- Staff report
Art Major Creates Dedication To Congressional Representative
BY JOCELYN GONZALEZ
It’s not often that politics and art intersect, especially if the politician represents a district back East and the artist is a 20-year-old student art major in El Paso. But after seeing a video response two years ago by a young firebrand Congresswoman in response to an apology from a congressional colleague, EPCC’s Demirah (Demi) Williams created a beautiful and inspiring painting she calls “Representing Women,” dedicated to Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, popularly known as “AOC.”
Demi says she is deeply passionate about art and has been painting since elementary school.
Demirah (Demi) Williams
Photos by Marcos Tellez-Rodriguez
She said she believes there is art in everything people do and adds that she loves pieces which have deeper meanings within them. As she completes her art major studies Demi says she wishes to one day become an art therapist.
The story behind the painting
Two years ago, Demi says she was able to see AOC’s speech from July 2020, which was a response to Representative Ted Yoho’s “apology speech,” after the Florida Republican confronted the Democratic congresswoman on the steps of the Capitol. “I was minding my own business,” AOC said at the time, “walking up the steps and Representative Yoho put his finger in my face. He called me disgusting, he called me crazy. He said I was out of my mind and said I was dangerous.” Shortly after, AOC demanded an apology from Yoho, but considered his apology statement fell short.
Demi says she found AOC’s response to Yoho’s apology inspiring because “AOC not only stood up for herself but also for all women who have been mistreated,” Demi says.
“Being the youngest Latina women to ever serve in Congress, AOC has been susceptible to hate on several occasion. However, none of that has stopped her from doing what’s right,” Demi adds.
Demi follows AOC through social media and says she is happy with the work AOC has been doing, like improving mental health resources for criminal cases. She says she wanted to produce artwork in appreciation of AOC and the speech she gave in response to Yoho.
The make-up of the painting
The media used for the painting are canvas, acrylic paints, and a posca marker to reproduce the small letters of AOC’s speech. The main focus of the painting is AOC placed right in the center with the suit she wore in her response speech to Yoho. To make her stand out, a halo effect is created by placing a yellow circle behind her, like the sun. Demi wanted a simple background and chose a light blue to represent a clear sky.
The letters across the painting are important parts of speech, such as “This is not new, and that is the problem” as well as “Having a daughter does not make a man decent, having a wife does not make a decent man.”
At the bottom of the painting is shown a diverse crowd of women. Demi says she wanted them to be colorful and each have their own personality, to represent all the different types of women who make up this country.
Originally this painting was an incomplete project but thanks to the encouragement of EPCC Art Professor Edwardo Treviso, Demi says she decided to finish the piece. Demi says Treviso suggested sending the finished painting to AOC and offered help by asking El Paso
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar for assistance with the delivery.
Although Demi is sending the original painting, she was able to get a few copies for herself provided by EPCC. Demi plans to attach a letter to the painting, providing AOC with the story behind the painting and about herself, along with her contact information.