Portuguese American Artists Gallery

Maria Estrela

Newark, NJ

Maria Estrela was born in Cascais, Portugal and raised in a large extended family from Cape Verde, West Africa. Settling in Newark, NJ in 2002, she attended The Newark School of the Arts in 2008, where she was able to further develop, explore and broaden her interest in digital photography. Estrela’s photographs of  nature and scenes from independent travels serve as a means of self expression, escape and self-healing. Photography is where she finds stillness and freedom, and a doorway to connect to her inner self.

While at The Newark School of the Arts, she met Andrew Cohen, a teacher and mentor who had a tremendous influence in shaping her artistic eye. His support inspired her to go deep into herself and trust her instincts in exploring the magic of photography.

Traveling annually to culturally diverse destinations ( Greece, Morocco, Spain, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland, Cape Verde, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, ) she seeks out places that reminds her of home.  Photography is her biggest passion and she invites the viewer into a place where he or she can find peace and happiness.

Collage started when Maria met the Artist Mansa Mussa in 2018,  in one of his collage workshops. Since that first experience, collage/mixed media became part of her artistic development.

website: www.mariaestrela.com
Email: marialuis817@gmail.com 


Nina - 2020
collage 13"×10"

In the last months, Estrela has focused on collage work and has created works of art honoring Nina Simone and Harriet Tubman, whom she sees as examples of strong women in our history.

“I feel like women aren't recognized for the work they do, so I started creating more art related to that, and in the form of empowering women and Black women because from my experience it’s a way for me to express what I was feeling and feel about what Black women are going through.”

2020 - Mixed Media 26"×18"
Untitled I 
2019 - Mixed Media 32"×24"
The Colors on Me
2019 - Mixed media 8"×10"

The Colors on Them
2019 - Mixed Media 8"×10"


2020 - Mixed Media 30"×18

Mãe Querida
2020 - Collage/Mixed Media 36"×24"

Grows on me
2019 - Mixed Media 8"×10"

Untitled 2
2020 - Collage 16"×20"

Queen of Wakanda
2019 - Mixed Media 30"×24"