First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces Virginia Larrea as Florida’s Featured Artist for Hispanic Heritage Month

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Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Virginia Larrea as Florida’s Featured Artist for Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Sept. 15 and continues through Oct. 15.

“I am proud to highlight this beautiful art and the successful and inspiring woman behind it,” said First Lady DeSantis. “Ms. Larrea is not only an award-winning painter whose work is collected around the world, but she is also a practicing architect and interior designer in Tampa. She works diligently to bring beauty into the lives of Floridians, and I could not be more excited for her to be able to showcase her incredible talent.”

About Virginia Larrea

Virginia Larrea was born in Ecuador and grew up in Guayaquil. At the age of 10, her parents encouraged her to take art classes with local artists and teachers, and thus began her love for drawing and painting. She also credits her parents for her love of learning and travel.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at the Institute of Technology at Monterrey Mexico and a master’s degree in architecture at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Mostly a self-taught artist, Ms. Larrea’s paintings have won several awards throughout the Southeast, including the New Mexico Watercolor Society. She moved to Tampa in 1993, where she currently makes her home working as an architect and painter. Her oil paintings explore composition and light while concentrating on still life, with meticulous attention to line, form, detail and color. With pastels, she focuses on capturing Florida’s natural beauty, particularly springs and tropical settings.

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She has traveled the world, including the United States, South America and Europe. In her travels, she sketches and paints small studies for later use in larger works at her studio. Currently, she is preparing a new watercolor series based on the historical features of Ybor City in Tampa.

Ms. Larrea also teaches art to children and volunteers with several groups around the Tampa Bay area, teaching plein air in pastel and oils.

Her work will be displayed in the Governor’s Mansion for visitors to enjoy.

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