Femmes de Courage Extraordinaire 

Project Title: Femmes de Courage Extraordinaire (Women of Extraordinary Courage.)

Project Timeline: June 1, 2020 through November 29, 2020.

As a cultural practitioner and painter, my pursuit is to highlight and document today's youth leaders.  The paintings highlight youth activists and their contributions to the world. These girls, current youth leaders, grow into women of extraordinary courage: Femme de Courage Extraordinaire. In addition, this body of work marks the celebration of 100 years of women's suffrage movement and shows who is leading the way to big changes in the world. 


The girls who have changed the world with their courage are Simone BilesSophie Cruz, Marley Dias Emma GonzalezGreta ThunbergMalala Yousafza, and Autumn Peltier.


The project exhibition was to open December 1, 2020 at the Palo Alto Public Library; however, due to COVID-19, it has been canceled. Future exhibition TBA.


Femme de Courage Extraordinaire

I created a painting in response to the murder of George Floyd. The painting also addresses a timeline of systemic racism in America and deep historical truths....The painting is titled: The Greatest American Crime Story: American History. 5ft. x 4.5ft, oils and collage on canvas is my response to a xenophobic America. The painting is significant because it highlights many of the challenges in our culture today. In addition, the painting documents historical moments from introduction of slavery in 1619 to 2020 Black Lives Matter. The courageous youth activists I am documenting have inspired this new body of work: Femme de Courage Extraordinaire. These young ladies have championed those same issues from gun control advocacy to  environmental activism. Systemic racism in America needs to be addressed in order to create the infrastructure of social change we all desire. I consulted a member of the Navajo Nation and received a blessing for the painting. Although I have American Indian heritage, I was not raised in their traditions, so I wanted to ask before creating designs in the likeness of trading blankets which are a very powerful tool that have provided clothing, shelter, warmth, healing, and ancestral inheritance among other uses.  However, today they are used under your neck or knees in yoga.

The painting consists of 21 Feathers of Fire, each telling the true story about 'American History.' Take a historical tour through the telling of the 21 feathers. In Native American culture, it is believed that all things possess an inherent virtue, power, and wisdom. The feather, for example, is a powerful symbol that signifies honor and connection between the owner, the Creator, and the bird from which the feather came. It symbolizes trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, and freedom. It is an object that is deeply revered and a sign of high honor. (Source) The painting The Greatest American Crime Story: American History is not a part of the series of youth activist Femmes de Courage Extraordinaire, but was created in response to the adversities these youth activists face, and what we are all living with day-to-day and working towards peace one day at a time.

It has been my honor to make this painting, and I thank the Navajo Nation. 

Please be kind to one another.

As paintings are completed,

they will be on view here and a list of publications will follow.

This work is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Arts and Disability Center at the University of California Los Angeles.

Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Arts and Disability Center.