On the occasion of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), Four Freedoms Park Conservancy has engaged its first guest curator, bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Brooklynite, Xochitl Gonzalez. Kicking off her programming is a newly commissioned mural by Latin-American artist Mata Ruda entitled “Esta Tierra Es Nuestra Tierra” (This Land is Our Land).
You can see this large-scale installation for free now through October 15 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
Xochitl Gonzalez is the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Best of 2022 by the New York Times, TIME, Kirkus, Washington Post, and NPR, Olga Dies Dreaming was the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction and The New York City Book Awards. Her new novel, Anita de Monte Laughs Last, is forthcoming in March 2024 from Flatiron Books. As a staff writer for The Atlantic, she was recognized as a 2023 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary.
Mata Ruda (Karl Miller Espinosa) is a Latin-American artist and muralist residing in Newark, New Jersey. Using iconography from both sides of the border, he creates a variety of murals and paintings that empower overlooked communities. His work has been exhibited by institutions including: the Newark Museum, El Museo Barrio in Harlem, the Street Art Museum in Russia, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Since 2012 he has been invited to commissioned to create public murals in Russia, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Mexico, the United States, and more.
Photo: Detail from “Esta Tierra Es Nuestra Tierra” (This Land is Our Land) by Mata Ruta at Four Freedoms Park in 2023 (provided by Roosevelt Island Historical Society).