Gloria Castillo (left), on behalf of her family who has run Garcia’s Bakery in Wimauma for over 25 years, is happy to accept a unique, large-scale art piece created by artist Bryant Martinez (right) and Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory students.

The students in the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory in Wimauma have, along with Lead Art Instructor Bryant Martinez, created a large canvas painting that is on display at Garcia’s Bakery located at 5805 SR 674 in Wimauma.

Garcia’s Bakery is a family-owned and operated business that has been in Wimauma for over 25 years.

Cesar Esparza is the operations manager.

Esparza said, “Garcia’s Bakery is a small, family-run bakery. It started with my grandparents, moved to my parents and now it is run primarily by me and my cousin, Bricelda. Since opening in March 1993, we have dedicated our time and sweat to making everything homemade and as traditional as we can. We have opened at 5 a.m. every morning for 27 years to fill the bellies of the early farmworkers. These workers are our neighbors in our small community.”

Esparza added, “The thought of having artwork made by the children of our customers on our walls is incredible. It shows that the bakery is not just family-owned and run, but also how much we are supported by our amazing neighbors and their families. Mounting their art can show how much gratitude we have towards these lifelong patrons. We wish them the best to their health in these trying times and hope to see more growth in the young minds of our community.”

The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory is a grant-funded outreach program that provides free art instruction to underserved children living in communities such as Wimauma. Funders include the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and Suncoast Credit Union. Since its inception in 2018, the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory has operated in partnership with Hispanic Services Council.

Maria Garavito, project director for Hispanic Services Council, said, “The main objective of our program is to help Hispanic parents build support networks as they learn to navigate the school system in this country. Winthrop Arts is an ideal complement to our program because while staff work with the parents to better help their children succeed academically, children are having the opportunity to express themselves and create personal bonds with other children through the language of art.”

Winthrop Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to running the Mobile Art Factory, it offers art classes to children, teens and adults at the Art Factory, along with summer camps and arts festivals. For more information, please visit www.winthroparts.org.