onica Mendes was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. She worked in public relations field for about two years before moving to Peru, and later to the United States with her husband and their three children. Living in Miami, she became a Professional Personal Trainer for twelve years. Although neither was her ultimate passion, both professions gave her great insight into peoples’ physical and verbal expressions. This insight shaped how she saw her surrounds and herself, and became the source of her expression as an artist.
Monica’s passion for the arts started when she was a child, soaking in the life-lessons distilled by those who were to become her role models. Her grandmother, mother, and aunt, were not only art lovers but also dedicated painters. Her years living in Brazil, and Peru – two very culturally rich countries – further influenced her artistic perspective. Despite having roots in her childhood, it was not until six years ago that Monica endeavored to immerse herself in art, enrolling in an art history program for docent guides at the Lowe Museum at the University of Miami. Then, in 2009, she followed this long-time passion by opening her own art studio. Her commitment drove her to obtain her Master Degree of Fine Arts in Painting, in 2016 from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has had two solo exhibitions, Expression of My People in 2015 at the Museum Inima de Paula and at Ponteio Gallery, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Self-Identity in 2016 at Duo Art Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA. Monica has also participated in group exhibitions such as the ArtBrasil at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale and Miami River Gallery in the Art Basel week, Miami, both featuring Favela – Pain That
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