As I was scrolling through my classmates blog posts, I stumbled upon one I found intriguing titled: For Gus (thank you for cleaning our suite sophomore year). Upon reading it, I felt inspired to write my very own “Thank you” note to my mentor, Ariel Alejandro.
Ariel, a Mexican born artist, was the one who first introduced me to Latin American art and I owe him so much for taking me under his wing at the age of only 13. Through Ariel, I was not only able to grow as an artist and person, but was he was the driving force behind many of what I consider my “artistic accomplishments.” He taught me how to paint, introduced me to Aztec and Mayan folk-tales and because of him, I still continue to paint today. I have no idea if he even knows what an impact he had in my life or if he even knows that because of him, I continue to ground my work in my Mexican heritage. He moved back to Mexico after the intensity of the political atmosphere after President Trump’s inauguration, and although he is no longer here to offer me mentorship, he continues to be an important figure in my life. That is why I would like to dedicate this blog post to him.
Ariel, thank you for all that you did for me and continue to do. Thanks for gifting me my first portfolio, for helping me get into art school, for cheering me on at my MoMA exhibition and for helping me become the artist that I am today. Because of you, I continue to create.