“Reina.” Her name. “76.” The year she was born. “Artist.” Her personal and professional passion. It’s a concise moniker juxtaposed against the big personality and layers of talent of one of Harrisburg’s most active artists, so let’s learn more about Reina76Artist – Millworks Artist | Studio 318.

Art is for All

Harrisburg native and longtime resident (there were some Philly years in between!) Reina E. Aguilar Wooden has a simple yet powerful message: “Art is for all.” It’s for all to create. For all to enjoy. For all to feel. From encouraging young artists to stick with their craft to talking with strangers-turned-customers who happen upon her studio, Reina encourages art to be shared and appreciated no matter your skill, age, or background.


Reina Beer Can Creative   

Keystones and Crowns

Reina’s studio at The Millworks in Harrisburg’s Midtown neighborhood is bright with bright colors painted in an abstract expressionism style. Crowns and Pennsylvania’s Keystone symbol are prevalent in many of her pieces. The crown honors her favorite artist – she says Jean Michel Baptiste inspired her to paint – and nods to the fact that her name means “Queen” in Spanish.

She uses the Keystone symbol to establish herself as an artist of color in the Keystone State. She talks passionately about how important it is for artists of color to be represented at the state’s museums and galleries, so she’s not shy about making Pennsylvania a focal point of not just her artwork, but also her identity. She’s “a proud Pennsylvania through and through.”

You’ll also see a lot of circular motion. “Life to me is always continuous. It’s in motion whether you feel it or not,” she says.

Connecting With Patrons

Some patrons find her through social media. She’s quick to hit “record” on a selfie and let her followers know about not just what’s happening with her own work, but about other collaborations, events, and opportunities in the arts community.

Some people wander up to her 3rd floor studio when they’re out for dinner or drinks at The Millworks. Visitors might not start the outing with buyers’ intentions – but - after browsing and great conversations with the artist, a piece of Reina’s artwork – or a piece of herself as she’ll tell you – often finds a new home. Reina will tell you that the connection with the visitors – the people viewing and experiencing her art – is as precious to her as the sale.

Did You Know? The Millworks Studios host a popular "First Saturday" event every month where all artist studios are open from 2pm-5pm. Check the Events Calendar for classes and other special events. 


Reina Painting   

A Lifetime of Love for Art

Reina says her African American and Venezuelan family heritage helped to shape her love of – and exposure to – all types of art. Making innumerable trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art when she lived in the city, Reina soaked in the works around her. When she returned to Harrisburg about 20 years ago, she decided to make art her full-time job. “Harrisburg inspired me,” she says.

“Artists Unite!”

To know Reina for even 5 minutes is to know one thing with crystal clarity; She is passionate about doing her part to support, encourage, and inspire a community of artists across Harrisburg and beyond to create, create, create – whether it sells or not.

She loves working at pop-ups where she can encourage young or new or younger artists because, “It’s not about me getting sales or recognition or being the only artist in town…I want every artist to feel empowered and to feel that they can live comfortably as an artist.”

To young artists or former art teachers or students who’ve stopped painting for fear of the pressure of sales – “Don’t stop!” she says!

Reina is thankful for a supportive community of artists and patrons across Harrisburg, and hopes to see more artist collectives like The Millworks curated in other areas of the city.

Reina Art Umbrellas   

Reina’s Local Picks

If Reina is your tour guide for the day, here’s a look at what you can expect to see. (Outside of a trip to her studio, of course!)

  • The Pennsylvania State Capitol: Reina says there’s so much history in terms of the artwork in the building.
  • The Midtown Scholar Bookstore: The sprawling bookstore is just a block away from her studio. With all the stories it holds, it can be a great place to be inspired for her next piece!
  • Nyianga Store: You’ll find authentic African clothes, art, and accessories.
  • Nyeusi Gallery: You’ll find art curated from local artists of color and from artists of color around the world.
  • Arepa House: When it’s time to grab a bite, Reina says the cuisine at Arepa House is authentically representative of what you’ll find in Venezuela. With her African American and Venezuelan heritage and having traveled to Venezuela – she confirms Arepa House is spot on with its taste!

Harrisburg Arts District

Reina's studio in The Millworks artist collective is one of dozens of locations in the Harrisburg Arts District, a walkable section of parts of the city's Downtown, Midtown, and Riverfront areas. You'll find museums, murals, monuments, performance venues, and events highlighting Harrisburg's creative community. 

About The Millworks

The restaurant, brewery, and art studios are built on the site of the old Stokes Millworks. Many of the original wood beams were reclaimed to preserve a bit of Harrisburg history and authenticity. A rooftop biergarten offers a casual setting for food, fun, and drinks, while more formal seating is available on the ground level. 

Millworks Gallery