Layqa Nuna Yawar (b. 1984, Cuenca Ecuador) is a public artist and multidisciplinary storyteller based in the ancestral 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 the Kichwa-Kañari legacy of his descent. His practice 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 the private and the public realms.

His work has been recently commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Munich Airport NJ, in partnership with Public Art Fund and can be permanently found at the new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. His collaborative work is also now on view at MoMA PS1 in New York City. Other Recent awards include an Artist Impact Award from the Newark Museum of Art, Monument Lab Research Residency, a Creative Catalyst Fund Fellowship by the City of Newark, an Art Changemaker Award from the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and a Moving Walls Fellowship by Open Society Foundations among others. Layqa has held multiple teaching residencies, including projects with the United Nations World Food Programme, Casita Maria, and currently teaches at Rutgers University. His murals can be found in cities and communities around the world.

Layqa Nuna Yawar: PBS State of the Arts