“Later at the opening of the show mom, dad, grandma, grand­pa, sister in law her 2 kids, and Mateo Jr. showed up promptly at 7:30 and when they all walked in their eyes said it all. They were so amazed by what they had made and how we had displayed the piec­es hanging from the ceiling. Rie burst into tears of joy and then Grandma started to cry and I tried to keep my self to together but as soon as I saw grandma crying it was all over for me. We could see that we had not changed the lives of these people. We had just made an effect. A big one. We helped them see that new things are possible and that they are incredible things. We helped them see that they can do anything and that anything is possible. The way I knew that we had truly won their hearts was when Magda asked us to come back to visit and she along with Grandma blessed Rie and I; and I thought to myself “holy crap I love these people” “

Hands down, best experience of my life.”





“It is very rare to have 14 people for three straight weeks of constant togetherness and not have shouting and tears. However we are a unique bunch, all of whom get along- some more than oth­ers- and there’s almost no snarkiness, minus the occasional trash talking.

Some of us like each other and the experience so much that we get matching tattoos. When put together we’re like a really artsy gang minus the implicit violence, or a group of superheroes with no su­perpowers to speak of.”





“The bond that I share with this family was created by this working relationship. And now that I think about the beginning of the two weeks of working, I realized that the family was just as scared as I was. I think we grew together. I also figured out who I want to be and what is important in my life. I want to be a person who can see the beauty in situations like this. I want to use my creativity to bring people together and help bridge gaps that are created by language, culture and status. I see that un­der all of these cultural labels there are people who are just like me. These skills I can take anywhere I go. These are skills that I didn’t realize I had. I had been afraid of working like this or challenging my self in this way, but when I did I realized how capable I am, how capable we all are. I want to thank to all the people made this happened. I will never forget.


MFAFine Arts