Pedro Nel Ospina
My work as an artist explores my search for identity and assimilation in the face of cultural change. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, but raised in New York City, my life’s path has been dedicated to the pursuit of simultaneously exposing myself to a wide range of learning experiences and cultures and then sharing that information and knowledge with those I encounter.
To this end, I have sought out and absorbed experiences from a variety of sources; from an academic arts education in the U.S to, apprenticeships with artisans in Mexico, Wales, Colombia, and Brazil, working in inner city public schools through out the states of Pennsylvania and New York, extensive work in marginal communities in Colombia and Brazil. These experiences have helped me to realize the importance and impact that art has in the life of an individual and how I as an artist may facilitate education, change and growth.
My character thrives on change and is stimulated by challenges and new environments. It is this fact that in 1997 brought me to the American School of Sao Paulo, Brazil to teach high school art. While teaching I became fascinated with the popular culture and decided to invest my energies in co-founding a community based art center in an under-developed neighborhood. After eight years, Casa Cultura de Santa Teresa is a three-story building consisting of art rooms, theater, library, computer lab and offers over 12 classes to the local community. I presently give workshops, implement community projects and create my own work. My time is divided between Sao Paulo, Brazil, New York and Philadelphia.