RICHLAND — An artist known for his portraits of farm workers is speaking this week to Mid-Columbia educators and students as part the WSU Tri-Cities early outreach programs.
 
Simón Silva has appeared before thousands of students of all ages nationwide, focusing on the importance of self-expression and developing personal creativity. His speeches include anecdotes from his childhood and his own journey toward a successful career as an artist.
 
He will speak from 8 to 10:30 a.m. May 7 at WSU Tri-Cities in East Auditorium, 2710 University Drive, Richland. While his 90-minute presentation is targeted at university faculty and staff, especially those in the GEAR UP and Latina/o Early Outreach programs, the session at WSU Tri-Cities is open to the public and admission is free.
 
Silva’s paintings depict stylized portraits of farm workers bending to harvest crops, suns radiating heat, and picturesque fields and valleys.
 
“My images are simplistic, powerful, beautiful, and about the Chicano culture,” Silva said. “I have used these images — scenes I used to be ashamed of — to empower myself and other Chicanos.”
 
Silva is visiting GEAR UP and Latina/o Outreach schools throughout the region. Check with each school specific times and to confirm media access to the sessions.
•  Stevens Middle School in Pasco, 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5
•  Ephrata Middle School, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday, May 6
•  Soap Lake Middle School, 12:30 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 6
•  College Place Middle School, 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 7
•  North Franklin schools in Connell, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 8