This post is also available in: Spanish
By Abigail Delgado
For Marisabel Palomino, beauty is everywhere, even in the simplest objects or places. But her brushstrokes have a special fondness for the country of Peru, the place where she grew up and that eventually led her to the United States of America, which she nowadays she calls home.
As a young child, she always loved art, but when she was nine years old, after the death of her mother, Marisabel found in it a shelter in which she was able to express her emotions. Her Dad used to call her “little Picassa,” as he saw her talent and art skills develop. However, when she was ready to go to college, her Dad could not give his approval for her to go to the School of Arts in Lima, Peru. “The insecurity in the streets at the time kept my Dad from letting me go far from home for college. So instead of that I attended a college closer to home, where I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in graphic design and art,” she explained.
With a degree in her hand, Marisabel had difficulties finding an opportunity to use her talents, and right after college, she was married to Marco Artieda. They decided to try their luck in another country. The decision was a difficult one, with the separation from their beloved families and especially for Marisabel, the separation from her dad and sister, who always took care of her. “I can still remember their faces at the airport when we said good-bye, with that halfway smile. One part of them was happy for us but the other part was sad and did not want us to go,” said Marisabel.
Marisabel and her husband arrived in Washington Depot in 2000 and stayed for a while with family relatives. Marco started working long shifts and Marisabel began to experience the loneliness that many immigrants face as they try to adjust to a new country. “I was surrounded by so many people in Peru every day of my life and suddenly here I was alone.”
But after having her children, Alondra and Aranntza, her life changed and once again, she felt that she was surrounded with love, hope and peace in her heart.
After meeting different people in the area, she found the opportunity that she was looking for in the Washington Art Association: “I went to this place with the very little English I had and I let them know my interest in the arts. Little by little, they start noticing my talent, as I took drawing and painting classes, and since then, I go there once a week.” Patty Fogle, a mentor of the South American artist who has witnessed her evolution over these past ten years, stated, “Marisabel’s vibrant and sensual artworks form a natural bridge of memory and longing from her beloved Peruvian roots.”
Nowadays, and after improving her English significantly, Marisabel has developed her abilities in different ways, all related to the arts. She has participated in different arts and craft camps for children, she does face painting for children’s birthday parties and today, she is the Director of Arts and Crafts for the Department of Parks and Recreation in Washington.
She has also exhibited her works in different venues as well as in the Staircase Gallery of the Gun Memorial at the Washington Library. Nowadays, her goal is to have an exhibit of her latest work called “Here and There.”
“I want to show my love for Peru but also my love for this country that made me grow as a person and let me discover that all that I studied in Peru in art, design and photography was worth it. My American dream was to be recognized for my art and I have achieved that dream.”