I think we can all admit that Rochester is a multi-cultural city. To me, that's one the best things about it.

Before I begin, let me take you back to March 30th. On that sunny (yet chilly) afternoon, it proved to be an especially Good Friday. I assembled a group of Rochester artists at Cafe Steam which all happen to female. I figured time's up on them being ignored as part Rochester's art scene; whether it's music, paint, poetry or any other form of art.

TSM Rochester

Meet Eva Cruz Pena. We became friends online because I was interested in her story, and her vibrant paintings. She comes to us as a native of San Juan in Puerto Rico. Specifically, she moved to Rochester from Portland, Oregon. When I hear her speak, I'm reminded of my latin friends on the East Coast (and in Illinois) - it's a warm and familiar feeling. She came to Rochester this past October.

It's obvious to me that Eva mas many passions in life. Firstly, she dresses like a queen! She also loves painting, her children, meditation and helping others reach their personal goals as a life coach. Somehow she has time for all of that!

Her paintings reflect her vibrant energy and a desire for an increase in "feminine energy" within Rochester.

Eva isn't exactly a stranger to Rochester, however. She explains, "We moved here 10 years ago at first [before her most recent move in October], but I'm originally from Puerto Rico. I was a nurse at Mayo Clinic, and then we moved to Oregon. It was going to be a "go to school and come back" sort of thing because my husband's family is here." Now she's back and we're glad to have her!

She started painting "as a way of healing" as she navigated the many moves and a recent health scare which revealed "mold toxicity" in her blood. She uses her painting as a form of art therapy for herself and her clients. She "just started" getting materials ready to paint again. She says, "Art continues to be a healing space for me."

Look for more from Eva soon!

Listen to Val from 10a to 2p on 107.7 Z-Rock.

Listen to Val afternoons from 2p to 6p on Quick Country 96.5