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NHLI  2009 Executive Leadership Training Conference & Mujer Awards

2009 Artists

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First Place


Blanca SantanderOriginally from Lima, Peru, Blanca Santander arrived in the Pacific North West in 1996, and she has always felt welcomed to be a part of this community. Life in Washington inspires her to develop the creative process of her artwork. She is proud to live in a state with sophisticated art and technological traditions. Meditation, dreams, and spirituality are the primary elements of her work. In her lifetime, meditation has allowed her to harness external energies. Her faith in humanity and inspiration from dreams has guided her art into expressions of hope for preserving nature and protecting the environment.

As a communicator, part of the Latino community in the Northwest, also showing her heritage through her paintings, She believes and shares the world’s necessity of compassion, love and environmental defense. Speaking softly through her art, gentle and strong as a woman, it is my her to be part of a collective conscience that we as a world be better served by focusing on peace as opposed to war, love as opposed to hate and acceptance as opposed to fear.

Her website is,


Second Place

Mariposa Metamorphosis
Mariposa Metamorphosis

Angie Del RiegoA talented import from the Caribbean, Angelines (Angie) Del Riego was born in the Dominican Republic, an island of incredible beauty and contrast. Contrast has been a principal characteristic of her art, often reflecting her country and her roots. Largely a self-taught talent, Angie has been called a “Renaissance Woman,” for her passion about her art, as well as her music. She grew up accompanying herself to sing “Boleros” (Latin American love songs.) Through the passion in the bright colors of her paintings, the character of her drawings, and the expressive emotion of her songs and writings, she tells stories of life experiences that have enriched her life as an artist, as well as a person. The two most important ingredients in her work are “sensitivity” and “inspiration.” She is a proud mother of three children, and a graduate from Rollins College in Florida with a B.A. in Organizational Communication. Angie has recently relocated to the Washington DC area with the goal of finding funding opportunities to further develop art projects with the purpose of educating, creating awareness, and empowering women throughout the world.


Mujer en el Jardin
Mujer en el Jardin

Laura Lopez CanoLaura López Cano paints memorable images that disclose the tender yet powerful feeling of womanhood, portraying glimpses of private moments and sentimental encounters, and dripping with female experiences as interpretations of culture and tradition. Her truly unique style blends acrylics with oils on large canvases capturing the beauty, strength, elegance and pride of Latinas and all women of color.

Cano inspires feminine diversity and artistic creativity while working to improve her community, graciously giving of her art and time to support charitable organizations, including Prevent Blindness of Texas, Casa Marianella and others that promote education and women's issues. She was selected in 2005 by the Center for Disease Control as a poster artist for the National HIV/AIDS Partnership domestic awareness campaign. And in 2006, Cano graduated from the National Hispanic Leadership Institute Executive Program and is a member of McDonald’s Corporation Mom’s Insights Global Panel.

Cano’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States. She has been a poster and cover artist for numerous esteemed organizations, a "best of show" recipient in several exhibitions, and was named 2002 YWCA Woman of the Year in the art category. With a BFA from University of Texas, El Paso and continued studies in fashion illustration at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, Cano has also applied herself to teaching college-level and private art classes in the United States and in Mexico.

Her website is