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September 20, 2022


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month the Embassy of the United States exhibits a mural in homage to the centenary of the birth of Yma Sumac (1922-2022.) The mural was painted by artist María “Toofly” Castillo, from the United States and Ecuador, the Peruvian muralist Conrad Flórez, and artists Sadith Silvano, Jessica Silvano, Cordelia Sanchez and Silvia Ricopa, members of the muralist women’s collective Soi Noma, from the Shipibo community in Cantagallo, Lima.

The mural is inspired in the figure of Yma Sumac, who represents the effort, work, dedication and talent of Hispanic women. Yma Sumac, of Peruvian origin, emigrated to the United States and had a flourishing career in Hollywood.  This project helps us celebrate the contribution of more than 60 million Hispanic people who live in the United States and who enrich American culture and society. We hope this mural, located in a busy area of ​​the Surco district, conveys the importance of valuing the cultural diversity of our countries.

The project was possible thanks to the support of the University of Engineering and Technology UTEC.

Conrad Flórez

Conrad Flórez is a Peruvian artist based in Lima whose work focuses on the creation of surreal characters that reflect a balance between technique and emotions. His work is very versatile showing a constant evolution over time that is strongly influenced by music and graffiti. From music and its various styles, he is inspired by sensations that derive from the most chaotic notes to the most sublime. From the graffiti technique he takes the idea of working with artistic experimentation as a game.

Women muralists Soi Noma from the Shipiba community of Cantagallo

Soi Noma is a collective of women artists from the Shipibo Konibo community of Cantagallo who make murals based on traditional designs of their people. Cordelia Sánchez, Silvia Ricopa, Jessica Silvano and Sadith Silvano are the four members of this group that participate in the U.S. Embassy’s mural project in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.The drawings and images in the mural are inspired in Kené art, a sacred Shipibo Konibo design that was declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation in 2008. This design evokes nature spirutality and the worldview of the community. This practice is used in different artistic techniques with a variety of natural materials. For murals, the artists use latex-based paint.

Maria “Toofly” Castillo

New York City entrepreneur, designer, and artist Maria “Toofly” Castillo is recognized for her signature Love Warrior character.  She is one of the few women in the art world to step into a male dominated graffiti scene in the early 90’s and help pave the way for others. Toofly’s journey into the world of art began with her commute to public school from her Queens neighborhood.  Her trips were filled with adventurous sketches as she immersed herself in the myriad of graffiti along the way.  It was precisely the rebellious artistic spirit of the 90’s street graffiti movement that drove Toofly to join its subculture.
Her most recent projects include the @LadiesLoveProject, @WarmiPaint Festival, and #Grafiteras.
Toofly’s work appeared in books like Graffiti Women, Outdoor Gallery, and magazines like Juxtapoz, Latina, and Marie Claire.  Her paintings have been exhibited with Deitch Projects, Wynwood Walls, and Bronx Museum of Art.