SORAIDA'S VERDADISM GALLERY, VISITORS E-MAIL
Dear Ms Martinez,
My name is William Young, and I am an African American minister
currently living in Edinburgh. I have over the years oganised 'Jazz
Vespers' services in various Protestant churches in Scotland and
planning for one on 30 August, towards the end of the festivals here.
I first spotted your artwork over the internet a few years ago and
have been intrugued particularly in the spiritual message in your
jazz-themed work which so easily and profoundly comes across, even for
someone like me who is not an "expert" on interpreting art. There has
been a request for the upcoming service to project artwork during the
service, and I was hoping with your permission to use some images of
your work. If you cannot agree to this, I will understand, but you
would certainly be credited- a brief bio included even.
Thank you for your time and atention, and I look forward to hearing
your response soon.
Your corazon arrived today...thank you so much...we are speechless. What a truly wonderful work of art. From the bottom of hearts, thank you so much for the heart, the awesome print and the wonderful book! By any chance did you keep a photo of it for your records, or would you like for us to send you one? We photograph all of the hearts to give copies to Michael's mother. Perhaps you could mention it in your web site or something, we could also send you a photo of the person(s) who win your heart at the event. Either way, thank you so much so much for the donation of your beautiful talent, we are overwhelmed by your generosity. We are so excited to be able to bring your "verdadism" to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and spread its message to our community. Muchas Gracias! - Minette Duenas
I googled you because one of your paintings "Little Girl from Harlem" is in
my Dos Mundos textbook, and I was interested in your art. I have to tell you that
your painting "What Prejudice Looks Like" just blows me away. I have a
neighbor who suffers from the disease of prejudice and who sends me sad ignorant
racist email forwards. I know I can never change her, but I cannot give up
trying. Anyway, I got a particularly sad one forward from her today and have that sick
feeling you get from the hatred and ignorance. Then, I googled you and saw
that painting. Thank you. It makes me feel better somehow.
Hereford, Arizona, 10/23/07
Thank you so much for your email. I was amazed to receive it.
I've been going to school all my life. I'm a retired teacher and have had a
wonderful life--I'm a happy person. I'm taking Spanish because I'm tired of
being unable to speak it and because I'm always going to school. It keeps me
young. Even though, I'm retired I'm also teaching an ESL class three nights a
week. It's fun especially since I can really see how hard it is to learn
another language. I once told my class that my earrings were drunk--I meant
The racist emails get to me because they come from a person who is actually
very nice in person (to white people anyway--I don't know how she treats other
people). I live on the border in Cochise County, Arizona, where they're
putting up a massive fence. There's a lot of racism thinly disguised as concern
about security here. It just gets to me sometimes.
Thank you again,
Melody Allan 2007
Dear Ms. Martinez
I have enjoyed looking at your art through your site and reading the commentaries
for each. I have chosen to do a project on you and Verdadism for my college Women
in Art History class final project. I was able to relate to many of the events in
your life, and feel encouraged to look deeper in my own to show, teach, relate and
grow with others.
I was never as concious of all the labels on me living in Miami, till I moved to a
small city in NC. I needed that move to help me own and love every ethnicity in me
and express it.
Thank you for the encouragement your art and life has brought me.
Nicole Santana Blackmon
3-L Saint Croix Pl
Greensboro, NC 2410 2006
Hello Soraida, May I just say, your art is spectacular. I don't think there are words to decribe how wonderful it is. I love the emotions and passion it evokes. I could feel what you must in many of your paintings as I have felt the same. Maybe living in the U.S. experiencing the way many of us are so passive and let others shape our behavior and also fighting to maintain our own culture we are able share the same emotions. I truly loved so many. The painting that grabbed me the most today was "Self-Effacing Woman" as this is me. I am a strong, successful and independant Mexican-American woman and I feel others look at me as if I should take a backseat to my wonderfully supportive husband. I would love more information on this painting, i.e. price and size. Thank you for your response. I can't say enough about your collection. May you have continued success.
Sincerely, Julie Barragan 2006
You have work that students need to see. I agree >100% with you...Your art is >so "Me". You have no idea what label I am battling
right now (smile)....I will never get over it.Anyways... I would LOVE to add a link to your site
on Incredible Art >Department and my own Art Education site (plus >share your site with four art >education list serves). I would also feature your >art on Great Sites on >Incredible Art Department. > >Please allow us (art educators around the world) to >show your work in >school. Many teachers only have access to their own >teacher made PowerPoint >presentations (these are for in class use only). >All teachers credit the >artist who made the image. > >If we have your blessing - no reply is necessary - >I will add the links and >tell our list serves. If the answer is no - click >reply and add NO to the >subject line - I will just admire your work on my >own....and say "I hear >you". > >Thank you in advance for your time... I am just >cc'ing this to the art >teacher who recommended your site to me. Her name >is Vivian. I want her to >be able to use your images with her students.
Judy Decker - Ohio 2004
The picture..Rage: Its My Body, is a very demented piece of
a feminist would paint such a thing! Oh, and by the way, it isn't YOUR
body. God created us, and we are HIS. I am appauled at this Rage
picture. If you were a REAL woman, you would be home cooking for your
husband, and caring for your children, making sure they have good
christian moral values. This is an ugly painting. I'm sure you have
received a great deal of money for painting it, but money isn't
everything. God will hold you accountable for such rebellion. Have you
ever thought about GOD? You need to get saved. If you will believe
that God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross, and that he was
raised from the dead, and now lives, and if you admit you are a sinner,
and ask Jesus to come into your heart, He will. You will be saved. But
you have to mean it. When all else fails in life, God is all that
matters. In the end, God is the only person you have to stand
accountable to, so please ask Jesus into your heart.
Hello Soraida! I just happened upon your website through Oprah's
Network on the internet. I think you're my new hero, if you don't mind me
saying that. I've dabbled in artwork my whole life, but never really took
it anywhere. I've just started painting again and would really love to take
my artwork to a new level. One of my other passions is humanitarian work. I
work with Romanian orphans and a lot of the paintings I do are of the Romanian
culture. As of yet, I can't seem to get past the block I have about my style
of painting. I'd like to break through to the creativity that I know is underneath
and have often wanted to marry my passions of art and humanitarian work.
I applaud your journey! Very empowering. You spoke to my heart.
I have often
wanted to do artwork with a social conscience, but haven't found my niche yet.
I am currently looking for a mentor or coach to empower me
to find the next level.
Would you be interested in giving me any words of advice or do you know anyone who
I'm really impressed with the passion you illustrate in your
work. Again, thank you
for taking a stand for the empowerment of women!
Sherry Martin, Dallas, Texas
I located your website browsing the internet. I am the Special Projects Coordinator for the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University in NJ and am very interested in contacting you in regards to a major project that three cultural centers at Rutgers and the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick are spearheading. This Statewide Initiative will take place in 2003 and will survey the art of Asian, Latino/a, and African American visual artists who are in/have been in the state of NJ. I would be very pleased to speak with you further about this project and to invite you to participate in the Initiative, which would include exhibitions in museums throughout the state as well as a conference, website, and newly established artist registries. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call me at the Latino Center at (732) 932-1263. I am available Monday through Thursday, 10-5pm. I look forward to your response.
Center for Latino Arts and Culture
122 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1165
I WAS LOOKING FOR COOL PICTURES ON THE NET AND LOOKED UP ABSTRACT EXPRETION AND FOUND YOUR SITE. I DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY TO BUY YOUR PICTURES, BUT I'AM A FIRST YEAR ART STUDENT WHO REAL LOVES ART. YOUR PICTURE THE "GUITAR PLAYER' COURT MY ATENTION BECAUCE, I DON'T UESNALLY LIKE PURPLE, AND DON'T USE IT IN MY PICTURES I PAINT. THE COMBINATION OF THIS PICTURES COLOURS, GIVE ME THE FEELING OF HOPE. PLEASE WRITE TO ME AND TELL ME WHATS COMING UP WITH YOU AND YOUR WORK PEACE
I got an interesting e-mail today from Victor Edgar Rivera and he suggested a visit to your site. As a poet and writer I admire your ability to use a tapestry and paint to express yourself. My aunt was such an artist and though she has long passed on...her abilities inspire me to express myself, much as your work probably inspires countless others.
I am currently working on a more visual presentation of my own stories...learning and struggling to eventually show video plays on my own site (www.onlinetheater.com) and hope to have something out this year. I really hope that you and your fans might take a look and enjoy a simple poem or story and enjoy a quiet moment with me at: "http://www.onlinetheater.com"
I am currently finishing my Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree and my Art Education Certification from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have been student teaching for the past several months, and have used your artwork in several of my lessons, at both middle and high school levels. I find that the students really relate to your work. The written descriptions of each painting help the kids to understand not only the socio-political aspects and implications of art, which can often be difficult concepts, but also the idea of art as cross-curricular. I often ask my students to write about their work, as a precursar to critique. Many of them do not plan to continue studying art, so I believe that it helps them to think through their ideas and invest something more than a few 45 minute class periods. My professor's and I would like to know how we can obtain slides of your work, so that we can provide the students with quality reproductions. Please E-Mail me with more information.
Respectfully, Kate Wright
Dear Soraida Martinez: I "found" (discovered) your website through another link, however, I found (perceived) your website to be much like I would expect to find you--thoughtfully composed, carefully executed,profoundly interesting and personal, vibrant with delightful color and taste. I bookmarked it.Respectfully, Christopher Rochlen, student of Professor Anna Sandoval, California State Univ.--Long Beach, California Course: The Ethnic Experience in the United States
I recently received a bulletin from CCCC and I saw your picture
and the book
that you published. It has been a very long time since I last saw you. It
was in Vineland, and I was a teenager. We dated for a while. I remember
then how precisely you could draw, with such feeling and expression and new
in my heart that one day you would be a fine artist. I see that that has
come to fruition. I immediately went to the web and typed in your name and
found your site. It is wonderful.
How are you doing, it has been so long. I know that we both
changed so much over the years. I am an Associate Professor at Beaver
College in Glenside PA not too far from Philadelphia. I will be starting my
12th year there in the Fall. I love my job--teaching and research and well,
I spend a lot of time on the computer ---actually I love graphic art. I use
Adobe Photoshop all the time, build web pages and design multimedia using
Director and now Flash. I still play the guitar and love to prepare food.
What else can I tell you; I have not been back to Vineland
now --my mother died in 1988 and I live with my wife and my 11 year old
daughter in a suburb of Phildelphia called Maple Glen.
If you have a chance, please e-mail me back. I would love to
hear from you.
And, check out my depts web site. If you click on my picture you can go to
my site --there is a photo album.
One other thing, would you have any interest doing a show at our Gallery ?
Joshua E. Blustein, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Beaver College Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038
I took a quick trip and checked out your paintings on the web. I liked your
work and could especially relate to many of your views on racial issues and
labels. As a Chicano, an "American
of Mexican descent" I have often felt so close to Mexico yet so far from
home. I have had to overcome many of those obstacles of which you speak and
into my later age I wonder if I ever did at all. Salute to you on your
choice of themes, as a painter I as well will be taking the journey into
the soul through painting and hope that this will help resolve some of
those issues of self-doubt. I hope to deal especially with the shape
changer of depression and its crippling effects on the human soul and mind.
Yes this theme of how intertwined racism, prejudice,identity
politics and the individual soul are is one that is not expressed enough.
You have very much reminded me of the masks that I put on just to get
through the day with my dignity intact??
I just went through your art gallery and I have to express my reaction to it. I was moved by your artwork and words. My heart raced and mystomach turned in excitement as I felt and listened to myself throughyour works. I am often too shy, embarrassed or far too complacent to put my own perceptions out there as you have. Know that you have further inspired me to continue to be true to myself. I am a thirty-three year-old single,Puerto Rican female, born on thesouthside of Chicago,raised on welfare along with seven siblings, sole college graduate, former Peace Corps volunteer, in the process of leaving D.C. to embark on a graduate program at the New School University in New York City. I struggle every day because I am constantly told by the general public that I do not fit into their idea of what a Puerto Rican woman is like(and they think this a compliment!);as well as mami's idea of who I should be at this point in my life which is, settled, married, children; MEN (need I say more?)and my efforts towards creating my own truth.Thank you for validating the direction I have been taking to lead my life.
I saw your paintings for the first time this past week (15 Feb. 99) when a fellow Professor showed them to me. I immediately knew they would be perfect for my classes. I teach basic English at the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla. In part one of the course we cover the subject of Identity and I have my students read Judith Ortiz's "An Island Like You" and in part two we discuss Diversity and I have them read Esmeralda Santiago's "When I was Puertorican." I can see why many women would react in violent opposition to some of your works, but I do not agree. I think that they are wonderful, especially when I want my students to visualize concepts they have no experience with. It is also exciting to discover another successful Puertorican. CONGRATULATIONS!
Unfortunately, I don't have a working E-mail address at the moment or internet connection at home. However, I'll try to keep track of your work in the future. Keep up the good work!
Hi, My name is Micheal Martinez. I am a U.N.C college student and I just wanted to tell you that your paintings are really good. I was wondering if I could use your pictures off the internet for my art show which will be dedicated to you. Next month I will be showing your paintings as part of my work. Since it is womens month in March. I wanted to let you know and possibly able to show the people in my college the importance and maybe some meanings to your paintings. I wanted to ask your permission if I could do it. In no way will I take credit for the pictures and will tell exactly who they are coming from. Thanks for listening to me and I appreciate the time you have given me.
while researching for an art project for my art foundations class i stumbped upon your wonderfull web site. i have fallen in love with your paintings and most of all your themes. i have an art final due next friday. our project is to take three playing cards and express hard edge painting. i really dont knowwhat to do or how to go about doing so. it would be absolutly wonderfull if you could help me out. while looking at your paintings, i noticed you liked to deal a lot with people. and you took shapes and transformed them in to people and objects.....but hey thats art!!! im confussed because when i think of hard edge painting i think of your work, dealing with people. but also i think of abstract art triangles in general. i dont know how to go about myproject. also if you dont mind may i use your name and some examples of yourwork for one of my cards?? that would be just grand if you would let me do that.
i agree with your philosophy , and i love your work. happy to see colorful positive work i am a fine art photographer. i just set up my web site , i know you do not have the time to answer. may god bless you. thank you from
Ron Moss. 1/ 3 / 99
I don't know if you remember meeting me; it was on the last day of your exhibition at John Jay. We spoke for some time on the creative process, education, and homeowning (I had just moved into my new home). I really enjoyed our conversation (it helped me not so much take a new perspective but to find an old one, and for that I thank you), and I have enjoyed skimming through your website from time to time. I admire the work you do with children especially. Take care.
I found your web site by accident. I wasn't looking for any artist, actually I was working on a assignment for my Psychology class. Then I saw your web site. I'm also Puerto Rican but I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. I can relate to the messages in your artwork. I love your paintings. My favorite is A Woman between Two Islands. I can identify with the message that the painting portrays. I'm currently a student at Penn State University, majoring in Psychology. Thanks for sharing your art work it is very beautiful.
Enjoyed your work. Quite unique. Right to the point with its social commentary.
I really like your paintings. I found your site via another website link. too bad i can't afford your paintings but i would like to buy the book.
Your Comments:I am very interested in your social commentaries and your work- it is very detailed and I find the art quite captivating of the feeling you are writing about. I am a professional latina and I am proud that your work is being exhibited and I hope to see more and hear more about you.Te deseo lo mejor y espero que sigas triunfando! I found out about you through my friend online and he knows me and knew I would appreciate this link! I am Puerto Rican and into these types of progressive things with our culture! I will keep forwarding to my other friends!
I was doing a search and found your work. I just wanted to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed your perspective and your aesthetic response.Gracias Boricua, another great gift of this internet!
Dr. Victor M. Rodriguez
Associate Professor, Sociology Dept. Concordia University
1530 Concordia West
Irvine, CA 92612
I write a Women's History web page for the Mining Company, and I wanted to let you know that I have included a link to your site in my resource list. I was greatly impressed with your paintings, and I love that you have accompanied them with your social commentary. The "Verdadism" aspect gives your paintings a wonderfully personable quality, and I think it also makes the artwork more accessible to people in general. I hope my link to your page helps to increase traffic to your site.
If you would like to view my site, it is located at: http://womenshistory.miningco.com
Thanks for your time, and for a great resource.
Belinda S. Ray
I am a University Teacher in Tarragona (Spain) and I'm writing a doctoral thesis about COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:expressionist leif-motives in Catalan poetry.I was looking for information about nowadays expressionist artists and found your link. I was impressed to read about VERDADISM. I would like to know the way to receive or find more information about it.
Thank you very much
Jean-Marc Segarra i Mauri
P.S. The thing which most impressed me is that you are keen on helping students to improve themselves, to examine their inner emotions and try to express what we usually have in our deepest part of our heart.
Just letting you know that I did go into your website and I enjoyed very much your work...! You are very talented and I hope all goes well for you and yours..... Keep the Pride up and always represent ...!
The term should be abolished. In fact, unless the subject of the hour happens to be of one's heritage, it is my opinion that no racial tag should be used at all. Why a female Attorney General and not just attorney general? Why a black doctor and not just doctor? etc.,etc., etc.,
It's refreshing to see another human being with the hopes and dreams of a world where respect, tolerance, and acceptance are practiced on a daily basis. We all should take off our masks and be proud of who we are and what we believe in!!!!!!!!
Teresa d. Mercado
San Jose, CA
I think you are a great artist and your outside beautifulness expresses your more beautiful spiritual being. God Bless you and todas las mujeres puertorriqueñas!!
Taino Ti, Soraida
Hartford, Ct. 06114
I am very interested in using 8 x 10" copies of this wonderful piece of work as an illustrative point in a presentation to other elected officials. The purpose is overcoming racism within our bailiwick.I am a Puerto Rican native who like many others was raised in the US army and consequently very conscious regarding pervasive racism. I commend you for the wonderful work which your God given talent has brought to fruition. What say you?
Hector M. Varela
Metropolitan Dade County, Florida
Thank you for "La Latina", I'm fortunate of your representation.
Chicago, IL. 60622
I wanted to commend you on your artwork. I am of Puerto Rican decent as well as an artist mostly unknown and as a hobby. I enjoyed the art work as well as the explanations. Presently I live in California, where the Puerto Ricans are scattered but the stereotypical thinking even touchs those out here. I grew up in New York City just near Spanish Harlem and found my way to California via the Marines.Anyways just wanted to let you to keep up the good work and make your mark for all us PR's.
RONALD L DENNIS JR
New York, NY 11377
Councilman Hector M. Varela
Metropolitan Dade County Council 11
TX / 75056
My name is Catherine Scott. I am a student at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I am taking a Hispanic Women's Literature class that requires me to write a paper on a famous Latina. I found your work on the web and find it fascinating. Your homepage gives a little bit of information about what your paintings are about. I would appreciate any additional information that you could send me. Do you think you could tell me why you started to do these paintings and how you came up with the unique style and other such things? Also, if you could tell me a little about yourself, like where you grew up and some unique experience which may have triggered you to do these paintings. All of this information will be used for a ten minute presentation in Spanish for my class on April 29. Thank you for your time. I hope that you can help me out.
Allentown, PA 18104-6196
With Best Regards
Annette Vaillot Bredorf - Denmark
Deisy J. Fuentes
Woodside NY 11377
Please take a look at the Web Site I created for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners. We can really use your support now to convince the President to grant these patriotic men and women amnesty. Take a peek!
Thanks for your time! Pa'lante siempre!
Barbara Ward Grubb
Museum Curator, Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies
Hello! My name is Morris Lopez and I am a 23 year old Puerto Rican student attending school at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I was cruising through Latino link and wanted to take a look at some really inspiring Latin people. So, I came along your homepage. I was impressed by all of your accomplishments and would like to tell you that on behalf of the latino community here at Rutgers and nation wide say that we are proud that a Latina can break free of the stereotypes and overcome obstacles to achieve the best things in life. I would also like to commend you on your involvement in our communities youths. You are by far an outstanding person and an example for many Latin people and especially for our Latin females. A success story not only for Latin Americans, but our own Puerto Rican women. I am happy and wish that you continue your much valued success. On a more pesonal note, I also noticed where you were educated. I see you were educated in Rowan College. I know where that is because my hometown is about 20 minutes from there. I am from Vineland. Have you heard of it. You probably do because Cumberland County College is in Vineland. It is interesting to know that you were educated so near to and in my hometown. When did you graduate from Cumberland? I am graduating from Rutgers University this year coming up. I will have my B.A. in Psychology, a Certificate in Criminology, and a Minor in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies. That is nice to know that you are involved with the youths in Camden. I have a friend in college who's from Camden. I will ask him if he has heard of you. I hope you don't mind me saying, but aside from your intelligence you also appear to be a very attractive woman. Well, I wish you the best of luck. I hope that this letter serves an example that Latin people care about Latin people's accomplishments. Please feel free to respond. My email address is email@example.com.
Again, it was a pleasure discovering your work. I wish you the best in your artistic journey.
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Hello, My name is Marisol. I was browsing through the net and I stumbled upon your website. I was impressed with your paintings and opinions.When I see things like that, I always make it a point to remember how proud I am of my culture and my people. So I strive for the better. I am about to graduate in other year, si Dios quiere. But I will. I have accomplished what most did not expect. I thank you for putting your thoughts and ideas on the web because I would have never known about you. I rarely see positive Puerto Ricans, and when I do I just love it.
We are beautiful people!!!!!!!Gracias
Hola Soraida. Hope you're doing well. My name's Edgar Mercado. I myself was raised in the City of Puerto Rican parents (some label us Nuyoricans). I think your concept of "Verdadism" is fascinating. I was browsing through your gallery on your website. I was able to identify myself particularly with two drawings "Between 2 islands" and "Little Girl from Harlem." I was born in Brooklyn and lived there until my parents decided to take a "vacation" to Puerto Rico. It was rough for my brother and I for awhile. In Brooklyn we had to put up with racism and resorting to becoming affiliated with Puerto Rican gang members just to survive the taunting and fights from Italians and others. We weren't treated in many places as Americans, more like outcasts. In Puerto Rico, we were called "Los Gringos." We adpated rather quick to Puerto Rico though. My brother and I concluded that the "vacation" was the best thing my parents did. We continued our education from high school through college in Puerto Rico. Despite the difference in gender, "Little Girl from Harlem" reminds me of some of the avenues my brother and I used to escape from reality such as sports, religion, education, music, and of course some daydreaming. There was a foundation to all these avenues and that was our Mother. A short woman from Yabucoa but as I say, her strength is concentrated. My mother has always been there for us. I'm currently living with my wife (from Ponce) and children in Maryland, heading a group developing environmental policies. We help the Hispanic Community as much as we can and striving to push it more. However, I hope to use my enviromental experience and use it to assist these communities in the environmental justice arena.
Thanks for your contribution and good luck in your future endeavors.
P.S. Is it ok for me to use copies of your paintings as the background
on my desktop?
I'm sorry, but I did'nt write any comments on my previous e-mail. I love your art, however, I did'nt see all your paintings in the store. Can you please send me a larger catalog at the above address. Thank you in advance, sigue pa'lante boricua!!
I am a student at Northern Arizona University. My major is Elementary Education with a minor in Music. At the end of Obtober I have a group presentation for my American Ethnic Arts Ideas class. My group was given "other puerto rican voices" as our topic. I wanted to focus in on the arts and that is when I found you on the internet. I would like to give as much information about your work as posible to my class. The new kind of art that you have developed is very interesting to me and I would like to focus on you as my part of our group presentation. Any information you could send me would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for you time.
Sincerely, April Thomas
EAST HARTFORD, CT
All viewpoints expressed above are solely those of the visitor to Soraida's website