Fierce Boss Ladies

This Chicana Is Taking Over The Instagram Page Of A Major Art Museum To Show Off Chicano Art

Guadalupe Rosales is on a mission to share ’90s Chicano culture through social media. Part of telling that story comes in the form of two Instagram pages: @veteranas_and_rucas and @map_pointz, which are filled with photos of Chicanos through the decades. The photos she posts are time capsules that Rosales says “dismantle the stereotypes people have about Chicano culture.” Rosales tells mitú about her journey documenting Chicano culture, her connection to Chicano culture and her exciting new position.

Guadalupe Rosales is Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) first-ever Instagram artist-in-residence.

“It was scary. It was also really great. I felt like maybe I could have these conversations through art or an artistic platform,” Rosales says about her six-week takeover of LACMA’s Instagram page, which started July 5. “I also want to use my skills as an artist and dismantle the way people talk about art.”

Rosales has been bringing Chicano culture to the internet since 2014. She wants to buck the stereotypes people have about Chicano culture .

Following up on this morning's post about the housing projects I am familiar with and spent a lot of time in here in Los Angeles- When looking at these photographs by artist Livia Corona Benjamin, at first it looks like grids or a pixelated image but as you get closer or spend more time looking at the photograph you'll realize these are homes- low income homes. From the wall text: More than two million homes were built during Vicente Fox's presidency. They were built to provide living space for former agricultural workers forced to take low-wage jobs in urban centers. "These are not the neighborhoods of a 'Home Sweet Home' dream fulfilled, the artist says, but are ubiquitous grids of ecological and social intervention on a scale and of consequences that are difficult to grasp." On view now as part of "Home- So Different, So Appealing" —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency #PSTLALA Livia Corona Benjamin, ​​47,547 Homes, 2009, A.P., 30 x 38 in., Courtesy of the Artist and Parque Galeria

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

Through the @veteranas_and_rucas page, Rosales works to give a well-rounded snapshot of Chicanos.

“When people think of Chicanos, they only think of L.A. Even the world tends to criminalize us or profile us, or call us ‘cholos/cholas,'” she says. “What I’m trying to do is dismantle this idea that people have. It’s all through mainstream media, which is all the view that most people have. So, for me it was important to show everything and not censor it.”

In fact, documenting Chicano culture on Instagram is what landed her the opportunity at LACMA.

I drove around the East Side today- passed by the Estrada Courts, Whittier Blvd, took a break at El Pino ( a natural landmark that sits on the border of East LA and Boyle Heights) and ended my day looking at the murals in Ramona Gardens. This mural, Virgin de Guadalupe was painted by artist, Armando Cabrera in 1974. People in the neighborhood have created an altar in front of the mural and leave offerings . Virgen de Guadalupe is one of 30 murals on the walls of Ramona Gardens apartment buildings painted by major Chicano artists like Magú, Carlos Almaraz and Judith Hernández. The first mural in Ramona Gardens was painted in 1971.—Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

Rosales was featured in the Tastemakers & Earthshakers exhibit at Vincent Price Museum, which was all about Los Angeles youth culture from 1943 to 2016. Her piece was a looped slideshow of screenshots and comments of posts on her Instagram pages. When Rita Gonzalez, the curator and acting head of Contemporary Art at LACMA, saw her work she approached Rosales and set up a meeting.

Rosales wants all Chicano culture to get attention with modern media. However the ’90s are a special time to her.

“I really loved spending time with friends, driving around the city. It was about being in physical spaces with other people,” Rosales says. “I feel like that has changed a lot. People are constantly on their phones or the internet. I think back then people were engaging in physical spaces a lot more. That’s what I miss the most, or find really special from that time, including the parties, in backyards or warehouses.”

As for the party scene, Rosales name drops some of her favorite music from her youth.

“The party cruise song was ‘Follow Me’ by Aly Us,” Rosales says. “We were also listening to rap, Zapp & Roger, Snoop Dogg. Then at house parties I would say it was techno or house music.”

Rosales’ Instagram pages started because she was homesick living in New York City and started calling home to reminisce.

This is a photo from my private collection of 4 women from the party crews, 'Together We Stand' (TWS) and 'Mind Crime' on the ‪6th‬ ‪street‬ bridge in 1993. The bridge was demolished on Feb 5th, 2016. The city of Los Angeles faces the erasure of its rich histories. Part of my motivation in creating the @veteranas_and_rucas and @Map_Pointz digital archives was seeing the way my neighborhood was changing.  These projects are about preserving a history. Mario Ayala’s paintings (as seen in the previous post) discuss and preserve this same history in another form. I also want to encourage today's youth to document (in writing, photography etc.) and pay close attention to what they experience in their daily lives. —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

“I pretty much lost touch with everyone I grew up with, including my family. Then about halfway into living in New York, I actually started missing my home,” says Rosales.

That lead her to start researching Chicano culture, but she had a hard time finding things she could personally relate to.

“I was sort of over this whole stereotypical cliché of the way we are portrayed or described.” She also dealt with people thinking she should leave the past behind.

“I remember people being all like, ‘Oh, that’s nothing, that’s the past,'” Rosales says. “Like it’s not that important, you know? And to me, I felt that I just couldn’t relate to not caring.”

Sunday Shoutout goes out to Elsa and Alex Estrada ! Alex, Thank you for sharing this photo of your mama! Photo info: Elsa from Monterey park / East Los Angeles in 1985 wearing her danza dress. Photo courtesy of : @lxestrada "I began to identify as a Chicana in the 1970's while attending East LA College. Being the daughter of immigrants from Zacatecas Mexico, I found myself drawn to old photos of my Indigenous grandfather who was a Matachines dancer. I learned Danza Azteca along with Ballet Folklorico and traveled the country performing the dances of Mexico for many years to come."— Elsa And THANK YOU to my supporters here on LACMA's IG as I continue my Instagram residency—Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency #Decolonizeyourmind

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

But Rosales knew it was a project she had to do. It was on the recommendation of a friend that she started to play with the idea of using social media to tell the story of Chicano culture through the decades. Three years later, her Instagram pages have each become a pretty big deal.

Now with her residency at LACMA, Rosales gets to bring her eye and knowledge of Chicano art to their 610k followers and up the visibility of Chicano/Latino art.

“I want to treat this residency and platform as an exhibition where I get to showcase my work and showcase the work that I’m interested in, outside museums and inside museums,” says Rosales. That means posting artwork, talking about artists she loves and even throwbacks. “What I’m trying to do is mix it all up,” she adds. “I want conversations to be the crossover.”

Rosales wants young Latino or Chicano artists to capture their art and life without feeling a need to sterilize it for others.

The beauty of archiving and preservation of history. On @veteranas_and_rucas and @map_pointz I ask people to submit photos of their youth. And because I value the youth culture and the importance of preserving those memories, starting today I am doing an open call worldwide for throwback photos. Portraits and candid images from 1990s and earlier—anything pre-cell phone and selfies. From Monday morning until Wednesday evening I will post some of the pictures that I receive. Submit to EastLA1980@gmail or send a DM/direct message here on LACMA's IG . Please provide the following info along with your photos: IG name Name(s) Year/date Location such as city, state and country Additional info is cool too—was the photo taken at a party, mall, friends house, school etc. OPEN CALL STARTS NOW? (Photo 1. Courtesy of @esa.brujita : Cleo from Coachella, CA playing some records in her living room in the early 1980s Photo 2. Courtesy of @yolaocchica : Yolanda from Santa Ana, OC sitting on the porch in 1994) —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

“A young photographer once said to me that for his final project he photographed his family and when he brought the pictures to class the teacher said they were not acceptable because they were too violent,” Rosales recalls. “The teacher is pretty much saying that the way he lives is not acceptable in this world. The photos were not violent. It was maybe a picture of a cousin shirtless that had tattoos. But yet, there are a bunch of photographers that get to do that.”

Rosales wants to encourage young artists to keep doing their work and “do what feels right.”

Karina (on the left) and her friend pose for a photo at a Lowrider car show in Santa Ana CA in 1995. This photo is a perfect example of what a typical Lowrider car show looks like. Car clubs and Lowrider owners created spaces such as the one shown here because often times Lowrider owners were criminalized on the street. The cars are beautifully displayed and sometimes, they are decorated with mirrors on the ground and taken apart so the public can look at all the details- the rims, paint job, engravings etc. The Petersen Museum @petersenmuseum has some beautiful Lowrider cars as part of the exhibition “The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración", go check it out! —Guadalupe Rosales (of @veteranas_and_rucas And @map_pointz) #LACMAInstaResidency Photo courtesy of : @zippycakes_714

A post shared by LA County Museum of Art (@lacma) on

Don’t let other people dictate what you do. That’s been the problem in our world: people being told they don’t fit in or their work isn’t good enough,” Rosales says. “No one is in a place to say what art is.”

READ: This Afro-Latina Artist Recreated This Classic Painting For A Very Important Reason

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at

This Houston Artist is Bringing a Touch of Whimsy to Her Hometown


This Houston Artist is Bringing a Touch of Whimsy to Her Hometown

Art is often the manifestation of our emotions. It manifests the artist’s intentions and projects them onto the audience. Though we don’t all experience art in the same way, the visceral reaction we have to an especially moving work of art is universal. Through the lens of its artist, art makes us hope, feel as well as heal. For Texas-based Mexican-American artist Shelbi Nicole, the desire to share these feelings with her audience is what drives her to create.

Named one of Houston’s Top Ten artists back in 2014, Nicole is a Texas transplant originally from Oklahoma City. Using bold color and shapes, it’s her goal to put feel-good vibes out into her community. Working in a mix of media but a painter at heart, Nicole’s work can be seen all over her adopted home. Whether it’s through murals, in private and public art collections or through her newest interactive art installation, this artist is committed to drama and whimsy.

Recently, FIERCE caught up with Nicole to talk about the intention behind her lively art and see her latest installation.

For Shelbi Nicole, art was an instinctive passion to pursue even from an early age.

Instagram / @fiftyshadesofelishagray

In fact, the medium of painting became a therapeutic tool that helped the artist evolve into the woman she is.

“I have enjoyed creating since I was very young, which was when I discovered my love for painting,” Nicole told FIERCE. “I suffered from depression and found the benefits of painting to be extremely therapeutic. Painting has tremendously helped me combat depression and in a lot of ways been essential to my well being. Once I discovered the impact painting had on my life, I wanted to identify first and foremost as an artist.”

Drawn to abstract forms, Nicole traveled to France at 18 to study her craft. Exploring the numerous art museums Europe has to offer, she grew into herself as an artist. Her search to find her own voice as an artist took her to Miami. There, the vibrant colors of the South Florida Latinidad inspired her and made their way into her permanent color palette. Having found her signature style utilizing abstract shapes and vibrant colors, Nicole made her way to the University of Houston for her formal education.

“I think my constant exposure to so many different cultures has influenced my work,” Nicole explained. “Especially being back in Houston, the most diverse city in the U.S.”

Since then, Nicole has been a cornerstone of the local Houston art scene, literally leaving her mark all over the city.

Instagram / @shelbinicoledesigns

Putting her skills as a mural artist to the test, Nicole beautifies the Houston Metro through her work with Mini Murals. Mini Murals is a multi-city project aimed at bringing color to unsuspected places utilizing electrical boxes as mural space. The pop of unexpected art that these pieces bring to local neighborhoods is completely on message for this dynamic artist. With her mix of abstract and geometric shapes and bold use of color, Nicole has contributed a dozen mini murals to Houston.

Aside from her many projects with her own design firm, Nicole has collaborated with everyone from local artists to big name corporations.

Instagram / @shelbinicole
Houston Press / Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

“The last two years of my life have been some of my most successful, thus far, with my art endeavors,” Nicole proudly shared. Last December, the artist teamed up with jewelry designer Kendra Scott to create the “Korridor.” Next to the Kendra Scott jewelry store in the posh community of Rice Village, the bright mural space is a combination of Nicole’s colorful sensibilities and Scott’s elegant forms.

Another such collaboration matched Nicole with the largest rodeo in the world. The tremendous Texas event — once headlined by Selena herself — is also an opprotunity to take in arts and culture. This year, the artist won the opprotunity to paint in her own style a 6-foot tall ceramic boot for the Rodeo’s Boot Row. Nicole is only one of six artists chosen to execute a design for this piece that lines the Rodeo’s entrance.

Still, perhaps one of Nicole’s biggest collabs have been with coffee giant Café Bustelo.

Instagram / @shelbinicole

The Cuban coffee company established these pop-ups around the country for some time now. Not only do they bring their bold flavors, the pop-ups also invites emerging Latinx musicians and artists. For Nicole’s project, the people behind the iconic yellow can connected her with fellow Houston artist Gonzo247. At a Café Bustelo pop-up event in Houston’s art district, the two artists worked together to create a unique art piece to embody Latin flavor and culture.

While these accomplishments are impressive in their own right, the project that Nicole is most proud of has been five years in the making.

Instagram / @shelbinicole
Instagram / @thewhimsyworld_

A larger-than-life visual funhouse, Nicole’s newest exhibit — Whimsy World — is a colorful, interactive fantasy world. The exhibit debuted in Houston during February of 2019. It opened to rave reviews as Houstonians explored Shelbi’s brilliant dreamscape.

“What inspired me to create Whimsy World was an intense desire to showcase my work in a solo show that was unconventional and much more interactive,” Nicole explained. “I’d lost interest in traditional art shows and the lack of color in most gallery settings. I wanted people to be able to feel like they’re inside of one of my paintings rather than just standing back and looking at a canvas.”

The multi-experience installation spans several rooms, each with its own touches of magic. From a hand-welded claw foot tub and in-door rain cloud dripping with hundreds of crystals to the abstract paintings spilling over the canvas and onto the studio walls, every inch is art. Even the bathrooms — with their fierce boss lady Beyoncé motif — are a spot worthy of Instagram.

For Nicole, Whimsy World is a culmination of her artistic voice and the joy she hopes her art creates in others.

Instagram / @thewhimsyworld_
Instagram / @whimsyworld_

“I want to encourage everyone to understand the endless possibilities there are, when it comes to how we experience art,” the artist confessed. “It can be a feeling, a moment, a world that you enter that brings joy and elicits feel-good vibes. That is the intention of The Whimsy World and I hope everyone can experience its magic.”

For Nicole, the future is as bright as the art she creates. An extended version of Whimsy World will be debuting in Sugarland, Texas March 15th-April 27th. The installation will include 8+ brand new fixtures. The Sugarland show will also feature a new main attraction — a mirrored art room hand-crafted by the artist. Nicole is also planning to take Whimsy World to audiences beyond Texas.

Shelbi Nicole’s dedication to sharing her positivity and light with the world is evident whenever you see her art. It’s a reminder that through artistic creation, we can share who we are and what we want the world to be.

Read: It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at

These Fantastical Book Illustrations By Latinas Are Worthy Of ‘Twilight’ And ‘Harry Potter’ Covers


These Fantastical Book Illustrations By Latinas Are Worthy Of ‘Twilight’ And ‘Harry Potter’ Covers

Social media has made it even easier for creators to share their art, ideas and techniques with each other and with art fans. Places like Instagram and Twitter are especially great platforms that help get unknown artists seen for the very first time. It is with that in mind that the #VisibleWomen hashtag was started.

Created back in 2016, #VisibleWomen was started by artist Kelly Sue DeConnick. The motivation behind the hashtag started because of the common narrative in the comic industry that there are no female artists. By using the hashtag, Twitter users are declaring that not only are there tons of women artists, but they are just as capable as their male counterparts.

Since it’s inception, #VisibleWomen has regularly trended and provided much deserved exposure to these artistas. The campaign has broadened to include artists of all kinds and from all over the world. There’s no denying the talent of these mujeres — especially the ones hailing from the Latinidad.

Here are 20 very talented Latina artists you’ve just got to check out.

1. Gloria Felix @GloriaFelixArt

Twitter / @Gloriafelixart

A LA-based Mexicana, Gloria Felix is an illustrator and visual development artist. Specializing in character development and environmental rendering, she is a freelancer and background artist at Darker Co. Studios. Felix’s work is embodied by the genuine and expressive characters captured in her slice-of-life illustrations.

2. Geraldine Rodriguez @GeryRdz

Twitter @Geryrdz

If the fantasy of fairy tales is your thing, the artwork of illustrator and digital artist Geraldine Rodriguez is just your speed. The Mexican artist specializes in Children’s Literature illustrations. Represented by Bright Agency, Rodriguez’s art is recognizable through her use of light and the whimsy of her subject matter.

3. Amanda Corona @sanagie

Twitter / @sanagie

With a subject matter and style that draws from pop culture, Mexican artist Amanda Corona brings her flare to freelance illustration. Definitely not afraid of color, her use of bright, complementary tones make her creations pop. Whether enjoying her original creations or her take on your favorite characters, Corona delivers a dynamic piece.

4. Vanessa Morales @phonemova

Twitter / @phonemova

Specializing in strong women and fantastic creatures, Vanessa Morales is a Mexican artist and illustrator. She works in Children’s Literature but also makes comic covers and games. Sporting lots of bright, complimentary color, Morales’ work focuses on fantasy, nature, and her Mexican culture. Be sure to check out her Mayan-inspired take on Sailor Moon.

5. Sofia Davila @sofa_sofiaa

Twitter / @sofa_sofiaa

Puerto Rican sequential artist Sofia Davila specializes in soft colors and highly stylized characters. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, she creates comics. Check out her comic “Retale” for a peek at her imaginative world and gorgeous characters.

6. @Monarobot

Twitter / @monarobot

Inspired by Mayan mythology and culture, Mexican artist Monarobot brings this aesthetic to all of her art. Located in Chiapas, she often takes recognizable characters from pop culture and gives them a Mayan upgrade. Monarobot also creates original takes on Mayan monsters — all in a style and color palette that will remind you of the lost empire.

7. Fanny Rodriguez @charratastic

Twitter / @charratastic

Mexican illustrator, designer, and writer Fanny Rodriguez mixes fantasy and fairy tale with unique style and bright colors. She currently produces her webcomic “Malicious Magic” but is soon to be published in print. Her graphic novel — “Fantastic Tales of Nothing” — is set to debut in 2020.

8. Alejandra Elena Gámez @themountainwith

Twitter / @themountainwith

Mexican comic artist and illustrator Alejandra Gámez excels at building worlds that are beautifully mythical as well as charmingly strange. She is the author and illustrator behind popular comic “The Mountain With Teeth.” In 2018, she published her first illustrated book — “Más allá de las ciudades” — which portrays an eerie, dream-like take on the world. Gámez is now working on her next book releases.

9. Nicole Janér @njjaner

Twitter / @njjaner

Brazilian illustrator and character designer Nicole Janér is a born story teller. With her cool-toned color palette, her creations portray her appreciation of mysteries and the mystical. It’s hard to tell what we love more: her uniquely stylized character designs or the fanart she creates of our favorite figures.

10. Amber Vucinich @mbrleigh

Twitter / @mbrleigh

It’s easy to recognize a piece created by Chilean-American artist Amber Vucinich. It’s got to have pink, it’s going to be bubbly and there’s a good chance you’ll recognize her subject matter. A storyboard revisionist on Disney’s animated series “Rapunzel’s Tangeled Adventure,” Vucinich has turned her love of fanart into a fulfilling career.

11. Hannah Cardosa @hannahcardosa

Twitter / @hannahcardosa

Freelance illustrator Hannah Cardosa creates her art from her home in Rio Janeiro, Brazil. Working in a limited color palette, Her depictions of the female form are anything but simple. The precise color choices and graceful arrangements found in her work are especially evident in her Mermaid series.

12. Mariana Avila @marinaavilal

Twitter @marianaavilal

Whether it’s Marvel, Star Wars, or Disney, Mexican artist Mariana Avila can create it. The freelance character artist and illustrator creates doe-eyed renditions of some of our favorite pop culture figures. Her seamless pattern works also show a talent that would be at home in Children’s Literature.

14. Karla Díaz @karladiazcomic

Twitter / @karladiazcomic

Chilean comic artist and illustrator Karla Díaz uses her adorably stylized characters to tell the stories of her comic worlds. The creator of comics “Non-Non,” “Coffee Shop” and “Cute Sins,” her work ranges from the cute to the Not Safe For Work. Diáz’s style and work is influenced heavily by Japanese manga and anime.

15. Juliana Motzko @julianamotzko

Twitter / @julianamotzko

Brazil’s Juliana Motzko makes work that she hope’s touches people’s hearts. Represented by the Bright Agency, the illustrator creates whimsical pieces that would be at home in a child’s picture book. If you check out her feed on social media, you’ll notice that Motzko has a soft spot for depicting animals — especially penguins.

16. Monique Alencar @pijamallama

Twitter / @pijamallama

Located in Brazil, Monique Alencar is a talented 2D artist with a knack for dynamic character designs. Specializing in comic covers and concept art, she uses a bright palette and various styles in her illustrations. While she’s very talented at depicting the human form, her illustrations of cats and dogs are what really caught our eye.

17. Karla Alcazar @ohhaikarla

Twitter / @ohhaikarla

Mexican illustrator Karla Alcazar uses a muted color palette, distinct style and delicate figure drawings to tell her stories. Dedicated to drawing girls and plant life, she is interested in editorial work and illustrating for Children’s Literature. Her sweet-faced figures might seem simple at first glance but detail is worked into every inch of her pieces.

18. Isadora Zeferino @imzeferino

Twitter / @imzeferino

With vibrant colors and her charming style, Brazil’s Isadora Zeferino creates worlds full of vivid magic. The freelance artist specializes in comic book covers, graphic novels, and editorial work. Though her Instagram feed is a thing of beauty, her art book is page after page of loveliness you’ll want to get your hands on.

19. Brenda Failache @BreFailache

Twitter / @BreFailche

Brazilian illustrator and 2D game artist Brenda Failache excels both in uncanny fanart and her own personal creations. A freelance illustrator, she loves to illustrate girls, game characters and all things Brazil. Failache also works creating images for educational games and book covers.

20. Victoria Maderna @vmaderna

Twitter / @vmaderna

Argentina’s Victoria Maderna is an illustrator and painter. Often working in gouache, she enjoys painting animals — both real and imaginary. Besides her cute and furry renditions, Maderna also creates comics dealing with the supernatural.

Read:Yalitza Aparicio Brought Her Mother To The Oscars And Other Incredible Things Latinas Did Last Night

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *