Jhina Alvarado


Jhina (pronounced He-nah) Alvarado is a self-taught, figurative artist who started painting in her late twenties. Having been afraid to paint a portrait or a human figure, she painted mostly abstracted art with elements of realism within each work. In 2009, feeling frustrated artistically, she decided to challenge herself and painted her first portrait and now exclusively paints figuratively. As a woman of color, who is half Mexican and half Korean, she struggled with finding art that represented women who looked like her. To fix this, her recent work focuses on people, mostly women, of color who she sees in her community.

Jhina has had multiple gallery representation across the US and has been featured in many print and online magazines, blogs and art books. Her work is in prominent private and corporate collections and has been commissioned by the royal family of Monaco. She currently teaches AP Calculus at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts while also painting in her home studio in San Francisco.  She is raising twins with her husband and while she is exhausted from juggling two careers and chasing after two spirited children, she wouldn’t change her life for the world.


In my series, titled “Garden of Eden”, I paint the “everyday” woman, focusing on women of color. These women have a beauty that goes deeper than what is on the surface. There is an inner strength I want to show, a fierceness that makes these images powerful to the viewer. These women that I see every day in my community, reflect what the real world looks like, not the white-washed, superficial beauty that can flood television, movies, media and art. These women are real. They are mothers, daughters, sisters. They are teachers, lawyers, students, home-makers, and more. I want to celebrate these women and show that every woman deserves to be portrayed in art.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve was surrounded by the beauty of the garden before being cast out due to a moment of weakness, a single choice that changed everything. Much like this garden, my paintings are filled with lush flowers and foliage. They surround each figure and envelope them. They show that although there is beauty in the world, there is still danger and evil that is lurking. Some of these paintings are more symbolic with an element of danger, like the snake in the Garden of Eden. In other paintings, the danger, much like the real world, is unseen and can be dependent on a single choice, a single outcome which can change everything.

I started this series because as a mother of twins, one being a girl, I wanted to show them that not everyone has to have “super model” good looks in order to be depicted in art. Beauty is not just skin-deep and superficial. Beauty is an inner power and strength, which I try and foster within them. I want my twins to see art with people that look like them and the people in their community and school.


Available Works


Search for an Artist or Artwork by Category


Account Login

Don’t have an acount? Sign up now.