GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) – A mural in tribute to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo still attracts visitors along Olde Main Street in Green Bay years after it was first painted by students from West High School in 2015.
“We didn’t have the nose and the whole mouth and all the features,” explained teacher Candace Cole, who oversaw the project. “But everyone knows it’s her.”
She’s referring to Frida Kahlo, the legendary Mexican artist who achieved recognition at a time when the art world was dominated by men.
The design is filled with Frida’s trademark flowers and was designed by a Hmong graphic arts student who had no idea her teacher was a longtime admirer of the arts.
“She’s very revolutionary,” declares Cole. “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 happened to have been born in the same neighborhood in Mexico City as Frida and now called Green Bay home.
“I like that she likes to paint. Just like me,” explained little Maria Perez, dressed in a Frida t-shirt and bright pink bow. “And she likes flowers. Just 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 also loves Frida Kahlo.”
Maria’s father says it built an instant connection and taught both teacher and student we’re really not that far apart after all.
“We are really happy to know that a Mexican artist is here and a lot of people know about her,” Rodrigo Perez told Local 5 News.
The mural sits in a lot where people park every day. It includes a saying of Frida’s that references her medical challenges that often left her bedridden.
The quote goes: “Feet, what do I need them for If I have wings to fly.”
It serves as a reminder that as we walk through life, we always have the opportunity to be extraordinary.
And that in any language, freedom of expression is where true beauty lies.