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Andrea is passionate about mentoring emerging artists.
From mythological figures to victims of political injustice, Andrea Arroyo, a Mexican-born visual artist, uses the power of creativity to bring to life the value and contributions of the women who inspire her award-winning paintings and sculptures. Her work has lined the walls of international galleries and adorned subway stations.
As a little girl, Andrea was inspired by her mother experimenting with ceramics, and spent her time drawing and painting. This multi-faceted artist began her career as a dancer, bravely moving to New York City in 1983 with her then boyfriend and now husband, Felipe Galindo. “I was always encouraged by my family to follow my dreams. I felt the freedom to fail and knew I’d be able to start all over again if I did.”
Andrea danced professionally for a few years; more intrigued by the visual arts, she began exploring sculpture. “It was a very natural transition. I created my first works while I was still a dancer— a series of small-scale sculptures. I had an understanding of the human form in three-dimensions,” she acknowledges. Her first series, "Andrea Arroyo/Sculptures and Reliefs," was exhibited and sold quickly, adding momentum to her new career. “To this day, my work is very much influenced by dance.”
Having planted her roots in New York, Andrea turned to public art commissions—she created "Harmony" and "My City, My Planet, My Sun," two relief murals and a series of large-faceted glass art panels that can be found at schools and subway stations in the Bronx. “It’s about harmony between ethnic groups and between nature and life in the city.”
Andrea’s pieces are characterized by a brilliant array of colors and bold shapes that portray the strength of women. Her latest project is "Sacred Women," a series of paintings based on mythology, that take inspiration from great women of the past and present and celebrate the female body. Another recent project was “Flor de Tierra” (“Flower of the Earth”)—a collection of tributes to the 400+ women in Juarez, Mexico who have been killed or gone missing in the last 15 years. Andrea was appalled when she learned how little the authorities were doing to solve or prevent these crimes. As an artist, she felt a responsibility to commemorate the life of each victim.
Her ongoing project, “Flor de Vida” (“Flower of Life”) is based on historical and mythological women—a collection of brightly colored acrylic paintings that include Lilith, Athena, Cleopatra and Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist Andrea admires. “My idea with Flor de Tierra and Flor de Vida was to create a parallel between these famous women and the victims from Juarez. The life of every woman is equally valuable.”
Her works have been recognized through several awards—the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance Award, Harlem Arts Alliance Award, and Groundbreaking Latina in the Arts Award, among others; she is equally proud of all. Most importantly, Andrea is concerned with the level of impact her art creates and seeks to encourage young artists to pursue their talents. “In art, to get to a place that’s fantastic, you have to take risks. Creativity requires you to let go of what others may think of your work—listen to your inner voice and honor it.”
Daring: Chocolate Girl
Daring: Committed to Change
Daring: Bigger than Hip-Hop
Daring: In Production