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The Art Tells the Story

Stories can be told through many methods – writing, speaking and also artwork. Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School Middle School and Upper School students attended a program with local artist Yehimi Cambrón on Thursday, Oct. 28, to learn her story of immigration to America as expressed through her art. 

Ms. Cambrón and her family immigrated to Atlanta from a small town in Mexico when she was 7 years old. As she struggled to learn English, “the art classroom was a safe space for me,” Ms. Cambrón said. 

She attended Cross Keys High School and earned a Fulbright scholarship to Agnes Scott College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art. After graduation, she earned acceptance to Teach for America and taught in a bilingual elementary school in Clayton County for several years, then returned to Cross Keys to teach art for two years. 

During that time, Ms. Cambrón continued to create her own artwork and completed freelance art projects as well. Much of her artwork shared the stories of her family’s journey, often using a butterfly as a symbol of immigration. 

As her artwork became known in the community, she was commissioned for several large mural projects, including “We Give Each Other the World,” located in Hapeville on a building exterior. Another mural called “Atlanta’s Immigrants” was commissioned for the Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Students asked about the challenges of creating such large pieces. Ms. Cambrón has worked on exterior lifts, sometimes not in the best weather conditions. She has also used projectors of her pre-drawn images to ensure she paints the artwork in proper proportion to the space. 

“I really liked her talk,” Haidee Quechol ’23 said. “My parents were born in Mexico and her story touched me.” 

She attended the program along with Upper School students from AP Art, the Program for Global Studies, AP Spanish and select Middle School students. 

Ms. Cambrón’s artwork has been displayed at Coca-Cola headquarters, Oglethorpe University, Agnes Scott College, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the High Museum of Art. 

-- Christina Mimms