The secret’s out: ArtWalk 2017 has named its Artists of Distinction!

Maribel Hernandez is the local artist selected to be honored at this year’s festival. A native of Michoacan, Mexico, Hernandez now works from her studio at Bell Arts Factory. Her love of color is expressed in the diverse media in which she chooses to work: painting, ceramics, interior and graphic design and even jewelry. “My art reflects this intuitive spontaneity in all its elements: color, style, shape and design,” she says in her ArtWalk statement. “I am an artist whose driving passion is to capture emotion and feeling beyond apparent aesthetic beauty.”

Maribel Hernandez

ArtWalk’s third Global Artist of Distinction (the program began in 2015) is Afghan street artist Shamsia Hassani. Her vibrant murals and paintings of women in burqas are simultaneously an homage to her heritage and a recognition of “the strength and humanity of the woman beneath, despite her covering.” Born in Teheran, Iran, she is now a resident of Kabul, Afghanistan, where she teaches at Kabul University and co-founded the Berang Arts Organization.

The work of both artists will be focal points of the upcoming festivities in October, and on display at Bell Arts Factory (Hernandez) and Vita Art Center (Hassani). Congratulations to these talented luminaries, who grace our community with their presence and their art.

ArtWalk 2017 takes place Oct. 7-8 in Downtown Ventura and the Westside. For more information, visit