Mariella Mendoza is an undocumented artist, and writer; born and raised in Lima, Peru, but currently living on occupied Shoshone territory: Salt Lake City, Utah.
Their work centers on their own personal experiences of queerness, migration, nostalgia, and healing; through the intersectional lens of transformative justice. Using bright colors (reminiscent of their South-American roots) and brown skin, Mendoza’s artwork explores themes of liberation, and home, in murals, and often in print making.
Community taught, and proud of it, they have had the honor and privilege to partner up with community leaders and local organizations such as the Rape Recovery Center, the University of Utah, the Utah Pride Center, and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums to name a few. Their murals have given recognition to critical community issues, including indigenous sovereignty, migrant rights, and LGBTQIA+ visibility; while continuing to bridge the local narratives of the community, through ongoing work within the four-corners region.
Their essays delve into the complex relationships between migrant and indigenous communities of the North and South, via gatherings and ceremonies, and have been featured in national publications such as Everyday Feminism, The Icarus Project, and Black Girl Dangerous.
As a community organizer, Ella’s work has marched on the streets of New York City, and Standing Rock; most recently as one of eight featured artists on the 2017 People’s Climate March, in Washington DC. As a cultural educator, they are one of the co-founders of Nopalera Artist Collective; Utah’s first artist collective by people of color, for people of color; whose work centers on the cultural resistance within the Salt Lake Valley.