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 Sylvia Padilla is an artist living and working in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  Born in Newark, NJ, she grew up and studied in the Newark, NJ region of Essex County. Sylvia Padilla has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey obtained in 2009 with a concentration in acrylic painting and illustration. She has been creating artworks for the past 20 plus years Her works have been exhibited in the Northern NJ region and in NYC. 


Initially I started 2020  with self reflection. I started  looking back at my Andean and Taino heritage and studying various pre-columbian societies with the description of one’s self identity as starting from a place where the person originates from. My pieces incorporate the influence of aztec symbols and textiles, but also demonstrate the influence that a knowledge of past cultures has on one’s current identity. 

 With the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 the sense of self became harder to identify. There was a surreality in a sense and a feeling of the world turned upside down. With new terms as the “new normal” and “essential” we all went from a place of having everyday expectations of living to suddenly not having any grounding on what self was. I am working sometimes on flat imagery on the picture plane  intermixed into a neo surrealist atmosphere. I use contemporary images in some of my work as well.  

Some of my  work involves the study of past Central and South American civilizations before Spain’s arrival. While other paintings deal with current events such as the pandemic. I want to incorporate into my art the use of various imagery, textile patterns, various Gods, and the idols from Incas Aztecs and Mayan culture. This will serve as a way to both self reflect in my identity and also bring on an awareness of the cultures that were lost due to Spanish colonization. I will also try to create a balance of current events and how it reflects on my self identity as well.

Selected Exhibitions: 

(previous exhibits available on request) 

  • October 2012:  “Visionary Art Show” Part of Jersey City Open Studios Tour.  116 Monticello. Jersey City, NJ. 
  • March 2013: “Strong Women Exhibit”, Congregation Avahas Shalom, Newark, NJ. 
  • May 2013: Monroe Center Studio Tour, Hudson County. Hoboken NJ. 
  • May 2013 ZUFALL WOMEN’S EXHIBIT Zufall health center. Dover NJ. 
  • May 2013 PATERSON ART WALK The Art Factory Paterson  
  • October 2020: Visions of Identity: A Latinx Perspective West Orange Arts Center. West Orange NJ 
  • November 2020: And Justice for All (virtual exhibit) Cement Gallery, Newark  
  • December 2020: Small Works Show Art House Gallery, Jersey City NJ 
  • March 2021: Women’s History Month Group Exhibition John W. Meagher Rotunda Gallery, Jersey City NJ 
  • April to May 2021:Dear Mama Perspectives on American Motherhood, West Orange Arts Center. West Orange NJ. 
  • August 2021: Femme Fatal (Group Show) Outlander Gallery, Jersey City NJ 
  • October 2021: Sotto Voce Urban Matters Gallery Space. Newark NJ. 
  • January 2022: Mujeres del 2021 Curator: Bisa Wendy Washington. Studio Montclair, Montclair NJ. 
  • June 2022: State of the Arts 2022 @ The Leach Gallery Director: Susanna Baker. Studio Montclair, Montclair NJ. 
  • September 2022: Unidos Para Siempre” Bloomfield Civics Center. Curator: Maria Estrela. 
  • September – October 2022: We + They = Us! Fourth Annual Celebration of Hispanic and Latin Artists. The Gallery Space. Rahway NJ. Curator: Lawrence Cappiello. 
  • October 2022: Festival, Fiestas, and Feasts. West Orange Arts Council. West Orange NJ. 
  • October 2022: Artful Healing. Part of the Newark Arts Festival 2022. Newark Museum of Art. Newark NJ. 
  • October 2022: The Keeping: Whole + Connected. Femme Curators/ The Healers Space. 17 Academy St. Newark NJ.  
  • November 2022: Small Works Artist Show. West Orange Arts Council. West Orange NJ. 
  • January 2023: Mythos. The Gallery Space. Rahway NJ.