Thursday, 03 September 2015

Taking on the Challenge

Silvia Villanueva Silvia Villanueva

Creating art is a difficult endeavor in itself. But add 100,000+ people watching you produce a public art piece—and now you’re taking on a challenge.

National artist Silvia Villanueva is changing a Catholic Charities van into art on Friday, September 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Roosevelt Row during the Phoenix First Fridays Art Walk. She’s doing the art piece in hopes of challenging others to take the #PopesHopeChallenge.

The #PopesHopeChallenge asks people to sign up at and do one good deed during the month Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States.

Villanueva will use her unique style to create an art piece made of paper, calligraphy, paint and other materials with the statement: Take the #PopesHopeChallenge. Do some good today.

“Phoenix could use a little inspiration to do some good for each other,” says Villanueva. “I’m hoping my art piece will remind them that one good deed can change a life and change them for the better.”

The van will be driven around Phoenix for the month of September to schools, food truck stops and other events to showcase Villanueva’s work and to promote the challenge.

Villanueva isn’t a stranger to public art. She’s volunteered to teach teenagers from low-income Phoenix neighborhoods on how to create murals for buildings through The Rag Collection, a non-profit that works with teenagers. She’s a strong believer in giving back to one’s community.

Born in Casa Grande, Ariz., Villanueva strayed from the Southwestern art scene and instead explored an internal landscape of her feelings. In 1999, she created her signature style of line-style drawings of figures, playing with perspective. She uses thick paper and number 9 pencil. This style got her noticed by galleries in Phoenix, Miami and Manhattan.

You can learn more about Villanueva and her art at and see pictures of her mobile van artwork at

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