Tamara Diaz

Though legal restrictions prevent Tamara Diaz from physically exploring her father's native country of Cuba, through stories and art, she explores Cuba's spirit and soul. Diaz longs to walk through the streets of her homeland, Cuba. Her roots constantly tug her south, but physical and geographic obstacles prevent her from exploring her lands and connecting with her people.

While her feet have never touched Cuban soil, Diaz has lived many lifetimes in Cuba. Her connection lies in the stories told by her family - her abuela (grandmother) reminiscing about the "old days" in Cuba, her tia (aunt) and her papi (father) teaching her how to salsa. Diaz says, "That's how I learn about my culture, through memories, food and songs." Her art shows that words like "embargo," "blockage" and "border" merely restrict our physical ties, leaving a more soulful connection intact.

Diaz works as both a clinical therapist and independent artist. She was born in New York City, but also lived in Barcelona, Spain for 5 years. She has strong Cuban roots on her father's side, while her mother's family are holocaust survivors. The result is a powerful spirituality with a deep respect for the struggles and beauty of both cultures. Other inspirations include her sexuality, travels, music, the children with whom she works, and the people/energy with which she surrounds herself.

Much of Diaz's work depicts a spiritual vision of a better place, represented in the style of Pop Art. The various mediums she uses include markers, acrylics, pencil, pen and ink, photography, collage, and computer illustration. Because of the intensity of Diaz's clinical work, painting helps her to relax. Many of Diaz's pieces have originated from painful places, but become transformed into an optimistic realm through her choices of color. Always prepared to let loose the creative energy inside of her, she never leaves home without a drawing journal.