Journal

Kindred Artist of the Week: Ricardo Levins Morales

"I am most of all inspired by the resilience that resides in nature, in living things including the humans I get to collaborate with. Because I create art for social justice movements I am in regular contact with people taking real steps to make tangible short and long-term change."

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week’s featured artist is the infinitely inspiring Ricardo Levins Morales, a social justice luminary whose art and organizing have spanned decades of movements.

Who are you?

I am a Caribbean transplant in Minnesota, a visual artist and social movement organizer. I live in relationship with a partner and have two grown and awesome adult children.

What do you do?

I show up at my storefront studio, walking distance from my home, where I work alongside a crew of coworkers, creating, printing and distributing my art, planning events and speaking with students, individual activists and organizations.

Who/what inspires you?

I am most of all inspired by the resilience that resides in nature, in living things including the humans I get to collaborate with. Because I create art for social justice movements I am in regular contact with people taking real steps to make tangible short and long-term change.

What’s your favorite moment in the process?

As an artist, my favorite part of the process is when a piece starts to 'gel.' I often start out feeling my way. I have an idea but don't know quite how it's going to work out. I wait for the moment when it clicks and I've found the concept, or the style or the “feel” of the piece and know it'll come out awright.

What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?

I keep relearning the importance of continuing to make art. There are so many other things that also need doing. If I have let myself go too long, I lose the “groove.” I'm not sure if or how I can really do this. If I have a number of projects going and am continually working on them, it becomes easy to just slide into the next one rather than feeling like an outsider to the process.

What’s next?

I have a variety of art pieces to work on and am also writing. This fall I plan an exhibit in my city marking fifty years of combining art and organizing in the different movements I've been part of. I intend to make it a forum for hosting inter-generational activist discussions.

See more of Ricardo's work here

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