint murals all over the south Texas region from Laredo to Corpus Christi to San Antonio and even Austin. Together they bring forth their Hispanic heritage and combine their unique styles to form vibrant pieces of art, and colorful murals.

Gonzalez says growing up in a border city like Laredo with friends and family influenced her to use her Hispanic heritage in her artwork, it is where she feels most at home.

“I always try to use my heritage, like it always comes, it is something that is just natural and it’s based on my upbringing,” said Gonzalez. She also says that she tries to balance out her murals by making them representational with a splash of vibrant colors.

Aside from using her Hispanic heritage in her murals, Gonzalez also pays tribute to her grandma by painting her in one of her latest works called “The Mission San Jose Tricentennial Mural,” located in San Antonio.

Meanwhile Garcia says her style is surreal, colorful, and shiny. She was inspired after a professor advised her to dabble in what she knows best.

“Joe Pena was my painting professor and he told me you have to paint what you know, what is something you know the most about, what is something that is most natural to you,” said Garcia. “The first thing I thought about was that  I love to buy shoes and I love to buy accessories and so that inspired me to start painting….”

Monica Garcia is seen painting a mural at the Luther Jones Elementary Playground. (Monica Garcia’s Instagram)

Garcia remembers professor Pena telling her that working with a “paint what you know” mindset has made her pieces seem more personal and relatable. Since then, she says “I paint those things because they make me feel confident, they make me feel special… I have had discussions about how my art can be a little materialistic and how it kind of shows it in a postivtie light, instead of this consumerism thing where it’s like why are you buying all these things? Why do you have all that stuff? but I do not think about it like that, and in my sense it is really about the things that make you feel confident, the things that make you feel like you.”

Zamora explained that she has been doing art since the age of four, and enjoys doing it everyday, describing her work as symmetrical and bold. However, she says that her childhood experiences have also influenced her present work.

Mayra Zamora designs this mural called Viva CCTX, located on 1204 3rd street in Corpus Christi. (Mayra Zamora’s Instagram)

“I would spend my summers in Mexico and I would cry,” said Zamora. “I would throw a fit because I did not want to come back to the states because I just wanted to be in Mexico, I just thought life was more simple, more tranquilo, more chill… I just love my heritage. o a lot of the stuff I do it just comes naturally, I don’t have a preset plan because the way I think about it this is in my blood, so it just comes out (in my artwork).”

Las Muralistas have worked together on the “Viva TAMU-CC” mural located in the University Center. They had originally planned to do more during Hispanic Heritage Month together, but due to the coronavirus their plans were put to a halt. For now, they hope to hang more of their colorful murals once it becomes safe for everyone to come together.