As a fine artist, illustrator, and aspiring art educator, Jessica Bastidas intends to create text and imagery that will assist young learners, locally and abroad, as they combat recurring themes of cultural alienation, disenfranchisement, and racial stereotyping. Bastidas’s works are often grounded in her observations of historical, social, and political currents that effect culture, the family unit, and individual identity. Ideally, these works will simultaneously educate and empower viewers and readers to adopt the compassion necessary to develop into committed stewards for this Earth and its peoples. Bastidas is currently a Junior at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. She is pursuing a dual major in Illustration and Humanistic Studies with a minor in Art History. Additionally, Bastidas is enrolled in MICA’s Masters in Art and Teaching program. Over the years, Bastidas has exhibited primarily in PA, NY, and MD. Furthermore, Bastidas has exhibited in Italy, São Tomé, France, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and the United Kingdom.