In 2020, many artists created murals across Salt Lake City in response to the global pandemic and racial injustice. These public works reflect our city’s pain and frustration but also our hopes and demands for a better future. In an attempt to extend these conversations, the UMFA partnered with several muralists for the 2020: From here on out exhibition.
The following is a reflection by El sol sale para todos artist Evelyn Haupt, who co-created the Ella Rises mural with Zully Davila. Ella Rises is an organization that is dedicated to providing Latina youth with hope, confidence, and purpose.
What do you want visitors to know about your mural?
This mural is an impactful and unique piece not because of my work in it, but because of the many young Latina voices that contributed to the painting of the mural and the fundamental concepts embedded within it.
Ella Rises (which translates to “she rises”) gives young Latinas a place to explore aspects of their culture, create art pieces tied to their heritage, and make new friends in a space that celebrates who they are. This mural was an opportunity to listen to the true feelings of these girls regarding the pandemic. Their experiences were tragic yet upbeat, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. It also gave us a rare and emotional peek into the hearts of a new generation of Latin-American youth––a glimpse into what they hope for in this world.
These expressions are written in this mural, solidified as the foundation for this piece. Take a moment to read their own words within the yellow sun, to step into the shoes of a rising generation as they search for their place under that same sun.
What does the title of your mural, El sol sale para todos (the sun comes out for everyone), mean to you?
The sun is symbolic of warmth and hope. The title seeks to emphasize that although hardships come to every one of us, no matter our age or where we call home, the sun does come out for everyone, whether that looks like a new friend, a small success, or even a growth opportunity.
I don’t think the light minimizes the weight of the darkness. No, because of the hard times we understand the light. Happiness becomes sweeter, and stepping out into the sun becomes that much more triumphant.
What do you want visitors to know about you?
I am a first-generation Mexican-American. I am a mother, sister, daughter, and wife.
My work with Ella Rises is such a special part of reaching my ancestors through connecting with the young people of our community.
How did your experience of 2020 make you think differently about the future?
Personally, I found myself in 2020.
I discovered the difference between what I thought I wanted and what I truly desired. I realized I had work to do, and made a plan to work towards the person I want to be, the person I want my daughter to see. I saw that the world needs me, and that my experiences and feelings are important and needed as we continue to collectively work toward making change in the world.
Wherever you are, your experience and feelings are not only valid, but vital to your story as well as that of those around you.