Mario Alberto Lucero
Social justice art is meant to be accessible and transformative to create critical consciousness within the community. Therefore, as a visual artist, I combine traditional inking and digital art to create logos and paintings for organizations and individuals that share my vision. I see my artwork as an ally for communicating political activism, and as a springboard for facilitating diverse Latino experiences rising up to the challenge of reclaiming identity and space.
Relationship to Chicago:
My parents are first generation immigrants from the Mexican states of Durango and Chihuahua. I was born in El Paso, Texas but raised in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. I grew up in a barrio known as the “Jungle” where I discovered my passion for drawing at an early age. Art was an escape from the gang violence and poverty that surrounded me, and my inspiration to create art came from my mother: the most resilient warrior in the Jungle. Art was my rock in the darkest of times, and it continues to signify empowerment, resistance, and hope. My political consciousness was sparked in my high school AP Spanish Language and Culture course by learning about the “big three” artists—Siqueiros, Rivera, and Orozco—of the Mexican muralist movement, which I further explored in art school while designing with a “Black Sci-Fi” comic book company known as Griot Enterprises. Afterwards, I received my Master’s in Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Now, as Assistant Director of the UIC Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center, I facilitate Arts-Based Civic Dialogues, oversee the graphic design, and help create public programming centered around the arts and humanities.
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Drawing, Illustration, Mixed Media, Social Practice