Poderosas Community Mural Project

The Poderosas mural was created during the pandemic, weeks after Black Lives Matter protests around the country and right before the 2020 elections. Located in the City of Costa Mesa, CA.

A public art project funded through a grant awarded by Community Engagement.

The mural highlights the contributions of women of color in Orange County, CA. At a time when symbols of the confederacy were being burned to the ground around the country, we were building and creating new spaces and public art. This mural celebrates women and people of color, by honoring their contributions to U.S. History.

The project included workshops for participating artists and other community members that facilitated safe spaces for sharing our stories and memories by practicing the art of journaling. Each participant was asked to write a letter to themselves that was sealed and will be mailed back to them at an unexpected time in the future.

The Poderosas project was a collaboration between Alicia Rojas, the Santa Ana Community Artist(a) Coalition and Camilo Romero.

The portrait illustrations were done on procreate and illustrator by Alicia Rojas ©2021

©2021 Copyright violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The mural celebrates

Modesta Avilá
(San Juan Capistrano Heroine)

Dolores Huerta
(Labor & Civil Rights Leader)

Frances Muñoz
(First Latina Trial Court Judge in the U.S.)

Sylvia Mendez
(Namesake Plaintiff in Mendez v. Westminster),
Cristina Prada
(Abuela, madre y flor Colombiana, mujer fuerte, emprendedora y sabia)
Isabel Romero
(Mujer fuerte y sensible, abuela y madre. Flor Colombiana de la Sabana)
Las Hermanas
(Sisters who encourage us to dream of our future)

Las Nenas
(Penelope, Emma and Olivia inspire us to dream of joy and play)

The mural is composed of eight digital illustrations that rest in a 6ft x 70ft community mural.

Poderosas Coloring and Poetry book

A coloring poetry book was also created of the Poderosas Mural. It has the portrait illustrations of the highlighted women, along with poetry and details about their lives and contributions to history. The book is partly funded by The Dolores Huerta Foundation

Collaborating Artists

Adriana Martinez

A art teacher and community art advocate. She started a Sketching Club in Santa Ana as a means to promote creativity through sketchbook exercises for the purpose of mental health.

Briyana Negrette

A multi-disciplinary artist whose work is inspired by classical and contemporary themes of symbolism and metaphysics. Negrette’s work consists of conceptual layers, repurposed items, and bold color representing the manifestations of the soul, subconscious and dreams. Creating a balance between chaos and clarity that translates seamlessly across Negrette’s paintings and installations. Taking a closer look at and transforming everyday objects while challenging the ideas of what constitutes art and how it should be made.

Maria Reyna

A woman who unabashedly pursues her passions in creating fascinating, beautiful and sometimes controversial works of art.

Born en Ciudad Obregón Sonora, Mexico. Came to the United States at the age of four. Grew up in the deserts of Arizona until the age of twenty one. Moved to San Pedro, CA. in 1983 and lived there for fifteen years. Now living in the City of Santa Ana, CA.

Ms. Reyna began her artist career as an Illustrator/ Graphic Designer. Best known for her in-depth photo essays on the streets of DownTown L.A. she spent five years, walking, photographing and documenting the lives of many people in some of the poorest neighborhoods of this great nation.

She has received scholarships from Soroptimist International Of The Americas and a Minority Scholarship from the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, CA.
“My passion is Art and teaching Art to children of all ages”

Yenny Bernal

A mix-media painter, SAUSD after-school arts educator, and educational arts event coordinator. The main intention of her art is to make an impact in her community by bringing confidence to the notion that everyone benefits from the process of art creation regardless of talent, education, discipline, or creed.

“Creativity puts us in tune with ourselves and helps us shift our state of mind to a more positive and peaceful one. It also has the potential of connecting us deeper to one another as we express how we feel about our lives.”

Marina Aguilera

La Artista, Marina Aguilera, born and raised in Santa Ana, Orange County, California. At age 14 she began painting, culturally enriched Murals along with others throughout her hometown of Santa Ana between 1974 -1979.

The soul of her art, has and always will be, deeply rooted with the people. Strength, woman empowerment and passion continually pour into Marina’s art, bringing forth life to every piece she creates. Her work has been proudly exhibited throughout Southern Cali, representing her womanhood, her culture and her community. La Artista now has her art created in greeting card form along with other products to share the love and passion with all.

Jenny Lynn

(Film, photography and social media)

A Woman of Color, a mother, activist, journalist, artist, an entrepreneur, a first-generation college graduate, & a student of life who strives to leave this place better than how she found it. She has taught photography to students in underserved communities, was a photo editor for years, has been published in a plethora of news and editorial outlets, & won various awards & grants for her work throughout her 20+ year career. She is also a co-founder of Me Too Survivors, a SoCal based organization that with help from Tarana Burke (the Black woman who founded Me Too), organized the first #MeToo march that sparked all the other marches worldwide in 2017! Her work focuses on empowering BIPOC to thrive and live their best life in a system that capitalizes off of suffering.
Life is beautiful and she is determined to prove it!

Other Project Contributors

Denise Garcia
Leigh Slater
Marcos Camacho
Roger Reyes
Maestro Moises Camacho

In the Media