Filiberto Mendieta’s Artist Statement
I am a first generation Mexican American, born and raised in Austin, Texas. My dad is from Obrajuelo, Guanajuato and my mother is from Zaragoza, Coahuila. My mother’s family migrated to Carrizo Springs, TX, which is just 45 minutes from Uvalde. I have a cousin who lives in Uvalde and friends who are from Uvalde.
When I found out the incident occurred, I reached out to see if they were all okay. Eliahna happened to be the cousin of a friend, so when I was told there would be memorial murals for each child, I naturally wanted to help them out. I come from a graffiti background so it was all done free hand with mostly spray paint. The artist who helped me is Nikki Diaz, a muralist and traditional painter from El Paso, TX.
For the mural we incorporated things that Eliahna liked at the request of her mother. Nikki and I completed the mural over the span of three days, and we worked closely with her mother, even helping her paint one of the butterflies. Her family took us in with open arms, shared plenty of stories, and cracked plenty of jokes. They made us really feel at home, and it felt like I was hanging around my own family.