— by Al Día staff writer Jensen Touissant
A young woman with long dark hair sits on a colorful rug in front of two paintings.

The special featured artist for the 2021 Al Día Women of Merit event is Manuela Guillén MA '22.

Guillén is a freelance painter, muralist and digital illustrator currently living in North Philadelphia.

She was born in Miami to Cuban and Salvadorian immigrant parents, and has had a love for art since her childhood. Throughout her artistic journey, Guillén has collaborated with local, national and global art organizations, including PangeaSeed, Fung Collaboratives and 48 Blocks.

Her murals can be found throughout both the United States and Mexico, and are often inspired by plants, tropical colors and her cultural upbringing.

Through her art, Guillén aims to bring awareness to art education, sociopolitical and environment issues. 

In addition to her personal artistic endeavors, Guillén is also an art teacher and her goal is to inspire her students to use their creativity, as well to help bring communities closer together through the platform of art.

The Women of Merit event will recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the U.S. Latina and multicultural women who are breaking down barriers and emerging in leadership positions—in corporate, education, entrepreneurship, non-profit and public service—across the nation.

The virtual event is set to take place March 31, 2021.