Maya Christina Gonzalez has been awarded the Arne Nixon Center Artist-in-Residence Fellowship for fall of 2017. Gonzalez is the second recipient of the award, made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous donor. She will be on campus September 25 – 29, engaging in student learning in a variety of classes, including those in the graphic arts, women’s studies and early childhood education.

A catered reception to welcome Gonzalez to Fresno State will be held on Monday, September 25, in the University Dining Hall from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The public is invited. Gonzalez’ books will be available for sale and autographing.

A free workshop by Gonzalez will be offered on Friday, September 29, in the Kremen Education Building, Room 140. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and will last until 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited to 30 people. The workshop is the product of a collaboration between the Arne Nixon Center, the Henry Madden Library, Fresno State’s Cross Cultural and Gender Center and the Center for Creativity and the Arts.

Gonzalez is an illustrator, author, progressive educator and publisher. The largely self-taught artist has illustrated over 20 books including: “My Diary From Here to There/Mi diario de aquí hasta allá” written by Amada Irma Pérez, “Fiesta Femenina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folklore” written by Mary Joan Gerson and “Prietita and the Ghost Woman” written by Gloria Anzaldúa.

Her colorful and recognizable work has earned numerous awards. Among her many honors, she has received a Pura Belpré Honor Award, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award and an Américas Book Award. Gonzalez is both the author and illustrator of a number of books, including “Mis colores, mi mundo/My Colors, My World, I Know the River Loves Me” and “Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol.”

Since 1996, Gonzalez has presented the importance of creativity as a personal empowerment tool for children and educators. Her work with public school children has helped her develop several lines of curriculum that offer a holistic approach to learning, opening doors to new ways of thinking and relating to the world.

To more extensively examine issues of gender and identity, in 2009 Gonzalez founded a publishing company, Reflection Press. Her educational website, School of the Free Mind (, offers six online courses with full video and workbook instruction for those interested in creating powerful books for children, attaining self-realization and living creatively.

For more information about these events, go to

For event information, including disability accommodations or access, contact Jami Sanford in the Arne Nixon Center at 559.278.8116, or email

Related Links:

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Arne Nixon Center Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page: @ArneNixonCenter