Aida Mancillas was an artist working in San Diego, California on projects ranging from paintings, installations, and artists books, to large scale public art works. She received her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts from Humboldt State University, and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Ms. Mancillas received numerous awards for her work including a national fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for "works on paper," one of 17 awarded nationally in 1991. Her public art work has garnered Orchid Awards from the American Institute of Architects, San Diego, and has also been honored by the American Planners Association.
Ms. Mancillas exhibited widely and her work has been part of two major traveling exhibitions in the 1990's: "La Frontera / The Border: Art About the Mexico/United States Border Experience" (San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art & Centro Cultural de la Raza); and "Ceremony of the Spirit: New Expressions of Latino Spirituality." (The Mexican Museum). In the early 1990's she was a founding member of the seminal women artists group, Las Comadres, and exhibited with that group until its disbanding in the mid 1990s.
Ms. Mancillas began working with large scale public art works in 1992 when she began work on the Vermont Street Pedestrian Bridge project. Since then she contributed numerous works to San Diego County. Her final project for the public - an all solar, low-income family housing project, designing areas of the hardscape as well as a community playground. The Solara Housing Project opened in the city of Poway, CA in June 2007.
Ms. Mancillas served for six years as a city commissioner with the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture. She was also a founder of the public art advocacy group Public Address.
Ms. Mancillas passed away in the Spring of 2009 at her home in San Diego, CA surrounded by the love of her family. She leaves a legacy of light, creativity, determination, and an unmatched generosity.
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