SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — When Itzel Chavez got the chance to paint a mural in downtown Sioux City last year, she jumped at it.
“I have always wanted to add a little bit of color into my city,” Chavez said. “That was my goal, so when I heard about the Alley Art Festival, I saw that as an opportunity to finally do that.”
Chavez is making a mural for this year’s festival to honor a friend who passed away. She hopes her initiative inspires other Siouxland Hispanics to embrace their talents and experiences.
“I saw this last year and I took the opportunity to put a little bit of color into my city and hopefully that encourages other Hispanics to also do what they’re good at, follow their dreams and just make it happen,” Chavez said.
Tania Gallegos Espinoza has lived in Siouxland for over 30 years. During that time, she saw the growth of the Hispanic community in the city and it motivated her.
“When we first got here in 1991 from California, there wasn’t a lot of Hispanic families,” Espinoza said, “so like through the time, it started growing. It started becoming bigger, and as it started getting bigger, I started getting older with my art and that’s kind of what really helped influence it and it’s just become a beautiful community.”
Espinoza says her Hispanic culture plays an important role in her life and in her art.
“I’ve always been raised by strong Hispanic women and as we know, we never know when our last day is going to be, so we always try to remember it the best we can, and the way I interpret it is like through art,” Espinoza said. “I try to paint something beautiful that they can be remembered.”
Espinoza and Chavez encourage other Hispanics to share their culture and talents with the rest of Siouxland