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Formally educated in Art History at UC Berkeley, San Diego South Bay native Jhelen Ramirez possesses a wealth of knowledge which she uses to inform her works. Boundlessly creative, Jhelen splits her time between creative writing, photography, and freelance mural work. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, her content explores the experiences of growing up over the last 3 decades as a natural disaster refugee in a border community - a perspective more pertinent than ever. Though well-travelled, she navigates the world through a lens informed by growing up in San Diego’s South Bay neighborhoods. This diverse community allowed her to not only understand social class and access, but experience a culture that was built on immigrants and working class people. 

Jhelen received her Master’s of Business Administration from UC Riverside and her strong business acumen combined with her art background proved to be useful when collaborating with her husband as the two often pursue ambitious large scale and out of state works. Recent work has been in collaboration with him in the American Southwest and, locally, in San Diego’s own flourishing Barrio Logan. Also an avid traveler, Jhelen has ventured throughout the US, the Philippines and Europe, meeting fellow artists and art enthusiasts along the way. These interactions have had a profound effect on her ideas, taking on an analytical approach to bridging cultural identity with fine art. 

Deeply interested in color theory, Jhelen approaches her murals using carefully placed bright colors and creating contrast. She derives much of her inspiration from photographs and historical art history paintings which aim to deconstruct traditional forms and figures. As a photographer, she enjoys playing with light and composition through digital and film.

Most recently, Jhelen has decided to complete a Women’s Study certificate at San Diego State University with a long-term goal of pursuing the master’s program. Revisiting this field and learning new theories has inspired her to think about Filipina/Filipinx bodies in relation to labor under patriarchy and imperialism historically and in present times. 

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