About the artist.

Rachel Simko grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. From her very earliest years she was a creative and artistic child who spent her time drawing, painting, doing crafts, and making up stories to go with her work. By high school she was working on commission and selling her art.

Completing her foundation year at Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) she transferred to and graduated cum laude from MICA -Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD, with a Bachelors of Fine Art.

After graduating she continued to produce and sell her work while supporting herself by working at books stores, framing shops, and eventually coming to teach art full time at an art studio in Bethesda, MD, to adults and children (ages 4 to 17.) While teaching there she began to offer free classes at a local women's shelter.

In 2010, after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, she organized an art show and sale of hers and other artists work to raise money to help with the clean up. Later, during the summer of that same year, she traveled on a short term mission trip as a chaperone with her church’s youth group, to Ecuador, South America. While there she found a need and a place for her skills and passions as an artist.

Always seeking ways to serve and bring art to those who need it and lack it most in their lives, in February 2011, she returned to Ecuador through the mission organization, Youth World, and began a ministry of teaching arts and

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crafting classes,and other projects, in low income and at risk communities in Quito and other cities and areas (while simultaneously studying Spanish.) She has also painted various murals, tutored in a home for former street boys, taught classes and organized events at local Children's Homes (semi-orphanages for children with incarcerated parents), and most recently began offering classes at a home for girls, at risk of and rescued from, sex-trafficking.

She has continued in this work for the last four and a half years and also continues to produce her own art and work on commission in her free time.

To learn more about her work in Ecuador please visit her blog: https://artinecuador.wordpress.com/