Samoan artist, Jewel Castro, was born in Chicago, raised in San Diego and Laguna Niguel, California, and now lives near Seattle.
Her mother was from American Samoa and her maternal grandparents were the late Reverend Suitonu Galea’i of Fitiuta in Manu’a, and Tinei of Samoa who helped establish the First Samoan Congregational Church in San Diego in 1964. Aspects of their church, her Samoan family, especially things learned from her grandmother have been a major influence on her artwork. Most recently her paintings were featured on the September 2016 covers of The American Quarterly.
Jewel was a San Diego Fellow at and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego; a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University; and an Associate Arts degree from Grossmont College. She taught studio art courses and schools in San Diego county from 1998-2013. Jewel has taught for the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at the University of Washington in Tacoma since 2013.
Sharing the importance of higher education with young Pacific Islanders is important to Jewel. You can reach her by email. For more information on Jewel’s artwork please visit her website at www.jewelcastro.com.