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I create universes with their own constellations, moods, and protagonists. They are informed by nature, its colors, topography, and cell systems. In my work, the female form is distilled into a single line that intertwines with the shadow cast by sewn copper wire. The copper wire symbolizes energy and interconnection, acknowledging the act of sewing, a gesture rooted in the female experience. Here the viewer is encouraged to approach the canvas, where rendered eyes emerge. These elements come to life by the viewer's own movement. In this moment, surprise unfolds at smiley faces looking back, happy to see them.


Mariestella Colón Astacio (b. Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, 1970) is a painter based in the greater Atlanta region. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, she pursued her art education at the San Juan League of Art Students and the Central School of Visual Arts in Santurce, PR.In 1988, she won a prize in the National Talent Search Award of the Pratt Institute in New York. This marked the beginning of her academic journey in the United States, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in 1992. She furthered her education with a Master of Arts from New York University in an exchange program held in NYC and Venice, Italy, in 1994.

Mariestella's work has been showcased in exhibitions including La Galería de Arte USC in Santurce, PR, the Masur Museum of Contemporary Art in Monroe, LA, Tomorrow’s Stars at Verge Art Fair in NYC, and exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico in Santurce and the Museo de Las Americas in Old San Juan, PR. 

From 2002 to 2007, Mariestella actively contributed to the art community by serving as a board member of NurtureART Non-Profit Inc. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in establishing the NURTUREart Gallery and Emerging Curators Resource Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her responsibilities included overseeing staff, organizing events, and fundraising efforts.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017 | Crystal Spirits , 201 W Marcy St, Santa Fe, NM

2016 | Crystal Spirits , Pier 94 – 711 12th Ave, New York, NY

2012 | Mira Mira! Look up., La Galería de Arte USC, Santurce, PR

2006 | Recent Paintings, Cutting Vision Corporate, 665 Broadway, NYC

2004 | Cellular Form, QTIP Galleries, Flushing, NY

2003 | Ficciones y Periferias, Museo Las Américas, PR

2002 | Recent Paintings, Andreas Esberg, 500 Fifth Ave, NYC

2000 | Trazos e Illusiones, Pamil Fine Arts, San Juan, PR

1999 | De Mujer a Mujer, Banco Bilbao y Vizcaya, San Juan, PR

1998 | Recent Paintings, Liga de Arte de San Juan, PR

1997 | Recent Paintings, Andreas Esberg, 500 Fifth Ave, NYC

1995 | FutureUnknown.com

1994 | Graduate Exhibition, Grey Galleries, NYC

1993 | Mujer, Citibank Headquarters, Bayamon, PR

1993 | Transformaciones… Colegio de Contadores de PR, San Juan, PR

Selected Group Shows

2022 | Transcending Boundaries, Yuan Ru Art Center, Seattle, WA

2018 | USC: 20th Anniversary Exhibition And Tribute To Myrna Báez, Galería De Arte Usc, Santurce, Puerto Rico

2017 | [99+1= la centena] Galería De Arte Usc, Santurce, Puerto Rico

2012 | Group Show, (3rd place best of show), Masur Museum of Contemporary Art, LA

2012 | Tomorrow’s Stars, Verge Art Fair, NY, NY

2008 | Exposición Colección Reyes-Veray , Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

2007 | MICROSPACE, Cheryl McGinnes Gallery, NY, NY

2006 | LOST IN PLACE, Planet Thailand, Brooklyn, NY, NY

2004 | Group Show, LMCC Gallery, NY, NY

2003 | Group Show, Arte Iberoamericano Contemporaneo, Córdoba, Argentina.

2003 | Exhibit of the Permanent Collection, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico

2003 | Muestra Nacional, Museo La Puntilla, Instituto de Cultura de PR, SanJuan PR

2003 | Subasta Beneficio a los Artistas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce, PR

2003 | De Mujer, Hotel Cariobe Hilton, PR

2003 | Nurturing the NEW, 114 E 17thST, Chelsea, NY, NY

2002 | Subasta Beneficio a los Artistas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce, PR

2001 | Symbolism, Time Square Gallery, NY, NY

2000 | Small Works, Pamil Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2000 | Subasta Beneficio a los Artistas, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce, PR

2000 Women and Abstraction, ACC Gallery, Atlantic City, NJ

1994 Grey Galleries, NYU, NY, NY

1993 Positive/NegativeIX, Slocumb Galleries, Tennessee

1997th Annual Women in the Visual Arts, Erector Square Gallery, New Haven, CT

199Group Show, Williams Arts Center, Rutherford, New Jersey

199Group Show, School of Architecture, Venice, Italy

1992 9th Annual Exhibit, Art Gallery of Fells Point, Baltimore, MD

1998 | Young Women Artists, Museum of Art History, San Juan, PR


1988 -1992 | BFA, Pratt Institute, NYC

1992 – 1995 | MA, New York University, NYC

Art Community & Leadership Roles

2003 – 2013

NURTUREart Non-Profit Inc., Board of Trustees / Advisory Board. NurtureART was an organization dedicated to the development of contemporary artists and curators in all of their career stages; bringing both together through our artist registry.

1999 – 2014
Founder and Executive Director of GalleryArtist.com, a fine arts online community which provided template-based websites (Flash and Html), an integrated event calendar system, and, e-commerce to its members. GA was an online alternative art space, art forum, and art listing dedicated to the promotion and exposure of emerging artists.


Pratt National Talent Search, NYC

Watercolor Competition, Sponsored by the Governor of PR

2012 | Group Show, (3rd place best of show), Masur Museum of Contemporary Art, LA

2012 | Tomorrow’s Stars, Verge Art Fair, NY, NY