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Artist of the Month - May 2022

Written By Victor Ortiz Jr
Arts Council Menifee

Estella Calderon holds one of the many paintings that she has created and sells at the Menifee and Boutique, while explaining what inspires her artwork. Photo By Victor Ortiz, Jr.

As a child, Estella Calderon expressed a keen interest in creatively drawing images. As such, she would enter art contests seen in advertisements and was even offered an opportunity to attend an art school to sharpen her skills, however she did not get the chance to progress until she reached adulthood.

Her father, who she described as a stern Hispanic man, had mentioned to the young Calderon that art was a waste of time.

“I never went to school for it (drawing and painting),” Calderon said. “Later on in life my dad apologized to me and regretted that he did not let me go to school for art, because he saw what I have accomplished.”

Calderon, who volunteers at the Menifee Art and Boutique located in Menifee, California every Tuesday, has a wide array of her paintings on display that she sells.

Her unique acrylic painting method and style mostly includes a strong presence of animals, which she says serves as a reminder of her happy childhood and exhibits her love of animals.

“When I was growing up, one of my grandmothers had a lot of chickens, goats, and geese,” said Calderon. “We would sometimes be placed in the same enclosure as the animals just so that it would be easier for 'us' to be watched. I liked teasing a goat around and would play chase. He (the goat) would never hurt me, but we would just play chase.”

Recently, Calderon’s main focus has been painting ladies with large eyes and always finds a way to include an animal in the image she creates. “In a lot of my work people tell me that they see my mother because she had big eyes,” said Calderon. “My mother was very crafty, and did painting herself. She inspired me a lot.”

Calderon said she is inspired by not only her family and many life memories, but also likes to look at older magazines to obtain ideas. Sometimes she draws ideas from watching TV, specifically Spanish soaps.

Calderon’s colorfully detailed art can be found throughout the Menifee Art and Boutique. She is currently working on a project featuring an angel, which she plans to sell at the boutique in the future.

“I like showing my art because it gives a lot of people pleasure. They smile when they see it,” said Calderon.

Estella Calderon's art has enriched Menifee’s artistic community and her helpful attitude and commitment to furthering visual arts in the community shows no sign of slowing down. It is for these reasons and her constant dedication to her craft that Arts Council Menifee is pleased to name Estella Calderon as May 2022 Artist of the Month.

For more information on Arts Council Menifee, visit

Menifee Art and Boutique is located at 26830 Cherry Hills Blvd. Menifee, CA 92586

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