Zaida Machado is proud to call herself Latina. She says the culture is rich and vibrant, from the food to the clothing to the people.
The vibrancy of her culture is showcased through her paintings, each painted with a perfect brush stroke on canvas.
"I don't move from a spot until I finish it, kind of like building a puzzle, and in the end, it just comes all together," Machado said. "It's kind of risky because if you don't get the right color or the right value at the end, you're going to have a distorted red spot painting."
Machado is a 24-year-old artist, originally from Mexico, who lives in Southern Utah. She's been doing art since she was a kid but started to take it seriously in high school when she moved to the United States.
"I took art classes, and I didn't speak English, so to have something where I didn't feel pressure to speak, I thought this was actually perfect," Machado said.
After winning an art contest put on by the Consulado de Mexico, Machado got her own exhibit at their building, featuring several paintings she created over the past couple of years. Machado's inspiration was the role of Mexican women, their fashion, and the multiple states in Mexico.
"I wanted to showcase the beauty and pride of wearing the clothes and making them, especially because it's something very important in our culture that should not be lost or forgotten," Machado said.
Out of all of her pieces that she spent hours working on, there was one that stood out among the rest and was the center of the exhibit—all paintings leading to her.
"I really like that one, especially because of the girl. She's a little girl, and she's wearing traditional clothing. She's wearing it with a lot of pride. You can see her expression is like, I'm so proud of who I am and what I'm wearing," Machado says.
Machado is proud of her exhibit and says her art is not just for other people to learn her culture, but for her culture to feel appreciated.
Machado says her art is not just for other people to learn about her culture, but for her culture to feel appreciated.
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