March 17, 2021 


“Stand in My Shoes,” a painting by Wayne Ramirez, MFA, MS, ATR-R was selected for the Embracing Our Differences 2021 international art exhibition in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Embracing Our Differences is a nonprofit that seeks to “expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family.”

Only 50 artists were selected out of 15,912 entries from 128 countries and 48 states. The 2021 Exhibit will be on display in Bayfront Park in Sarasota, Florida from January 20 through April 1, 2021. 

The exhibition, complete with a statement and introductory video of each artist, is available online here.  

Wayne Ramirez pictured at the Bayfront Park exhibition in Sarasota, Florida with his artwork, “Stand in My Shoes”

Artist Statement

My painting illustrates a young Black girl wearing the iconic “Mary Jane” shoes with bobby socks. From 1904 to the present, these shoes have been traditionally advertised as dress shoes for little white girls. The painting’s subliminal message is: “My shoes and socks are like yours and I am like you.” Having a Black child wearing the shoes and socks makes her a universal symbol representing all young girls and the challenges they face from iconic commercial stereotypes created by the white-dominated advertising world. Manufacturers have only recently begun to acknowledge their role in perpetuating institutionalized racism in advertising. At first glance, “Stand in My Shoes” may seem to be just a realistic painting. But take a second glance and consider who is standing in them.

Meet the Artist