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Notable Sonoma County artist: SRJC student Maria Edith Trejo Cervantes eases PTSD through art

The Press Democrat - 4/27/2017

April 27--Sonoma County artists draw on their Latino heritage to create works of art that unite, educate and empower. Whether it's designing classic cars like Gustavo Mendoza, who found his niche thanks to another Latino artist; helping troubled young people channel their energy into art like Dayana Leon, who draws inspiration from her powerful Latina mother; or building public artworks from twisted metal and fire like Martin Zúñiga, whose sculptures dot Central and Northern California, art is a force for change and reflection. Some of these artists are familiar Sonoma County names, while others are fresh faces just making their mark on the art world. Together, their works represent a sampling of the passion, strength and diversity that Latino artists bring to the art world across the North Coast.

Here's a look at, Maria Edith Trejo Cervantes, one of these notable artists:

How has your Latino heritage shaped your art?

Childhood trauma left me with post-traumatic stress disorder, and I needed something to express myself. I didn't want to do drugs. I didn't want to drink. I didn't want to do any of that because I knew, in my future, it would harm me. I wanted to do something that would make me feel good, and that was art. It was (while) living with my abuela in Mexico that I discovered my passion for art. I think back to when I was over there, and how calm it was not thinking about anything that was happening here in the U.S. It gave me the freedom to express myself more openly in my art. Every time I paint, I think of a story or something my grandmother told me. Folk tales or things that happened over there. I pay attention when the Aztec dancers make their ceremonies, when they dance and rejoice in the moonlight, for they are warriors. My Latino heritage has made my art have hints of the stories that were once told by my ancestors and those of the present.

Who is a role model for you?

Luis von Ahn, who invented crowdsourcing, is my role model. He has made computer programs and systems that help solve problems that humans and computers can't solve without each other.

Favorite quote: "What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create." -- Unknown


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