Connected community is the practice of working to understand the social issues affecting our community, actively promoting awareness of other perspectives, and fostering understanding through the visual arts.

VisArts’ strength is our ability to bring people together through shared creative experiences, fostering exposure to new perspectives, mutual respect, and a truly connected community.



Michelle Izquierdo is a locally- based artist who was born and raised in Montgomery County and earned her B.F.A from the University of Maryland.

She possesses a unique eye for color and draws inspiration from the vibrant images and various textures observed in everyday life. Michelle believes art should be an interactive experience and she strives to create art that is engaging and multi-dimensional and encourages viewers to touch her art in the hope it will stimulate other senses and enrich the overall experience.

With the onset of the COVID pandemic, Michelle began participating in a painting challenge that requires artists to work over the course of a month on the same canvas for ten minutes each day. The work highlighted in the video was created in July as the country was entering its fourth month of the pandemic and reacting to the heartbreak and horror of new instances in the ongoing issue of police brutality and racial tension. The painting challenge allowed Michelle to create freely and allow her emotions to spill onto the canvas.

In describing her work, Michelle notes, “Brick by brick, layer by layer, we live in a society that does not support the uplifting of all of its people.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges, it has also given us an opportunity to look at all of our actions without distractions, and to build a new society based on love and respect.”

Michelle regularly creates color-inspired and upbeat paintings for commission. She has showcased her artwork throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York, and London. To feed her artistic hunger and connect with the community Michelle teaches painting classes at VisArts.