Colombia to Charlotte, Latin artist creates unmistakable art

Colombia to Charlotte, Latin artist creates unmistakable art

Little is known about the artist whose work has been on display in several parts of Charlotte. She doesn’t like to show her face much and goes by the alias Owl.

Through her passion for art, this young Colombian joined a group of artists in Charlotte in June to work on the Black Lives Matter mural in uptown.

“For me it was an honor to speak the best way I know how, which is through art. I wanted to speak to the Latin community because we also have racism problems in our own countries, and sometimes we forget this,” Owl said.

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For over five years, she has surprised many people who stroll along one of the most popular galleries around – the street. Whether it be on foot or on a car, her paintings never go unnoticed.

But despite her work’s appeal to the public, she has decided to keep a low profile and prefers to be identified simply as Owl.

“The name Owl came out of a need to express myself. I felt so tiny that I didn’t want the world to know that I was behind the works. I didn’t want people to know that I was Hispanic or that I was a woman. So an alias allowed me to express myself without fear. That way, if people didn’t like something, they wouldn’t be able to trace it back to me,” she said.

She came to the U.S. in Atlanta with her parents when she was 11 years old. They came in search of a better future.

“We arrived with our belongings and our whole lives inside two suitcases, and that has been the biggest lesson that my parents have given me – that you can start from scratch anywhere. You just need to have the drive,” Owl said.

Ten years ago, she moved to Charlotte and has lived here ever since. She recalls that reaching her dream was not always easy. She worked cleaning houses with her mother and her father worked as a taxi driver. Her parents eventually opened a graphics printing business.

You have probably seen some of her amazing artwork around Charlotte, although it is not the only city where it is on display. It can be viewed in Atlanta, New York City and even in her native Colombia.

“You can go anywhere, and if you see something that you think could be mine, it probably is. People can sense it. They can sense the energy in my works. I can’t describe it. It’s something you just have to experience,” Owl said.

Ever since graduating from CPCC in 2013, Owl has dedicated most of her time to her passion for art and has a message to young artists who want to follow in her footsteps.

“Never give up doing what makes you happy. Art allows us to express our humanity, and if that’s you’re calling, listen to your heart,” she said.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.

Historias que inspiran: Owl, muralista de Charlotte