Irene “Xirenita” Juárez O’Connell is a Xicana visual artist, muralist, community organizer, and cultural worker committed to uplifting visions of healing justice for marginalized communities through the mediums of vibrant paint and collaborative process. Irene’s murals, paintings and illustrations play at the intersection of storytelling, cultural identity and historical memory. Originally from San Fernando, Irene currently serves as a Co-Executive Director for “Food,What?!” a youth empowerment and food justice organization based in Santa Cruz County, CA.
Irene received her Bachelors of Arts in both Public Art and Latin American & Latino Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012.
Bachelors of Arts in Visual Art and Bachelors of Arts in Latin American & Latino Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2012
Pencas del Corazon, group show, co-Lead Curator. Pajaro Valley Arts, Summer 2021.
Califas Legacy Project, group show. Monterey Museum of Art. Summer 2020
Comida es Medicina, group show. Galleria de la Raza, San Francisco. Fall 2018
Art/Now/Next, group show. Santa Cruz Art League, Winter 2017
Public Art Projects
Imagining a Cop-Free Campus mural, lead artist. University of California, Santa Cruz. July 2023. 10’ x 13’
Don’t Risk Our World Protest Street Mural, lead artist. Exploratorium, San Francisco. April 2022. 20’ x 10’
Aulintak Storm Drain Mural, lead artist. Beach Flats Park, Santa Cruz. August 2021. 8’ x 20’
Community is Collective Care Multimedia Mural Installation, lead artist. Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. August 2020. 8’ x 10’
Tlaloc Storm Drain Mural, lead artist. Beach Flats Park, Santa Cruz. August 2019. 8 ’x 8’
El Centro Mural Installation, lead artist. Chabot College, Hayward. March 2019. 8’ x 10’
Aprendiendo del Pasado, Siempre Mirando Hacia El Futuro Mural in Beach Flats Park. September 2017. 6’ x 91’
Creative Resistance Arts Trainer, Indigenouos Peoples' Power Project (IP3) 2020-present
Lead artist for Amah Mustsun Tribal Band's Protect Juristac Campaign
Collaborated with Beach Flats Residents to repaint vandalized mural, September 2017
Mural Collaboration with Favianna Rodriguez at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, March 2016
Studio support for artist printmaker Favianna Rodriguez