Carmen D. Meléndez-Lugo: Between 2 Worlds

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I was born in the Puerto Rican society of the 60’s, rife with tension between opposite political visions, and changing roles for women and young people. I lived the transition from a deeply traditional, agrarian society, where change often came imposed from above in the guise of “progress”. These changes, in turn, robbed Puerto Ricans of their traditional landscape, culture and social organization and replaced them with empty consumerism.

I have been a schoolteacher, health advocate, office worker, data entry worker, medical translator, cartoonist, commercial artist and designer, and community activist, not to mention wife, mother and immigrant. Throughout it all I have always been passionate about making art, and art’s role in society. During this journey, I have been blessed with exposure to outstanding artists and teachers who have supported, inspired and given direction to my expressive efforts, both in Puerto Rico and the U.S.

I also come from the rich and long tradition of Puerto Rican art, proudly representational and insistent in its social commentary. Like many Puerto Rican and Latino artists, I believe that artists have an obligation to stay engaged in (and reflect on) their social context, beyond expressing pure aesthetics and concepts. And so I see myself as part of a very long tradition of socially conscious artists.

Subtlety is not my strong suit. I am opinionated in life and in art, and so when I work I use bold lines and colors to describe and express. For these reasons I gravitate towards the immediacy of drawing and paper, whether I use a printing press or a pencil. I hope you like what you see here today. Please feel free to drop me a line with your ideas or comments, and/or subscribe to my mailing list for occasional updates and announcements.