2014 was a busy year for art and artmaking. I started off the year teaching art in Italy for 3 months, and ended it painting murals in Guatemala.
Mural painting in Guatemala really was a new venture. I’ve painted, and I’ve photographed, but I’ve never taken one of my photographs, turned it into a mural design, and painted it 9 feet tall on a hospital wall. In Guatemala, I did this 7 times, sometimes 30 feet up in the air!
My friends and I were working in a children’s hospital in rural Guatemala. Children are brought there severely malnourished, and often with serious disabilities. (The girl featured above, Yolanda, was both severely malnourished, had Type 1 Diabetes, and is deaf and mute. But she’s also wonderful.) The amazing people at the Hope of Life Hospital nurse them back to health at no cost to the families, and send them home with education and food to help prevent further problems.
We wanted to create images that inspired hope, and created a welcoming environment, for these traumatized children and their parents. The results were surprising even to us, and everyone was very pleased.
While in Guatemala, I took an afternoon to drop in on my friends at La Fototeca. The work they do bringing top-notch photography to Guatemala City is really impressive. And their open-armed welcome made me feel like a rock star!