GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) – A mural honoring Mexican artist Frida Kahlo still draws visitors along Olde Main Street in Green Bay years after it was first painted by students at West High School in 2015.
“We didn’t have a nose, a whole mouth and all the features,” said teacher Candace Cole, who oversaw the project. “But everyone knows it’s her.”
It refers to Frida Kahlo, the legendary Mexican artist who rose to prominence at a time when the art world was dominated by men.
The design is filled with the flowers of the Frida brand and was designed by a Hmong graphic arts student who was unaware that her teacher was a long-time admirer of the arts.
“She’s very revolutionary,” Cole says. “She had her own ideas and didn’t conform to societal norms.”
Years later, yet another connection.
This time with an even younger student who was born in the same neighborhood in Mexico City as Frida and who now lives in Green Bay.
“I love that she loves to paint. Just like me, ”explained little Maria Perez, wearing a Frida t-shirt and a bright pink bow. “And she loves flowers. Exactly like me. “
Her teacher can’t get over the coincidence. “It’s pretty amazing that I have this little girl in my class and she loves Frida Kahlo too.”
Maria’s dad says it created an instant connection and taught both the teacher and the student that we really aren’t that far apart after all.
“We’re really happy to know that a Mexican artist is here and that a lot of people know her,” Rodrigo Perez told Local 5 News.
The mural is in a lot where people park every day. It includes a saying from Frida that refers to her medical problems that often left her bedridden.
The quote is: “Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly.”
It reminds us that when we walk in life we always have the opportunity to be extraordinary.
And that in any language, freedom of speech is where the real beauty lies.