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ARTE's Visions of Justice Award, first of its kind in this field, honors a woman of color artist who has made significant contributions to their community. Nominations are open to New York–based women of color who utilize their growing visual arts practice to further human rights and social justice by bringing attention to issues that directly impact others and/or using the arts to share and amplify the narratives of their community. 

2023 Visions of Justice Award Recipient: Maria "Toofly" Castillo

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Ecuadorian, New York City artist Maria" Toofly" Castillo (she/her) is recognized for her hard and fluid style and signature “Love Warrior” character.


One of the few women in the art world to step into a male dominated graffiti scene in the early 90's. She helped pave the way for others who shortly after followed in her footsteps. Staying true to her roots she continues to inspire, educate, and empower women and youth around the world.

2022 Visions of Justice Award Recipient: Katie Yamasaki

Katie Yamasaki (she/her) is a muralist and children’s book artist. She's painted 80+ murals with diverse communities around the world that explore local issues of social justice.


Her children’s book work focuses on similar themes of social justice and stories from underrepresented communities. For over a decade, much of the focus of Yamasaki’s work has been around mass incarceration, the criminalization of trauma and the impact of family separation.

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2021 Visions of Justice Award Recipient: Johanna Toruño

Johanna Toruño (she/her) is a Salvadoran-born, New York-based visual artist and the founder and creative director of the Unapologetic Street Series, a multi-medium public art series that centers Queer people of color in public spaces.

Using her creativity as an act of protest, Johanna combines vibrant poster art with thought-provoking messages to spark conversation surrounding LGBTQ+ visibility and the livelihood of the working class & immigrant Black & Brown community.

2020 Visions of Justice Award Recipient: Sophia Dawson

Sophia Dawson (she/her) is a Brooklyn based visual artist who has dedicated her life’s work to exposing the stories and experiences of individuals who are striving to overcome the injustices they face both individually and collectively.


By raising awareness of these individuals she aims to humanize social justice issues and to prevent such experiences from being repeated in the future.

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Visions of Justice Award Criteria


ARTE's Visions of Justice Award honorees must be:

  • Residents of New York City or New York State.

  • Women of color.

  • Visual artists who use their artistic practice to bring awareness to human rights issues and/or inspire social justice action in their communities/around the world.

Maria "Toofly" Castillo, The 2023 award recipient, will be honored on Saturday, February 11 at our annual Visions of Justice fundraiser.

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