Terry A. Ybanez is an artist and educator. She has exhibited her paintings and prints in the US, Mexico, Argentina, France and Kuwait. She is an art educator of 35 years and is currently teaching art at Brackenridge High School. Ms. Ybanez has illustrated three children’s books: Hairs/Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros, The Christmas Tree/El Arbol de La Navidad by Alma Flor Ada and It’s Not Fair/No Es Justo by Carmen Tafolla & Sheryl Teneyuca. She is currently working on a series called The Family Tree which focuses on four descendent families of Mission San Jose and a second project on one of her favorite genres, still lifes.

Ms. Ybanez has served on the Blue Star Board 1986-1987, Say Si! Board 1993-1999, President of the Board JumpStart Theater 1993-1990, President of the Board for Stonemetal Press, on the City of San Antonio Cultural Arts Board 2004-2008, Vice President of Friends of Mission Library 2011-2009, President of Friends of Mission Library 2009-current and President Mission San Jose Neighborhood Association 2016-current.

Terry also volunteers running the Make-n-Take for the World Heritage Office (WHO) events: Market Days at the Mission Marquee, World Heritage Festival, Dia De Los Muertos, and Viva Poesia.

Ms. Ybanez recently was awarded a grant from Green Spaces Alliance for making an irrigation system for the Mission Library Community Garden. Friends of the Mission Library are members of Green Spaces Alliance. The garden was begun by our first President, Robert Anguiano. The Friends of Mission Library continue to facilitate the garden with the guidance of volunteers and garden stewards. Our board continues to follow the mission that Mr. Anguiano placed to help our library be a vital resource for our community. She has also curated several art exhibits at Mission Library: El Arbol De Vida by Veronica Castillo Salas and art students from Brackenridge High School, Las Missiones by Richard Arredondo, and Altares by Brackenridge High School Art Students. She has taken Brackenridge High School Art students to travel abroad to France, England, Greece, Spain and Italy.

She provided the following statement about the piece featured on the cover this week:

“One of the genres of painting I have focused on is still lifes. I use the still life as a visual poem about my culture and my life using the symbolism of objects and color. This altar uses the statue of St. Theresa to represent a woman’s question about life (the shell), her ancestors (the “Maya” matches and the Mexican Cloth), the can of paint brushes (her passion for arte), the hand in the sign of peace (her belief that peace is possible) and the invisible alien pyramid ship with the Mayan god Kukulcan (her questions about the unknown). The document on the bottom right corner gives the definition of alienation. The color yellow represents memory and stimulation of not fearing the unknown. Latina women have a history of being an alien in their own nation. In the past women were not allowed to vote, own property, have certain jobs, have an abortion. Even now, women must fight for their rights in a political circle of men, white men. St. Theresa is my santita. Her purity and calmness inspire me to do better, be a better human being and not to fear the unknown. This altar is thanking her for inspiring me to question everything in my life, to belong, to have compassion and to not fear the unknown.”