Floyd Mendoza’s Artist Statement
I had only known Jesse de Leon for about a week when we found ourselves in front of a blank wall in Uvalde. Our plan was for Jesse to cover the characters, while I tackled the portrait. To my surprise, Rogelio’s family was so hospitable. My first memory I have of Rogelio’s mother, Evadulia and her sisters was them unloading a cooler of water for us.
However, it wasn't until I wrapped up Rogelio’s facial features that I began to see the family open up. In which Evadulia stated “it's like he's standing in front of me.” As we made progress on the wall, it was as though this family was healing before our very eyes. They went from being quiet that morning, to laughing and playing music that same night. I was amazed at how this family was so united and close throughout this project. I’m super honored to have been able to contribute to this project.
Jesse de Leon’s Artist Statement
To have the privilege to use my gift and passion for this Uvalde project, was humbling. To create this memorial for this angel Rojelio Torres, was life changing.
Speaking to his aunt Precious she gave me insight on who he was and what the family envisioned. She spoke of his love for Pokemon cards and playing football with his cousins. He was the life of the party and was always the first on the dance floor! He was a gifted child who was so giving and loved his friends and family.