Vital Voices Unveils Portrait of Kamala Harris on Future Headquarters
Women’s Leadership Organization Partnered with Local DC Artist Tronja Anglero
January 19, 2021 – Vital Voices is celebrating women’s leadership and the barriers Vice President Kamala Harris is breaking as the first woman, first Black person and first person of South Asian descent to serve as Vice President.
To mark this historic occasion, Vital Voices partnered with local DC artist and activist Tronja Anglero to create a new portrait honoring Kamala Harris and highlighting the significance of this moment for women and girls in the United States and around the world.
“At Vital Voices, we’ve been supporting and amplifying women leaders for more than two decades — we are deeply aware of the awe-inspiring significance of this moment,” said Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices. “Representation matters. The inauguration of Kamala Harris as our nation’s first woman Vice President ushers in a new era in America, one where women can lead from the highest seats of political power and little girls’ dreams have no limits. She may be the first, but she will not be the last.”
“It’s an honor to create this new portrait of Vice President Harris, bringing a jubilant portrayal of strength to the nation’s Capital and paying homage to her heritage and the background that brought her to where she is today,” said artist Tronja Anglero. “There is so much symbolism incorporated into this portrait: from the patterns and textures woven into the background paying tribute to her Jamaican and South Asian heritage, to the powerful white suit she wore as a nod to the original suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote – paving the way for the first woman Vice President – to the American flag pin illustrating commitment to service to the United States, to the way that she’s tilting her head as if she is listening an empathizing – a mark of women’s leadership. I wanted to capture her genuine, engaging smile, showing her looking directly at us ready to take on what’s ahead, as if she’s telling all young girls to be empowered by the possibility of doing what compels them.”
“The insurrection committed by a mob of white supremacists and seditionists on January 6th still looms heavy, especially for the residents of Washington, DC. But we cannot let their actions overshadow the many historic firsts this new Administration is ushering in, starting at the top with Vice President Harris. We wanted to remind our city, and the world, that in the midst of continued threats of violence and fear, this is still a moment for celebration,” said Nelson.
Vital Voices is displaying the portrait on a banner at the future Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership – 1509 16th Street NW in Downtown DC, looking down Black Lives Matter Plaza toward the White House.
Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson sat down with Tronja on the Vital Voices Podcast to talk about the symbolism behind the portrait, and what this new representation will mean for women and girls. Listen to their conversation by subscribing to the Vital Voices podcast on all podcast platforms.
About Vital Voices
Vital Voices Global Partnership invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges – from gender-based violence to the climate crisis, economic inequities, and more. We are “venture catalysts,” identifying those with a daring vision for change and partnering with them to make that vision a reality. We scale and accelerate impact through long term investments to expand skills, connections, capacity and visibility. Over the last 24 years, we have built a network of 18,000 change makers across 182 countries, each of whom are daring to reimagine a more equitable world for all.
To learn more about Vital Voices, please visit www.vitalvoices.org or follow us on social media @VitalVoices.
About Tronja Anglero
Tronja is an emerging fine-art creator based in Virginia, where she is using art to tell stories from the past, present, and future. Tronja earned her BFA in Fine Arts and Illustration from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Today, Tronja’s style is strongly influenced by her work in the garment industry, as she continues to utilize bold, vibrant colors, experimental textures, and dramatic movement strokes. She uses these techniques and various mediums, including mixed media collage, acrylic, ink, and gouache, to depict expressive female forms with vivid emotion. Tronja is passionate about painting celebrations, rituals, and customs, and their relationships with women of color and liberation from across the globe.
To learn more about the artist behind the portrait, please visit https://tronjagallery.com/ or her Instagram @tronmask.