Open Heart

When you walk around the world, working the land, traveling here and there, you never see a black line on the ground like in the maps. The only borders are in our minds and the only walls are in the heart.

In our modern society there is a need to delineate the extent of influence and responsibility a government or a people have. That is understandable for how the commons, like water, utilities, health care, education, and infrastructure are paid for by some people and used by others.

Yet every day if you think about it we all drive on roads and bridges and live in buildings often built by people so long ago that no one who built them is alive anymore. And for our entire lives we depend of a steady food supply. By recognizing the contributions of farm workers we honor our heritage and continue to build our future.

We are one people but with many stories. In this particular painting, the celebration of life, being thankful for what Mother Earth gives us, being together and working in peace, sharing our values, giving love instead of hate, looking at life positively, this is what I felt when I was creating Open Heart.

The immigrants and migrant workers offer their skills and talents to produce the food we eat every day. Thanks to Mother Earth, represented in my painting, I show that she cares deeply for the people who work the land and care for it enough to be there for future generations. Tacoma is a great city of working people and welcomes workers that migrate from farm to city. They bring a strong connection with the natural world and that is a great thing for a such a big city.

My painting comes from my heart. My daily labor is to create art. It is not easy but it is the skill I have from birth and have spent my life developing. Immigrants like me work hard to establish themselves in this part of the world or anywhere they go.

-Blanca Santander

Title : Open Heart
Media : mixed media on paper
Dimension : 16 x 22
Year : 2016