CREATIVE DIRECTOR/ LEAD ARTIST
Hello, My name is Kimberly Duran, professionally known as "Shmi". I was born and raised in Santa Ana. At the early age of 5 , I began my journey creating. My experience as a first-generation Chicana informs my art, often revolving around themes of identity. I am the daughter of two migrants who settled in the city of Santa Ana. As a child, I traveled to Mexico many times and felt extremely influenced by the cultural differences and pride of my heritage. The rhythm and colorful style is what I like to call “modern chicano”, a blend of realism and folk art is an attempt to connect both American and Mexican culture, and an effort to deepen my roots. By focusing on the voices and people that inhabit and surround these spaces, my work has been able to shape the identity of my community through my murals. I have always been drawn towards creating and building with my hands and began painting mural backdrops for plays at 11. My medium of choice is aerosol and acrylic. I specialize in large scale mural paintings. Folk arts rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community.
I work alongside Bud “Thirds Realm” Herrera was born in 1985 in East Los Angeles, California. He grew up drawing as early as the age of 5. His work continued to progress and evolve at the age of 11 he ventured into the art of graff. Graffiti art became his motivation in creating and gave him the confidence to paint larger works. In addition, it taught him perspective, color theory and further developed his artistic skills, which later translated into his work with acrylics. He is currently based out of Santa Ana. He has been awarded several grants from the city of Santa Ana’s Art and Culture Office. As well as been featured on the centerfold of Premiere OC guide to Visual Art October 2020 edition. The growing popularity and demand for “Thirds Realms” artwork has gained the recognition of many and can be found in a variety of private collections throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange County and Mexico City. His work is influenced by nature, philosophy, symbolism, culture and organic elements. He occupies walls in public areas where people of diverse cultures and backgrounds can have access to free public art on their daily commutes. His objective is to continue create quality art, while sparking awareness and amplifying diversity in our community one wall at a time.
In 2013 we co-Founded a mural team, The Heavy Collective is a Public Art Initiative specializing in visual art and murals. The Heavy was founded by Kimberly Duran and Bud Herrera. Our goal is to bring art to the local community that often do not have time to view art in museums or galleries. Therefore, we occupied walls in public areas where people of diverse cultures and backgrounds can have access to free public art on their daily commutes. Our inspiration comes from the diverse ethnicities that inhabit the spaces we paint, as well as incorporating ancient civilizations, history, philosophy, culture and organic elements. Our art can be viewed in many different contexts, such as University of San Diego Arts and Humanities center mural to Luxury Hotel in Mexico City. The Heavy has been recognized on the cover & center fold of the Premier OC Visual Art Guide October 2020 Orange Coast Magazine edition. We have also collaborated with the City of Santa Ana, City of Los Angeles, City of Laguna Beach, City of Tustin, Def Jam records, Viacom, MTV, Univision, & Non-profit organizations. Our objective is to continue creating quality art, while sparking awareness in our youth one wall at a time. Art is the universal language, and it should be everywhere!