Melanie Cervantes is a 31-year old Xicana artist-activist from Los Angeles that is now based in Oakland, California. Through her art she creates a powerful visual language to declare that a peaceful, sustainable and just world is possible. Cervantes views her art practice as a part of a growing movement for global social justice producing her work in various mediums including pen and ink, acrylic, screenprinting, and paper stencils. Employing vibrant colors and hand drawn illustrations her work moves those viewed as marginal to the center and features subjects such as empowered youth, elders, women, queers, indigenous people and communities of color.
Cervantes often works in collaboration with grassroots organizations creating prints that address issues such as immigration, racism, indigenous autonomy and self-determination,
revolutionary feminism, LGBTQ rights, the prison industrial complex and prints that call
for international solidarity. As a member of the Taller Tupac Amaru she works to foster a
resurgence in the screenprinted political poster. Cervantes also has a joint project, Dignidad Rebelde, with printmaker Jesus Barraza. Dignidad Rebelde is a space for collaboration and artistic skill-sharing that is grounded in a Xicana/Indigenous world view and that is fueled by the collective desire to support grassroots organizing for social justice.
Though she works in various mediums the printmaking medium has allowed her to create
large editions of multiples that can be spread throughout her community and throughout the
world. Following the tradition of such artists as the Taller Grafica Popular, the Organization
of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa & Latin America (OSPAAL),Emory Douglas,
Juana Alicia, Malaquias Montoya, Las Mujeres Muralistas, Judy Baza and Juan R. Fuentes
-Cervantes has made a life long commitment to being an artist for the people.