Artist and Cultural Worker
Melanie Cervantes (Xicanx) has never lived far from the California Coast. Born in Harbor City, California and raised in a small city in the South Bay of Los Angeles Melanie now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area where she creates visual art that is inspired by the people around her and her communities’ desire for radical social transformation. Melanie’s intention is to create a visual lexicon of resistance to multiple oppressions that will to inspire curiosity, raise consciousness and inspire solidarities among communities of struggle.
In 2007 she co-founded Dignidad Rebelde, a graphic arts collaboration that produces screen prints, political posters and multimedia projects that are grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from histories of colonialism, patriarchy, genocide, and exploitation. and Dignidad Rebelde’s purpose is to illustrate stories of struggle, resistance and triumph into artwork that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.
Melanie has exhibited extensively nationally including at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco); National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago); and Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY) and internationally at the Musée d’Aquitaine (Bordeaux, France), Galerija Alkatraz (Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Museo Franz Mayer (Mexico City, Mexico). Her work is in the permanent collections of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the Latin American Collection of the Green Library at Stanford, the Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College and the Library of Congress and the as well as various other public and private collections throughout the U.S.
Cervantes is the inaugural recipient of the two-year Art In Resistance Fellowship (2019-2020), as well as being recognized as Dignidad Rebelde with The Piri Thomas & Suzie Dodd Cultural Activist Award from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (2016), Community Award, National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies (2015), the NALAC Fund for the Arts(2012) and the Exemplary Leadership award from San Francisco State University (2010)
She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.