Celeste Byers is a California based artist specializing in large-scale murals. Since graduating with a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 2012, she has worked as a freelance illustrator and muralist around the world and throughout the United States. She has painted over 65 murals in the United States, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Her work is largely inspired by the natural world and the mystical nature hidden in everyday life. She hopes to remind others of the magic and beauty of our universe.
We Are American is an illustration by Celeste Byers celebrating a diverse array of activists from our country’s history. Byers chose to use the classic American symbols of the flag, the rose, and the bald eagle along with daisies which represent new beginnings for ALL Americans in an attempt to reclaim these symbols because this country is all of ours. From left to right, this artwork features: Richard Aoki, Dolores Huerta, Ella Baker. Grace Lee Bogs, Toni Morrison, Elenor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Vishavjit Singh, Martin Luther King, Vito Russo, Linda Sarsour, Zitkala Sa, Cesar Chavez, Bayard Russin, Haunani-Kay Trask, Gloria Steinem, and Larry Kramer. We Are American was originally created for the Ford Foundation’s Realizing Democracy series, a year-long learning series designed to reimagine the relationship among civil society, government, and the economy — and asking what it would take to realize the full promise of democracy in the United States.
"It gives me chills to know this illustration of mine will be up in Times Square in the biggest city in the nation. It feels like a symbol of hope for our country's future and I hope it serves as a larger than life reminder that we are all in this together."