Born in Cartagena, Colombia, Maria Ibarra (FERU is her artistic name) has, since 1999, called Canada home. She currently resides in Guelph, Ontario. Writer, painter, sculptor, and Illustrator, Arts teacher, Maria explores many media and is currently passionate about an expressive form most of us remember with fondness: plasticine. It dominates her current work and inspires her creation of a fantasy world. She has worked in plasticine since she was very young, finding the material the perfect match for her storybook illustrations and themes. “The meaning of happiness, the small details in life that make the difference, childhood dreams, all those things we forget as we lose our innocence, and the unstoppable goodbye of childhood, are the predominant themes of her work. These themes come alive through thousands of colourful dots on a board, each worked by hand with patience and care for the right detail, like a fine work of jewelry.” Most recently you will have seen Maria Art on the 2019 Hillside/ 2020 Hillside Inside posters.