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Artist Fellowship | Features

Featured Guests: Artist, Maite Nazario

At Getaway, we believe nature is an inclusive space where everyone can thrive. In celebration of Pride, we’ve partnered with three Atlanta-based artists who transformed our tiny cabins into expressive, colorful canvases. Today we’re featuring Maite Nazario. Read on to hear our interview with them below, and take a look at how they captured the essence of Pride in their work at Getaway Coosa River.

“Hello, my name is Maite Nazario. My pronouns are they/them, and I am an artist, a muralist based in Atlanta. We are at Getaway Coosa River, and the title of my mural is ‘Be Free’.”

How would you describe your art style?

“I have been an artist since I could pick up a paintbrush and a pen. I remember my earliest memories, drawing and sketching everywhere, and my Mom having to put me in art classes because I couldn’t figure out how to not paint on the walls. I would describe my art as research-based, detail-oriented, and involving tons of very precise line work.”

Tell us about the mural you created at Getaway?

“I would describe my mural that I painted for Getaway as a mural where I aim to represent not only nature, but people being free. I think that a big inspiration for this mural is definitely how important it is to admire nature and appreciate it, but also recognize how important it is to let ourselves be our natural best free selves, which to me relates back to queerness and allowing yourself to express yourself fully and be proud and brave about who you are. So for this mural, I did some research about the local flora and fauna, and I wanted to represent the white tailed deer, foxes and butterflies that are local to the area, because I just think it’s important that everyone gets represented, even animals.”

What inspires you?

“So what inspires me always is my community and the people around me who love me. For me, there’s no art process without the people who inspire it. I’ve always been moved to create because of the people around me and the way that they live their lives. Specifically, all of the queer and trans people who have been here before me and here now being brave and proud, that will always be my number one inspiration. And that is the reason why I want to continue to create, to reinforce and give a sense of appreciation to all the people who are living their lives the way that I want to live my life. And I create art to reassure those people that I support them and see them and I want to represent them.”

What is your favorite part about Pride Month?

“My favorite part about Pride Month is getting to hear stories about queer and trans people living their lives. But quite honestly, I wish that there was no need for Pride Month that queer people were celebrated all year round because it’s what we deserve. We shouldn’t just have one month where we are celebrated and uplifted. We should always be celebrated and uplifted because queer people are the path to liberation. And I wish that my community was always treated with respect and equality, but I am happy and thankful that there is one month where we are highlighted, but we need more.”

“So, my community lifts me up by just being themselves. To me, the most important thing anybody can do is be brave and true, because anytime anybody stands up for themselves and decides to live their lives, honestly and truly, they’re not only doing it for themselves, but they’re also doing it for me and everybody else who is existing and queer. And I feel like that to me is the way that my community lift me up by continuing to be true to themselves, by speaking up their truth, by asking to be respected and uplifted and treated like we deserve, like beautiful human beings who deserve to take up space, who deserve to live our lives freely. And, um, yeah, trans and queer people are amazing. They always inspire me.”

What message would you give to those seeking to divide us?

“I personally don’t make art for people who choose to divide. I make art to reaffirm people who are being brave and speaking their truths. To me, the most important thing that I can do with my art is affirm somebody that they’re on the right path is affirm somebody that feels like they don’t have a lot of support. I want my art, my murals, and my drawings to convey that I’m always going to be in support of people who are being true to themselves. If there’s people out there who are being hateful and are trying to divide and oppress, I hope that my art just teaches them to be empathetic. But quite honestly, I make my art for people who are going to see it and feel like there’s a part of them that is in that piece of art.”

Tell us about your connection to nature.

“The most beautiful part about spending time outdoors is getting to reflect on how miraculous it is that we all exist and that we’re all alive. It’s insane to me that the world has so many different species of trees, animals, everything. We are living in a world that is so miraculous, and I think we rarely stop to appreciate it.”

“Being around nature and around animals reminds me that it is important to uphold the way that we are in our natural state. We, by just existing, deserve to take up space, just like deer, just like butterflies. We just deserve to be and exist and breathe and live. And I think that’s an important reminder for all queer people to know that even though there are people out there trying to tell you that what you’re doing is not right, or that your identity isn’t valid, that doesn’t matter because nature is a constant affirmation that you deserve to be here, that you deserve to take up space, and that you deserve to be alive and that you should be celebrated. So, especially trans people in this world are paving the way for what liberation looks like for us. people who are gender non-conforming, trans women, trans men, non-binary people all around the world are teaching cis, heteronormative people the way to liberate themselves from the standards of society to liberate themselves from the box that the boxes that we are born in. Unfortunately, we are the people who are trailblazing what it looks like to truly express freedom in your body and self, in community and in relationships. And I think that listening to trans people, to queer people, to black and brown people is the way to not only respect others better, but to love yourself more. You cannot be free and hate others. You can only be free through love. And I think that the more we listen to the most oppressed is the only way that we’re ever gonna get to a world that is resemblance of peace or love. We just need to continue to listen to people who we know the world has failed, so that we can get to a place that everybody has rights and is comfortable and happy being alive.”

How do you find balance?

“The way that I find balance between work and rest is by trying to be kinder to myself and remembering that if I exhaust myself in one day, that means that my energy levels and the way that I’ll feel the next will deter me from being able to be my best self. And also, thankfully, my partner who is very kind and loving, has taught me to slow down and appreciate the work that I do and not just to continue doing it, rushed from work, to work, to work.”

“My community has also helped me to learn a lot of self-care tips and honestly just breathing and trying to be a little bit kinder goes a long way. But I definitely haven’t found the perfect balance yet. So, I’ll keep you posted.”

Make sure to check out the mural Maite created at Getaway Coosa River during your June escape.