Kayumanggi Ina ng Kalifornia-Brown Madonna of California, 2022, Acrylic on canvas
Kayumanggi Ina ng Kalifornia-Brown Madonna of California honors the matriarchal culture that is strong among most migrants to this city, whose children often take on a motherly role due to their knowledge of the English language. The child holds a palm leaf with Filipino folk art known as palaspas with the word welga inscribed on it. Welga is the Filipino word for "strike" and was first used by Filipino Americans when about 2,000 of them launched the great Delano Grape Strike on September 8, 1965. The Spanish word Huelga also means labor strike. Here these collective stories and meanings converge in a spirit of solidarity to recognize the shared legacies of both Filipino American and Mexican Americans.
Born on the 4th of July: Nanay Fedelina, 2022, Oil and acrylic on canvas
Born on the 4th of July: Nanay Fedelina depicts "Nanay" Fedelina Lugasan, a former domestic worker who spent 65 years enslaved as a nanny in Los Angeles. Though Lugusan was eventually rescued and freed, with her former employer pleading guilty to forced labor, she sadly contracted COVID-19 and died after enjoying only two years of freedom. During that short period of time, Lugasan became an advocate for anti-human trafficking efforts and forgave the family who enslaved her, never pressing charges against them. She was born on the 4th of July and would have been 84 years old.