Rafael was born in Santa Rosa de Lima, a small town in El Salvador, and raised in the village of Lajoya.  He went to school in Canton Copetillo Cacerio la Emerita and Centro Escolar Caserio Martin Baro Canton La Joya. In 2013, he moved to the United States so that he could find a safe place far from violence.  He arrived to Maryland and enrolled in Northwestern High School. He discovered my love for art when He took Art 1 class in his sophomore year and this lead to being part of the Visual and Performing Arts Program.  In his senior year, he attended CreativeWorks job training program at Joe’s Movement Emporium. He graduated from Northwestern in May 2017. This past summer, he apprenticed at Art on the Block. The arts that he create not only reflects his life as an individual but also the lives of many other young immigrants in this country who work hard towards their dreams. Currently, he is studying studio art at Montgomery Community College and have a studio at Red Dirt Studios. His goal is to become an art teacher, and contribute through the arts, to make a better life for the youth whom are still in El Salvador. He hope to keep creating art about immigration injustices, explore different mediums, and one day teach art.


  • Montgomery Community College, Silver Spring, MD  2017-Present
  • Northwestern High School, Hyattsville, MD.                                    Grad. 2017
  • Visual and Performing Arts Program
  • CreativeWorks Workforce Development Program                             2016-2017
  • Joe’s Movement Emporium , Mt. Rainier, MD                                           2017
  • Apprentice, Arts on the Block, Kensington, MD                           Summer 2017


  • Alonzo Davis, Sculptor
  • Margaret Boozer, Visual Artist

Group Exhibitions and Shows

  • Passages exhibition. Target gallery, Torpedo Factory                                  2018
  • Senior exhibition, Northwestern High school, Hyattsville, MD                     2017
  • CreativeWorks Showcase, Joe’s Movement Emporium, Mt. Rainier,  MD
  • Eyes Choose Love, Gateway Media Arts lab, Mt. Rainier, MD
  • Littlewins, The Fridge DC, Washington, DC                                                2017
  • The Latino Diaspora, University of Maryland, College Park, MD                    2017
  • El Salvador Home and Belonging, Montgomery College Art Center, MD        2017
  • La Peña, Salvadoran Consulate, Montgomery County,  MD 2017
  • Noche Cultural. Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD                             2017


  • “He picked up a paint  brush and discovered a world of opportunity,”  by Arelis R. Hernandez, The Washington Post, (May 7, 2017)


  • Most Artistic and Dedication, Northwestern High School                     2016-2017