edition 08
Dear friend,
This month has seen a resurrection of life on 4th Avenue with the start of the school year. It feels good to be back in the swing of things, with the fall floral season picking up, and our shop doors open. September is very special, as it is a celebration of Hispanic Heritage. Join us in celebrating these cultures that have made such an incredible impact!
To celebrate our heritage is to celebrate our love for family, faith, food, music and tradition! For me, my memories that capture each one of these categories have my "Nanita" embedded at the heart of it all! So, today, I celebrate the Nana, the most potent love of most all families. The matriarch that truly cultivates all of these areas (sometimes with the "chancla" - that super thin leather sandal or pointed heel that is thrown at you or your whacked with for acting crazy!) Even though that sounds like trauma, from my Nanita came my curiosity in growing my faith, and learning the food that fueled my heart, and most importantly to be everything I was created to be. The beauty of our culture truly comes in layers of all these things with togetherness, and that's what a Nana does. They gather, and to do so is to fully live life and for this experience I am so grateful. Te amo Nanita hermosa. Gracias por tu amor y el ejemplo de ser lider. Te cargo en mi Corazon, y nunca te olvidare.
As I step into another decade, I ask myself...what has brought you the most joy and the most pain over the years? People. Without doubt, I know at some level this resonates with you.  Maybe willingly or reluctantly, to see and to be seen is one of our deepest longings. To know, and to be fully known.
As a mama, I will always carry the memory of the first moment I kissed the faces of my beautiful babies. Those little humans that have done nothing yet to earn or deserve such love.
This is the best visual for the human gift of connection, something we long for, and that has the power change our lives. Not only the life of the one who receives it, but most importantly the one who gives it. I truly believe when we connect with others, we become students of our own humanity: that unraveling of the unknown, complex beauty that will be the best adventure.  Join us - as we dive into the excitement of every culture, background, story and moreover the opportunity to grow and be and enjoy the best expression of each human soul.
We have partnered with Visit Tucson, and are hosting monthly events covering a wide range of topics, all centered on the idea of life rewritten through art. 
September 16th is our next event, and the topic is the Art of Human Connection. Click the link below to see more information and purchase tickets to this, as well as to view the events for upcoming months.
We can't wait to connect with you!
celebrating Hispanic heritage through art… 
As we immerse ourselves in the vibrant tapestry of Hispanic Heritage Month, I am humbled and excited to share my artistic journey that has been deeply influenced by the rich and diverse cultural world in which I was fortunate to grow up.
When people approach me to talk about my photography, the most popular questions are about the medium and color palette. People often ask me if my work is a photograph or a watercolor painting. I tell them that it is a photograph that feels like a watercolor painting, and that it is the kind of desert-impressionistic painting I want to live in. However, every now and then, a desert
photography connoisseur will show up and notice, not only my slight accent, but the subtleties of the color palette I’ve chosen for my work. They will ask me if I am from Tucson, and then proceed to note how sometimes it takes someone who is not from the area to see the desert in a different light.
I agree with them. I think that when you are from a place, you can become so accustomed to it that you stop seeing it in a new light. It takes someone who is new to the area to see the beauty in the desert that you may have overlooked. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my perspective on the desert with others, and I hope that my photographs can help people to see the beauty in this unique landscape.
In every cactus flower picture and color choice, I pay homage to the luminous landscapes of the majestic Sonoran desert. The warm hues of pink, and the subtle browns and greens reminiscent of a soft, desert-themed and impressionistic-inspired painting, speaking not only to the beauty of nature but also to the resilience of the desert flora. Perhaps the latter is why I’m so inspired by the majesty of the Sonoran desert, because it reminds me of the resilience of the human spirit, which always finds a way to adapt and thrive despite adversity.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me. I am privileged to be able to create and share my photography with others. I hope that my work inspires people to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. Our ancestors have come a long way, and it is up to us to make the world a better place for future generations. We can do this by healing the past and making peace with each other. When we extend compassion to others, we create a more beautiful and peaceful world for everyone.
As we celebrate the diversity within Hispanic heritage, let us recognize that it is indeed a mosaic of cultures, languages, and histories. I hope you can join me in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month not just as a spectator, but as a participant in the cultural exchange that makes us stronger and more connected. Together, we can preserve the legacy of our ancestors while carving a path for future generations to celebrate their roots proudly.
With colors as my voice and photographs as my medium, I am honored to contribute to the chorus of voices celebrating the beauty, strength, and unity that Hispanic heritage embodies.
-Nieves, 215 studio
Until next time,