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Bound Language Academy. She also painted the piano, utility box and walls of the Morgan Hill Pop-Up Park and in 2017 organized the inaugural Morgan Hill Children’s Art Show sponsored by the Library, Culture and Arts Commission. About thirty-five pieces created by children ages five to thirteen were on display. Velasquez earned a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Administration from Colegio Mayor de Antioquia in Medellin and an Associate Arts degree in Studio Art from Gavilan College. Her love for the diversity of cultures and art history motivated her to travel abroad to study various types of art techniques. She has received personal art classes in the private studios of Mariano Rico in Medellin, Patricia Delgado in Madrid, Georgett Miller at Cambridge University, and Tian Wang in Suzhou, China (her daughter was there as an intern with an electronics manufacturing firm). “Camila is very important to my art,” Velasquez says of her daughter. “She encourages and inspires me.” When not teaching art, Velasquez is producing art. Art that is inspired by her favorite artists, Beatriz Milhazes of Brazil, Frida Kahlo of Mexico, and Columbian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero. Of Botero, she says, “I am very proud to be from the same land as this irreplaceable and inimitable artist.”  Influences of these artists, and her native Colombian culture, are evident in the vibrant colors she uses in her artwork. Combining and experimenting with many styles of abstract painting, her artwork is unique for its intricate themes, bright hues and colorful scenes. Each painting encompasses a different story about life and nature, sectioned in an almost story book composition. Her subjects are varied, including people, gardens, flowers, and the environment encompassing them. With a special fondness for animals, she tries to capture their spirit in her art. Velasquez is currently planning an exhibit entitled “Feelings” to be held at Miramar Winery in September 2018. To learn more about Velasquez and view her gallery of art go to linavelasquezart.com. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 Dan Craig is a local artist and freelance writer who lives and works in his downtown loft in Morgan Hill. gmhtoday.com 79