About MayaMaya Gonzalez is an artist, author, educator, activist, peacemaker, publisher, equality lover, obsessive recycler, traveler, river lover, tree talker, sky kisser......

Call Me Tree - Best Books of 2014 that Celebrate DiversityHer fine art graces the cover of Contemporary Chicano/a Art and is well documented as part of the Chicano Art Movement. She has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books, several of which she also wrote, Her book My Colors, My World won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award Honor from the American Library Association and her picture book, Call Me Tree was listed in Kirkus’ Best Picture Books of 2014 that Celebrate Diversity. Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. Her work with children in public schools helped her develop several lines of curriculum that offer a holistic approach to learning and open doors to new ways of thinking and relating in the world. In 2009 she co-founded Reflection Press, an independent press that publishes radical and revolutionary children’s books, and works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness. And in 2013, Maya co-created an online learning environment called School of the Free Mind about expanding the mind and reclaiming the creative. The School offers e-courses for those who are ready to uncover and connect with their unique and most powerful way of living and creating. Her latest courses include sharing everything she knows about creating children's books, living life as your work of art, and manifesting your reality using peace as a path in! In 2015, Maya launched Write Now! Make Books series for kids through Reflection Press, a free, playful, in-depth program that engages kids and teens in the very real conversation of diversity in their books. Maya lives and plays in San Francisco with her two powerful kids and her partner Matthew.

View Maya's online 'Media Kit' here>>

Maya's Resume

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Books

Children's & Young Adult Books Children's & Young Adult Books
View List of Maya's Children's & YA Books by Publisher and Year

Reflection Press, San Francisco, CA

Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, New York, NY (imprint as of 2012)

Barefoot Books, Cambridge, MA

  • 2001 “Fiesta Femenina” anthology of Mexican folktales about women, retold by Mary-Joan Gerson
    American Folklore Society’s Aesop Prize 2001
    Parent’s Choice Recommended List 2001
    Booklist Editor’s Choice
    Booklist Top Ten Children’s Books On Women’s History

Pearson Education, Inc., (Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley), Cambridge, MA

  • 1999 “Amigos Inseparables” by Nicholasa Mohr for Reading 2000

Rigby, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Chicago, IL

  • 2001 “What Fine Gardeners”
  • 1998 “Face Toward the Sky”
  • 1996 “I Come From Two Lands”
  • 1996 “The Crying Mountain”

Other Books & Articles Other Books & Articles
View List of Maya's Other Books & Articles

Reflection Press, San Francisco, CA

Published Articles

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Fine Art

Solo Shows Solo Shows
View List of all of Maya's Past One Woman Shows

  • 2011 Open Studios at Maya’s Art Studio, SF, CA
    View Event Postcard
  • 2010 Open Studios at Maya’s Art Studio, SF, CA
    View Event Postcard
  • 2008-2009 November – January Encantada Galleria, SF, CA “Healing Through” »∴Work created with funding from a 2007 San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant
  • 2007 Encantada Galleria, SF, CA “Nana’s Big Surprise!”
  • 2004 University of Santa Barbara Multicultural Center , CA “Seventh Annual Chicana/o Art Exhibition”
  • 2003 Encantada Galleria, SF, CA “Snake Skull Woman”
  • 1998 Encantada Galleria, San Francisco, CA “For the Momeant: Images of Women and Fruit”
  • 1998 17 Reasons, San Francisco, CA “Maya’s Women”
  • 1997 Galleria Posada, Sacramento, CA “Into the Light”
  • 1995 Studio 24 (Galleria de la Raza), San Francisco, CA “La Llorona”
  • 1994 Studio 24 (Galleria de la Raza), San Francisco, CA “Dias de los Muertos”
  • 1993 Baba Yaga’s Dream, Eugene, OR “Pulse”(installation/performance accompanied show)
  • 1992 New Zone Gallery, Eugene, OR “Come Into the Light”
  • 1989 Keystone Gallery, Eugene, OR “Home”
  • 1988 One Common Thread, Eugene, OR “Images of Women”

Group Shows Group Shows
View List of all of Maya's Past Group Shows

  • 2017 July 23 – Aug 20 Sanchez Contemporary, Oakland, CA “Pasión For Frida”
  • 2016 Oct 15 – Nov 12 Sanchez Contemporary, Oakland, CA “Dia de los Muertos: Altares de Amor”
  • 2016 Sept 3 – Oct 1 Sanchez Contemporary, Oakland, CA “Damas y Diosas”
  • 2015 May 3 – June 28 ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “10th Anniversary Exhibition”
  • 2014 October 5 – Nov 2 ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “Dia de los Muertos Show”
  • 2014 March 2 – Apr 3 ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “Sagrado Corazon”
  • 2013 October 5 – Nov 3 Petaluma Arts Center, Petaluma, CA “Dia de los Muertos Show”
  • 2013 September 15 – Oct 13 ChimMaya Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “Latino Heritage Show”
  • 2013 July 2 – Aug 27 Puerto Alegre, San Francisco, CA “Pasión de Frida”
  • 2011 September 17 – Jan 28 2012 Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, AZ “Mixing It Up: Building an Identity”
  • 2011 August 1-31 ChimMaya Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA “Las Hembras”
  • 2011 June 2-July 5 La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA “Las Mujeres de Valor”
    About Maya’s art in the Show
  • 2011 April 12-June 10 Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA “Labor+a(r)t+orio: Latin@ Arts in the Bay Area Now”
    View Artist’s Statement
  • 2010 January 13-April 3 Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA “21st Annual Children’s Book Illustrators Exhibit”
  • 2009 April 25-July 3 Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, AZ “Outsiders Within”
  • 2009 February 11-March 22 La Raza Galeria Posada, Sacramento, CA “What is this thing called Love?”
  • 2009 January 17– March 21 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, NM “Chicana Badgirls/Las Hociconas”
    View the Exhibition Catalog
  • 2008 June 7–July 12 SF LGBT Center, San Francisco, CA “Fresh Meat in the Gallery V: Riots & Revelations”
    View Event Postcard (featuring artwork by Maya) or View more about the Show
  • 2006-2007 December 16–July 8 Phoenix Airport Museum, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, AZ “Connecting Cultures”
  • 2006 November 1–November 26 Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco de Young, Golden Gate Park, SF, CA “Celebration of Day of the Dead”
  • 2005 March 21-May 16 Hispanic Research Center of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
    “Triumph of Our Communities: Contemporary Mexican American Artists”
  • 2005 March 18-April 30 MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), San Jose, CA
    “Chicana/o Biennial”
  • 2004 Mesa Southwest Museum/Hispanic Research Center of Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ
    “Chicano Art for our Millennium”
    View more about the exhibition
  • 2004 Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago, IL“Dias de los Muertos”
  • 2003 Encantada Galleria, San Francisco, CA “Dias de los Muertos”
  • 2002 Encantada Galleria, San Francisco, CA “Dias de los Muertos”
  • 2002-2004 De Cordova Museum/Gallery on the Go Program – tour
  • 2002-2005 Exhibits USA, Touring Show, “Just Like Me” – catalogue
  • 2001 Mexican Museum, San Francisco, CA “Chicanos en Mictlan: Dia de los Muertos in California” Purchase the Catalog
  • 2001 Destination Foundation, San Francisco, CA “Tails of the City”
    »∴Fundraiser Auction, sponsored by Microsoft
  • 2000 Encantada Galleria, San Francisco, CA “Intimas”
  • 2000 Galleria Posada, Sacramento, CA “Mujeres de la Valle”
  • 2000 Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts and Education, Los Angeles, CA “Hecho En Califas” – Catalogue – 2 year tour
  • 2000 Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA “Tenth Annual Best of Children’s Book Illustrations”
  • 1999 Reading the World Conference, USF, San Francisco, CA
    “From the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Grandfather’s Journey’s”
  • 1999 Pacific Book Auction, San Francisco, CA “Children’s Book Illustrations”
  • 1998 Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA “Dias de los Muertos”
  • 1998 Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA “Ninth Annual The Best of Children’s Book Illustrations”
  • 1997 Encantada Galleria, San Francisco, CA “Dias de Los Muertos”
  • 1995 Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago, IL “Dias de Los Muertos”
  • 1995 Arte Americas: Casa de la Cultura, Fresno, CA “La Luz del Valle”
  • 1995 Benefit Art Auction, Diamond and Jewelry Mart, San Francisco, CA “Artists to Artists in Kobe”
  • 1994 Cooper, White and Cooper, San Francisco, CA “Cultural Expressions”
  • 1994 Somar Gallery, San Francisco, CA “Public/Private”
  • 1993 William White Gallery, Eugene, OR “Group Show”
  • 1993 Maude Kernes Art Center, Eugene, OR “Art in the Vineyard Invitational”
  • 1993 Cinco de Mayo Downtown Invitational, Eugene, OR
  • 1993 New Zone Gallery, Eugene, OR “Zone for All”
  • 1992 New Zone Gallery, Eugene, OR “War and Peace”
  • 1992 Maude Kernes Art Center, Eugene, OR “Art in the Vineyard Invitational”
  • 1991 William White Gallery, Eugene, OR “Group Show”

Books/Articles About or Include Maya Books/Articles About or Include Maya
View List of Books and Articles that are about or include Maya's Art

Publications Using Maya's Artwork Publications Using Maya's Artwork
View List of Publications that Use Maya's Art

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Conferences, Presentations, Teaching & Education

Conference Appearances Conference Appearances
View List of all Past Conferences Maya has Presented at

Teacher & Student Trainings Teacher & Student Trainings
View List of Past Workshops and Presentations with Educators and Students

  • Current Workshops, Lectures, and Presentations: more info
  • 2010 CSUMB (Cal State University, Monterey Bay) student-teacher training, Monterey, CA
  • 2010 January WritersCorps teacher training, San Francisco, CA
  • 2006-2008 Teaching adult and children workshops: universities, conferences, libraries, schools
  • 1996-2003 “Children’s Book Press Outreach Program”
    Teaching students and training teachers in Bay Area and Los Angeles schools
  • 1996-2001 WritersCorps teacher training, San Francisco, CA
  • 1989 “Fearless Art” Class taught at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  • 1989 “Fearless Art for kids” Class taught at Maude Kernes Art Center, Eugene,OR

Founded Press, School & Other Activities Founded Press, School & Other Activities
View List of Maya's Ventures

  • 2015 Oct. Launched Write Now! Make Books series for kids with partner, Matthew
    a free, playful, in-depth program that engages kids and teens in the very real conversation of diversity in their books
    Through direct learning, the Write Now! Make Books materials teach how to make books from story through art all the way to book creation in many of the same ways a professional artist/author does. It includes 2 hours of instructional videos, a field guide, a complete sample story with art to color and make into a practice book. And of course, it uses a social justice frame to support kids and teens in understanding and reclaiming the power of story and how we can use it to strengthen ourselves today and change our world.
  • 2013 Jan. Founded School of the Free Mind with partner, Matthew
    Expanding the Mind| Reclaiming the Creative
    School of the Free Mind provides courses that aid in expanding the mind and reclaiming our creative, intuitive, cooperative human nature. In-home, experiential online courses share the fundamentals of living the creative life, in our thoughts, in our actions, in our expressions, in what we teach our children, and in what we create in our world.
  • 2009 Sept. Founded Reflection Press with partner, Matthew
    An independent publisher based in San Francisco, CA
    With the motto “create a new reality,” Reflection Press is a publisher of radical and revolutionary children’s books and works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness.

Education Education
View Education

  • 1987 Fine and Applied Art Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  • 1984-86 Creative Writing Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

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Interviews & Awards

Guest Appearances & Interviews Guest Appearances & Interviews
View Past Appearances, Interviews & News Articles about Maya

    • 2017 April 23 “Fact or Fiction: Activism for Kids in a New Political Era” Panel at LA Times Festival of Books, Hoy Stage, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    • 2015 April 17 Interview/Article on Watch. Connect Read. Author-illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez read the article >>
    • 2015 April 10 Guest appearance/book reading at LA Times Festival of Books, Children’s Stage, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    • 2015 April 4 Interview/Article on the Huffington Post ‘Call Me Tree’: A Children’s Book With No Gender Specific Pronouns read the article >>
    • 2015 January 28 Article on Windy City Times “Queer children’s book author Gonzalez creates gender-neutral character” read the article >>
    • 2014 December 24 Interview/Article on SF Weekly’s “The Write Stuff” “The Write Stuff: Maya Gonzalez on Feeling What You Feel When You Feel It” read the article >>
    • 2014 Article on Latin Life “A Groundbreaking Book by Bay Area-Based Award Winning Chicana Children’s Author and Illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez” read the article >>
    • 2011 March Guest appearance with Francisco Alarcón on Blog Talk Radio: Writers’ Sanctuary
    • 2009 Fall/Winter Interview/Article in the Reforma Newsletter “Embracing the World’s Reflections: The Creative Expressions of Maya Christina Gonzalez” read the article >>
    • 2008 November Guest appearance and Workshop at San Francisco Green Festival
    • 2007 March Guest appearance with Amada Irma Peréz and Patricia Villasenor on KPFA Women’s Magazine, View the interview on my children’s book website
    • 2004 February 12 Interview/Article in Santa Barbara Independent, “Altered State: Painter, Art Nun, and Shaman Maya Gonzalez” read the article >>
    • 2004 January 23-29 Article featuring Maya in Santa Barbara News Press, Mixed heritage, mixed meanings, CHICANA/O ART EXHIBIT: Maya Gonzalezread the article >>
    • 2004 January 16 Article featuring Maya in Santa Barbara UC Daily Nexus, Artist Imbues Work With Life’s Trialsread the article >>
    • 2002 October 9 Article featuring Maya in San Francisco Chronicle, Kahlo Style: Color, passion, intimacy are the heart of artist’s decorating style/ San Francisco artist Maya Christina Gonzalez in her Mission District homeread the article >>
    • 1999 Guest appearance on Bay Area People/Fox Network as children’s book illustrator
    • 1997 Created and presented plaque to Rigoberta Menchu Tum for San Francisco Women’s Building Mural Dedication
    • 1997 UC Davis Medical Center Collection “Reclining Into Seven”
    • 1992 NEA Grant Jury Board

Grants, Awards, & Recognitions Grants, Awards, & Recognitions
View List of Grants, Awards and Honors Maya has received

  • 2008 Pura Belpre Honor Award, My Colors My World
  • 2007 San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant
  • 2001 “Hispanic Americans Profiles of Excellence”
    Honoree of ABC-7 and San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • 2001 “Hecho En Califas: The Last Decade”
    Certificate of Recognition, State of California Senate
  • 2000 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, My Very Own Room
    Southwest Texas State University, TX
    View the Press Release
  • See also Children’s Books Illustrated & Awards for more awards listed by book

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