Layqa Nuna Yawar (b. Cuenca, Ecuador, 1984) is a public artist and multidisciplinary storyteller based in the unceded lands of the Lenni-Lenape: current day Newark, NJ. His work is best known for large scale community-based murals, intricate portrait paintings and multimedia projects that center the complex narratives of immigrant, black, indigenous and subaltern populations. His artwork aims to disrupt established semiotic systems and reimagine them in service of shared liberation and a better future.

Layqa's name is an invention that honors and reclaims the Kichwa-Kañari side of his mixed descent. His praxis is driven by the act of reclaiming history as well as the inherent rupture and repair of the immigrant experience. His work exists at the intersection between migrant alienation and belonging, cross-cultural identity and decolonization, and between private and public space.

His work has been recently awarded a Monument Lab Research Residency, a Creative Catalyst Fund Fellowship by the City of Newark, and a Moving Walls Fellowship by Open Society Foundations among other awards. Layqa has held multiple teaching residencies, including projects with the United Nations World Food Programme, Casita Maria and Rutgers University. He has exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, the Newark Museum, and The Zimmerli Art Museum, among others.

His murals can be found in cities and communities around the world.

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portrait by Simbarashe Cha.

© Layqa Nuna Yawar 2021. All Rights Reserved.