When Make-A-Wish grants a request, it does it in a big way. For one little girl and her artist mentor, her dream became reality when she saw her work displayed not only in a beautiful gallery, but on a Houston billboard.
Melinda Moreno, a pediatric cancer survivor, didn’t ask for the standard trip or meet-and-greet with a celebrity. She asked that her newly discovered passion for painting be fostered by a professional artist, with hopes she could then see her work displayed.
Enter Houston artist Edgar Medina of Winter Street Studio. Edgar had worked with children at the American Cancer Society’s yearly party, and as a native Spanish speaker, he knew he could connect with Melinda and foster her love for learning.
“We worked together for almost two months,” said Edgar. “We started at twice a week, but the full scope became bigger than originally intended, so that by the end, we were doing 2-hour classes, three to four times a week. I knew what was coming, so I pushed myself to go above and beyond to reach the goal.”
What was coming was a professional showing of 13 pieces: four Melinda created on her own, five collaborations, and four by Edgar. They titled the series “Moments Through Seasons,” and both learned from each other as the creative process unfolded.
Melinda said of Edgar, “He taught me how to prepare a canvas, mix colors, use different techniques, how to create textures, and how to look for inspiration by mixing images. It was truly great!”
And in a true “student becomes the teacher” moment, Edgar also learned from 10-year-old Melinda. “She reminded me of the love for the arts and how to find inspiration. Every season was an emotion we captured with colors. How refreshing it was to see such a young girl with such a passion – it reminded me of when I first started.”
When Melinda saw her images displayed at Laura Rathe Fine Art, her excitement was evident in her teary eyes. “My paintings looked different hanging on the gallery walls than how they looked in Edgar’s studio. Seeing our work displayed was very emotional and it made me happy.”
But Make-A-Wish did not stop there. In collaboration with Clear Channel Outdoor, they surprised Melinda with a billboard showcasing her artwork. President and CEO Yara El-Sayed Guest said, “The immeasurable joy this experience brought to Melinda and her family reflects the true magic of the Make-A-Wish mission.”
Edgar Medina: Winter Street Studio, @edgarmedinastudio.