Southern Mississippi artist pays homage to Hispanic heritage with butterfly mural

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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – If you’ve ever seen Cary Espinosa’s art on social media or at Champagne, Art & CBD in Biloxi, you know she has an obvious style.

“They are filled with colors because for me colors give me joy,” she said. “It makes everyone smile. “

Her love of bright reds, yellows and blues is reflected in her pieces, whether they are lions, marine life or famous icons she admires.

However, one of his pieces has become more personal. Immigration Rights Group El Pueblo contacted her and painter Rudy King to create a mural for their new office on Pass Road.

The organization’s women’s group, Las Mujeres Unidas, sewed the canvas of the butterfly painting, with each artist focusing on one of the wings.

“In this butterfly wing, the right wing reflects where I’m from,” Espinosa said. “It has been many years since I came to this country and I thank God for all the opportunities.”

Espinosa is originally from Havana, Cuba, and studied industrial design during his college years. However, with few opportunities in her field, she became a teacher until she won the Cuban visa lottery, which allowed her to immigrate to the United States.

he started in Fort Myers, Florida, before moving to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

She is now a real estate agent, but also keeps her love of painting alive. Her trip from her island nation to the United States is something she wanted to capture with her mural.

“My painting reflects my pain, my passion, my love, my joy,” she said.

But Espinosa said it was more than his story on the web. The mural captures what it is like for immigrant families finding new life in America, with images of a mother holding her child and the work immigrants typically do when they settle along from the Mississippi coast.

“There are a lot of things I take away like where do we come from?” What did we do when we got here? She said. “Every detail of the painting gives me both a feeling of satisfaction and joy. “

The mural also features southern Mississippi icons, such as the Biloxi Lighthouse and the guitar outside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

There are even children of different races playing together on the beach, showing how families all come from similar backgrounds despite our differences.

“We are all the same. We are all one,” she said.

While Espinosa wanted to highlight the hardships and benefits of immigrating to the United States, she also hopes her mural will inspire second and third generation children to take advantage of their family’s new life. in America.

“A lot of people don’t know that some of us are doctors, engineers, teachers like me,” she said. “We do all this in our countries but when we come here, it is sometimes as if we were going back to zero.

Espinosa said it was important to encourage immigrant children to have a better lifestyle than their parents and grandparents.

“They are our future. They are the ones who will continue what we have started, ”she said.

And with Mississippi increasingly diverse, she hopes the next generation will continue to celebrate her legacy.

“Remember where your parents are from. Keep fighting for your dreams, ”she said.

The mural is on display at El Pueblo in Biloxi, and if you want a copy you can make a donation to the organization.

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