PEDRO NEL OSPINA
As an artist, I attempt to dispel the myth that creation belongs solely to artists. My main objective is to get all people to explore their creativity and appreciate the varied talents that exist within each community. It is my belief that the strength and essence of any community is contained in their youth. My work within communities has always focused on youth. Through the use of art, I am able to instill in them values such as self-esteem, respect, pride and dignity-- foundations vital to the growth and well being of the individual. My aesthetic principals are based on rituals and craftsmanship. I believe that the very act of creating empowers the works with meaning and life. Dedication to the work results in a deep and profound experience between the artist and his or her creation. My work is part of a healing ritual that brings me in touch with my present situation and myself. As an artist, my life has been significantly marked by authentic contact with diverse cultures, and a vast range of artistic and academic experiences. My work is a reflection of those experiences and a personal need to maintain my cultural roots.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, State University of New York, College at Purchase, NY, 1987. Masters of Fine Arts, Maryland Institute College of Art, MD, 1997.
Teaching Artist Experience
Pedro Ospina is a multi-disciplinary artist. Over the past twenty years, he has immersed himself in a wide range of teaching venues and alternative learning experiences, both here and abroad. In 1995, he received a Philip Morris Graduate Studies Fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to experiment and explore new medias such as clay, wood and metal. Upon receiving his MFA, he was invited to teach art at the American School of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has traveled extensively throughout South America and his cross-cultural experiences are vital to his teaching and work as a professional artist. He has received numerous awards and grants such as the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation grant "Artist as Catalyst" for his work with communities. Through the Institute for the Arts in Education in Pennsylvania, he has worked with school district teachers to enhance the visual arts curriculum.