Luz Marrero: Escaping through art

After leaving her abusive husband, Luz Marrero used art to heal and create a new life for her family.

Presented by: Our York Media

Two years ago, Luz Marrero spent a First Friday painting henna tattoos. As she sat on the sidewalk painting her designs on hands and arms, happy people bustled around her, making dinner plans and enjoying a warm summer evening.

To them, it was beautiful artwork — a souvenir of the night. To her, it was survival.

She made $90 that night.

It was her escape money.

Luz left her abusive husband four days later.

She made it out with her life and her kids but no plan.

They were homeless.

They moved from one place to the next, staying with friends and family as they worked to piece their lives back together.

It was hard. But she had her children, and she had her art.

Freedom, hope, inspiration, love. All of those things are in my paintings now.

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Luz Marrero

Face painting, sketching, painting recycled material — to Luz, the medium isn’t important.

“I have to get the art out of me,” she says. “I have to art.”

When things were at their worst in her marriage, her drawings were dark.

Now, bold and bright colors cover her canvases.

“Freedom, hope, inspiration, love. All of those things are in my paintings now,” she says.

She’s moved into a place of her own, and it’s filled with art of her making.

Art is what gave her the strength to leave her husband, and it’s what’s helped her rebuild her life.

It’s been a process, she says.

There are still moments of guilt and self-doubt. But she has her kids, her life, and her art.

“I’m not healed completely,” she says. “But I know I’m going to get through it.”

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