Diana Blandon Graphic Artist Colombia

Diana Was born in Medellin Colombia. She is a graphic artist and has ventured into the areas of graphic design, painting, sketching and photography.

"I am a person who loves to feel everything that is surrounding me. For me, this is the reason to be alive, to feel all kinds of things, from the most delicious ones to the most repulsive ones. Perhaps it is because I was born in Medellin, Colombia, a city filled with extremes but that has a beauty that you would never forget if you visit it once. I love to meet new people, new places, new flavors, new textures, but above all I like to experience new feelings. That is where I get all I need to continue living in this world stuffed with extreme situations.."

See Diana's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Ivan Segura Writer Mexico

Ivan is a poet, not for what he writes, but for how he looks at life,
and how he inspires others

His muse

See Ivan's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Marcelo Novo Painter Argentina

Marcelo Novo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1963. He graduated as a Profesor Nacional de Bellas Artes from Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “Prilidiano Pueyrredon” (Buenos Aires, Argentina), received a Master's degree from the University of South Carolina and taught art at Benedict College from 1995 to 1998. His art has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the Centro Cultural Recoleta, in Buenos Aires, Argentina; The DeLand Museum of Art in DeLand, FL.; the Cinque Gallery in New York; the Museum of Latin American Art, CA; and the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC. In addition, his work is in public and corporate collections, including those of the South Carolina State Arts Collection, Computer Sciences Corporation, the Cultural Council of Richland & Lexington Counties in South Carolina and the White House Christmas Ornaments Collection. Mr. Novo is the recipient of numerous awards and honors; has received grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission; and was a scholar-in-residence in the Faculty Resource Network Summer Program at New York University. Recently, he was selected and participated in the Artists Retreat at Pritchards Island in Beaufort, SC.
He lives and works as a full-time artist in Columbia, South Carolina.

See Marcelo's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Lad Santiago Writer Puerto Rico

Lad Santiago is of Puerto Rican descent, born and raised in New York City. He received his B.A. degree in Molecular Biology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He completed his premedical education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After moving to South Carolina in 1976, he received his doctorate as a healthcare provider, but continued his postgraduate education in Preventive Medicine at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. During his years of practice, he served a disenfranchised community in a large southern metropolitan city for a substantial number of years.

As a result of his love for the arts and humanities, in recent years he has undergone further education in the arts. He received an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing, and another M.F.A. degree in Digital Cinema. Presently, he is a candidate for the Ph.D. from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.

In years past, he has served as a health manpower consultant to the Office of Health Manpower Opportunity at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was also a key organizer of the first National Latino Health Manpower Conference held in Chicago, Illinois; a national conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. He served as an executive director of a national health manpower advocacy organization for Latinos. He has also served as an executive director for a statewide association for healthcare professionals. Currently, he is a member of the Community Advisory Council of the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg. Within this organization, he has and continues to work for the inclusion and participation of minority communities in artistic programs and functions. These include theater, dance, visual arts, music, and other artistic disciplines. He is also a member of the Southeastern Writers Association, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Pen American Center, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and the Upstate Film Society.

Lad Santiago has been honored as an Outstanding Young Man of America, and has been included in Oxford’s Who’s Who in America. At the present time, he is serving a three-year term as a Commissioner in the Human Relations Commission of the City of Spartanburg. Through the Commission, he is working to resolve social, economic, health, and educational concerns in the Spartanburg community.

See Lad's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Cristian Diaz Painter/Pencil Skecther Uruguay


Cristian Diaz is an artist with a huge talent who develops an extreme pencil technique. His pictures are recognized by their high level of detail and realism.

He developed his technique in his young years, starting as a professional portrayer selling pictures in the streets at the age of sixteen in his native country of Uruguay, South America.

Many of his drawings were made in 2000, when he moved to the United States. Now he lives in South Carolina spending much of his time drawing for customers and his personal collection.

Even though his main focus in art is portraits, he also likes to do still life and surrealist drawings.

See Cristian's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Itsia Vanegas Writer/Journalist  Venezuela

My name is Itsia. I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in 1963. I earned the title of licentiate in Social Communications, Major Audiovisual Journalism in December 1988, from the Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela. I worked in my country with government, private companies and broadcasting in a wide variety of positions. Since my childhood I was captivated for by different forms of art such as: dancing, music, and photography. Through my college years I was involved in different artistic projects where the photography played an important role. Although my true love for art is not my career, I have been able to tap into different forms of art such dancing, photography, TV, radio and movies. I have enjoyed every opportunity. My life has changed in so many ways over the past years and the only regret I have is that I have yet to been able to express my true passion for art.

“Everything in life is art. Just look around you! The sunrise every morning, the changes produced by each season, the sound of the waves as they break onto the beach, the thunderstorms and rain, the smiling faces, the breeze that brush your hair, the sun tanning your body… feel it, live it, enjoy it… That is art!”

See Itsia's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Manuel Gaetan Photographer Puerto Rico
After retiring as President Emeritus of the Bobbin Group, an international trade show and publishing company, Manuel Gaetan an engineer born in Puerto Rico, now dedicates more time to MGR Enterprises, Inc. This is a business management consulting firm working nationally and internationally. Creative Marketing and Business Strategies are two areas of specialization. More details about his firm can be found on his website: www.ManuelGaetan.com.

Manny, as he is commonly addressed, holds a doctorate degree in Management Engineering. He is very proud of his affiliation with the University of South Carolina, details of which appear on his website also. He has cultivated that relationship with USC since he arrived in Columbia, SC in 1970.

For some time, Manny has been an active advocate of issues that concern the Hispanic community. In addition to being one of the original founding members and director of the SCHLC, he is also an advisor to the board of Hispanic Connections, Inc. He also served as chairman of the Columbia World Affairs Council. Manny is frequently asked to lecture on Hispanic issues.

"Although I always loved to take photographs, I was a journalist for the last 28 years of my professional career, which provided me the opportunity to travel and reason to continue to take photographs. Basically, I consider myself as a photography educator"

See Manuel's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Santiago Sandi-Ureña Poet Costa Rica

I was born in the highlands and raised in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. There I received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Costa Rica before moving to South Carolina where I have completed an MS and now am in the final year of the PhD program in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson University. I have worked in radio broadcasting production and participated in several projects aimed at promoting positive social change. I think I am a teacher at heart, or maybe just admire the vocation of those who are real teachers. I have taught at secondary and college level both in Costa Rica and the US.

See Santiago's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Andrei Salamanca   Tattoo Artist Colombia

Andrei Salamanca is native from Bogota, Colombia. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Modern Languages from the Universidad Distrital of Bogota Colombia.

See Andrei's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Tatiana Diaz Poet Uruguay

I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, a city full of culture and inspiring images.
I moved to United States at the age of 17, that is when my passion for writing start.

I used to have my diaries when I was a child, like I think all girls have, but since I moved here everything changed, because I was joining a different country, so different feeling were all over.

I participated in the Second Amateur Latin Poetry Contest, and proudly got the third place.

Sometimes is hard to show my work, I don’t know why, but the Latin Poetry Contest gave me that confidence, and that is amazing for me.
I love writing, is my passion, it help me when I am sad and it help when I am happy.

I think art is in our life everyday in many ways, and we have to be thankful for it.

See Tatiana's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Mauricio Ottich Multimedia Artist Bolivia

Artist' Bio Comming Soon

See Mauricio's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Veronica Smith Writer Mexico

I was born in Hermosillo, Mexico, where I lived the first 12 years of my life, residing afterwards in different places within the country. I met my husband in 2003, and after we got married we came to live in Columbia, his birthplace. We are now the proud parents of a BEAUTIFUL!!! baby girl.
Though I majored in Psychology, I’ve done everything from teaching to recruiting.
My parents instilled the love of arts, mostly music, in me. They both sing, and my father writes music and lyrics, and plays the guitar.
Speaking with the truth, my thing is to sing, but I can’t deny writing has been cathartic and liberating throughout my entire life.
My favorite writer, and even more than that, the place I go when I’m feeling nostalgic and sad, is Jaime Sabines. I’m moved by his brutal honesty, his tenderness and the way his soul shows through his words.

See Veronica's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Alexis Acosta Figueroa
Digital Animation Specialist
Puerto Rico

Alexis Acosta is native from Puerto Rico. He holds a BS in Media Arts Communications and Animation from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. He also completed a Digital Animation Certification at the DAVE (Digital Animation & Visual Effects) School in Orlando, FL.

He participated on the Short film “Aurora” with tasks including modeling (characters and background props), rigging, animation (using MoCap and keyframe animation), and compositing. Directed all aspect of the U Robot project including: Modeling the cop robot using Lightwave 9, and textures using Photoshop, Rigging for MoCap; Cleanup and application of motion capture using Motion Builder and Tracking of footage using Boujou; and composition of final renders using Fusion.

He was also an instructor at the Atlantic College in Guaynabo, PR for the following subjects: Traditional 2D animation; Illustration; and Graphic Design.

See Alexis' Collaboration to PhotoStory Project


Maria Bravo Poet/Sketch Artist Mexico

Maria was born in Nayarit, Mexico. She has been involved in several artistic areas including: poetry, writing and sketching. She has also participated in designing programs to empower Hispanic youth and promote artistic creation in the Hispanic community such as: Expresiones Project and REACH Youth Project. She lives in Columbia SC.

See Maria's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Indy Deliz Photographer Puerto Rico

Anibal (Indy) Deliz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1961. He received his B.A. degree in TV and Movie production with a minor in photography from the “Universidad del Sagrado Corazon” in 1985.

Anibal has ventured in different areas of the arts as a director, producer, screen and play writer and the one that has always been his passion: photography. He started as a photographer for the renowned “Cali Model and Talent Agency” in San Juan, Puerto Rico then a s free lance photographer and later as the manager and photographer trainer for “Headshots” photo studios.

After a forced hiatus of 12 years taking care of a family with a special needs child, Anibal has returned to his true passion again, reluctantly going into the digital realm. Last December he had an exhibit at the Old San Juan Restaurant here in Columbia, where he displayed images of his beloved homeland: Puerto Rico.

He is currently doing freelance photographic work for aspiring models, some private functions and most recently the Richland–Lexington Airport Commission.

See Indy Deliz's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Lucia Vega Writer/Poet Peru

Born in Lima Peru on July 6, 1957. The circumstances that surrounded my childhood were a very important part of my development as an artist from a very early age.

I followeed a career in engineering but I never left behind my vocation for writing. My productions are mainly poetry, letters and short stories. I lived in Montreal Canada from 1989 to 1994. In 1994, I moved to Irmo SC, where I currently live.

Two of my poems were published by the Center for Poetic Studies in Madrid as part of their antology "Aires de Libertad" (Winds of Fredom) in December 2004 and "Regalos del Alma" (Gifts from the Soul) in December 2005.


See Lucia Vega's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Adriana Julian Painter/Pencil Sketcher Mexico

Artist' Bio Comming Soon

See Adriana Julian's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project

Tom Poland Writer USA

Tom Poland was born in Augusta, Georgia, as Thomas Mitchell Poland to John Mitchell Poland and Ruth Walker Poland. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, Georgia. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Masters in Education from the University of Georgia.

A frequent contributor to magazines, he has written approximately 400 features. Poland’s first book, South Carolina—The Natural Heritage, was published in 1989 by the University of South Carolina Press. James Dickey wrote the foreword. In 1994, the University of South Carolina Press published his second book, South Carolina—A Timeless Journey. In 1996, he published "Deliver Me from Leviathan" in Reckon magazine, a literary feature on the career of James Dickey. Excerpts and references from "Deliver Me From Leviathan" were published in 2000 in The World As A Lie—James Dickey, the Dickey biography authored by Henry Hart. In 1999, the University of South Carolina published his third book, Reflections of South Carolina. In 2005, Bookhouse Group published his fourth book, A Just & Noble Cause.

His novel, Forbidden Island ... An Island Called Sapelo, deals with themes of hope and destruction: man's alteration of the Earth and man's efforts to stave off the inevitable loss of family.

He has lived in Columbia, South Carolina, much of his adult life, where he writes and teaches.

See Tom Poland's Collaboration to PhotoStory Project




The PhotoStory Project is an initiative of the SC Hispanic Leadership Council.


The Photo Story Project
is an initiative of local Latino artist that aims to create a story told by a series of alternating visual and literary submissions. Our goal is to bring SC Latino artists together for a common artistic venture in order to bridge Hispanic artistry with the American culture.

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Explore our other initiatives

Escuincles Project

The Escuincles Project (pronounced "skwink les") is a collaborative effort of local amateur and professional Hispanic artists to foster an appreciation of the experience, culture, and struggles of Latino childhood.

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PhotoStory Logo and Website designed by Diana Blandon.