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The Queen Bee

Zulay Rueda

Zulay Rueda’s design, The Queen Bee, shows nature through honeybees alongside ethnic designs and typical makeup of Wayuu, one of the Colombian indigenous cultures. She feels it is important to share this culture outside the borders of her native Colombia. Zulay feels the bee reflects one of the most essential animals in nature and expresses strength, order, teamwork, and other qualities that are positive role models for human beings. In turn, the face of a Wayuu indigenous woman, with her characteristic makeup, relates the importance and urgency that exists in respecting and caring for nature. The patterns of colored lines reference the bags made by this indigenous community in which, through the shapes and colors, they represent their ancestral teachings.

Zulay is a Colombian artist currently working as a nanny in Fort Collins. She was interested in this project because it is a great cultural and artistic experience for her and for the spectators. In Colombia, she is a social worker by profession and an empirical artist. Her greatest artistic achievements have always been related to social issues and gender equality. She worked on the construction of public policy of equity and gender in one of the most important universities in Colombia, where through art, muralism, and graffiti they carried the message of women's empowerment to all students. She also worked with children displaced by armed violence in Colombia, teaching graffiti and urban art to these children in extreme poverty. She also participated in an exhibition at the museum of modern art in the city of Bucaramanga in Colombia, that sought to show the ancestral values of women.