Beyond the Living Wall
Standing in the Atrium of the WESST Enterprise Center is a two-story, 408 square foot indoor mural, designed and painted by New Mexico local artist Jodie Herrera. If you’ve ever visited the WESST Enterprise Center before, you might remember the Living Wall, a gorgeous vertical garden that brightened our lobby for 13 years. Unfortunately, the infrastructure deteriorated and was cost-prohibitive to repair. WESST embarked on a search for a more sustainable work of art to brighten the WEC Lobby and launched the “Beyond the Living Wall” campaign. Jodie Herrera, a former WESST client, was selected for the mural project to replace the Living Wall. In 2017, Jodie participated in WESST’S IDA Program. The program helped individuals save toward an asset that would increase their financial independence. Jodie used her savings to launch her art business.
About the Artist
Jodie Herrera was born and raised in New Mexico and has identified and worked as an artist her whole life. She received formal training at the University of New Mexico where she graduated with a BFA Honors and a focus in painting in 2013. She currently resides in Taos, where she works as a full time Photo Realism Oil Painter, Muralist, Illustrator, Mixed-Media Artist and Curator.
She works locally on her main project, where she creates semi-photorealistic oil paintings portraying women that have persevered through trauma. Herrera takes great care with each story, building personal and supportive relationships with each of her participants. She uses symbolism from their culture and personal interests to visually narrate the painting and accompanies each piece with a write up that explains it in detail. She strives to celebrate the beauty and resilience of these women and hopes that they can provide inspiration for others.
“Women Across Borders”, is an International Arts and Activism project. She specifically works with refugee and immigrant women and creates paintings that illustrate their personal journeys. She provides monetary and emotional support for all her participants and hopes to bring attention to the issues they face and have overcome, as well as to educate and activate others around the subject.
“Her Murals” are meant to reflect the culture, history or mission of the space in which they inhabit. They are also meant to create awareness around certain people of impact or social justice issues that are relevant to space and the time it’s created in.
Ultimately Herrera aims to connect and uplift marginalized people, like herself, while providing a platform for important issues around social justice and intersectional feminism and hopes her work can be a catalyst for positive change.
Herrera was awarded “Best Visual Artist of 2017, 2018 and 2019 by Albuquerque The Magazine, and her art has been featured in such settings as Art Archives of America in the Smithsonian Washington DC, The American Art Collector Magazine, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, In seven Museums including the Denver History Museum-Denver CO, in numerous distinguished galleries including Stone Sparrow Gallery in New York, Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles, Gallery Fritz in Santa Fe NM, among many others.
"My ultimate goal is to connect and uplift all women, while providing a platform for important issues around intersectional feminism, I hope my work to be a catalyst for positive change." – Jodie Herrera
www.jodieherrera.com l firstname.lastname@example.org l @Chromaj
About the Mural
Portrayed on the mural are three resilient women business owners and WESST clients: Dr. Ndidiamaka Okpareke (Rio Rancho), Alyssa Begay (Farmington) and Carmen Bolivar (Albuquerque). The background features flowers from bud to bloom and butterfly wings that represent different stages of a business journey, along with a caption that reads, “A Place for Us to Grow and Blossom.” The mural tells the story of WESST’s work with diverse New Mexican entrepreneurs. It celebrates the success and positive economic impact our incredible clients bring to the state, helping them build strong and sustainable businesses that support their families and communities!
The mural was completed in 2022 and was made possible by the generous donors of WESST. WESST is proud to support creative artists who make New Mexico a uniquely beautiful and vibrant place to live.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR WESST AND LOCAL ARTISTS!
Give $100 or more to display your name on an acknowledgement plaque next to the mural for years to come.
Tinconnection - in 2023 WESST worked with Laura Martinez, owner of Tinconnection, to create 2x2 inch versions of the 2-story mural standing in the WESST Enterprise Center as Thank You Gifts for our generous donors. To check out more of Laura's artwork, visit her Etsy page! https://www.etsy.com/shop/Tinconnection