Yadira Aidé “Yaya” Silva is a Mexican American multidisciplinary artist from San Antonio, Texas, who specializes in drawing and painting. In January of 2019, she joined SAY Sí, where she created her first installation for Stories Seldom Told. Silva’s work is centered around themes of class, race, solidarity, power, and the first-generation US citizen experience. Silva was extremely involved in the National Hispanic Honor Society, Art Club, and even started a Gender and Sexuality Alliance at her high school. Silva also served as a youth mentor in SAY Sí’s WAM program. Silva, at 17 years old, is a first-generation college graduate, from San Antonio College where she graduated with an Associate’s of Liberal Arts in May before attaining her high school diploma in June 2020. She will be entering the University of Texas at San Antonio's fine arts college as a junior in the Fall of 2020. Silva dedicates her time to trying to educate others and have discussions in her everyday interactions, and continues to create art about her identity, class, autonomy, and racial injustices.
This series of mixed media pieces covers the topic of exclusion of Black and Brown people in countercultures, such as the punk scene and the hippie movement. When I first started going to shows in middle school and became involved in the “scene” online, I noticed an overwhelming presence of white males gatekeeping, controlling, and usually limiting access for young Black and Brown people. In researching racial discrimination affecting counterculture, I encountered documentaries that expressed what I was noticing: “Beyond The Screams,” “Afropunk,” and the Texan film “OffCenter” inspired me to create these pieces. The portraiture in my pieces is done in Prismacolor with painted backgrounds and a collage element in each piece for added contrast and an element of DIYness reminiscent of what I’ve seen in the local music scene. Each piece is inspired by a different counterculture’s musical posters. The portraits are of my friends, who live through the virtues that resonate within those countercultures, like love, peace, self-expression, and revolution. The final 2 pieces, “La Lucha” and “Power to the People” are a reflection of current events. The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the US government caused distrust in governments, state, federal, and local.The exposure of paycheck-to-paycheck living and abhorrent health care, among other things, inspired me to create these pieces. Furthermore, the racial injustices BIPOC (Black, Indegenous, and People of Color) continue to face is unacceptable, and as a Queer Latina woman, I feel it is my absolute duty to stand in solidarity against police brutality and systemic racism. In creating these acrylic on paper paintings, I was able to emulate my perception. Art is a way to communicate education, and messages about power, solidarity, and consciousness are communicated in the paintings. I hope to inspire my audience to become educated, as well as understand autonomy and alliance.