November Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rangel

November Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rangel

Carmen Rangel

Portrait of @ladivina.latina , local latinx activist, model, and body positive advocate• made from repurposed paint swatch cards from previous murals and from @austincreativereuse

How did you start doing art?
I’ve always been drawn to the arts and creating things. I started playing around with paint in high school just for fun but after that, I chose to take a lot of art courses in college while I was obtaining my Bachelor’s in Communication. I kind of had a light bulb moment when I realized that art is a form of visual communication so I started diving into the world of public art, murals are what spoke to me the most. I learned that public art has the ability to communicate causes or ideas, and it can also connect and beautify a community. The past few years I have just started my journey as a professional artist and can’t wait to see where this path takes me.


What is your preferred medium?
Painting with acrylic is my preferred medium on canvas or murals, but recently I have grown really fond of recycled paper, glass, and ceramic for my new mosaic pieces.


What drives your creative spirit these days? 
Community and representation are the two factors that are really driving my current body of work. Lately, I’ve been trying to add an accessible community engagement element to some of my art simply because I love inspiring and empowering others to create. Examples of that would be pop-up community painting murals and The Mosaic Workshop. As an artist and woman of color, I feel it is my duty to not only diversify the arts through representation but to use my art to share stories of diverse people.


How does reuse play a part in your art?
Anytime I’m creating I try to find ways to incorporate reuse because I love the hunt for “new” materials or finding ways to finally use that item I’ve been collecting for the perfect moment. When I started painting murals I collected paint chip cards from paint stores for color matching swatches but I didn’t want to throw them away so I kept them for years before starting to make collages with them. I am constantly overwhelmed by a large amount of stuff and waste that’s out there so reusing and recycling in my art makes those feelings more manageable. I’m not always able to practice reuse in all my projects but its something that I strive to do whenever I can.


What compels you to donate to ACR?
I try to be really mindful about what I bring into my tiny home so once its served its purpose and I’ve run out of ideas for it I donate to ACR so that someone else has the opportunity to give it a new life. Waste nothing!


Do you have a favorite ACR find? What did you do with it?
There are so many great finds at ACR. Some of my favorite items include paint chips that I use for my paper collage/mosaic pieces and unique wood items to use as a canvas especially heart-shaped ones that I turn into an Earth because it really shows the impact that places like ACR have on the planet. And for painted or mosaic murals I’ve been able to reuse donated paint and ceramic, and stained glass that I find at ACR. The community mosaic mural “The Grey Ghost” I created with my team at The Mosaic Workshop was created with some ceramics and glass we found at ACR!


Where can we find out more about your art? 
Thanks so much, ACR!
Find me on Instagram @vivalapainter and for community mosaic projects check out @atxmosaicworkshop on IG


It is a true gift to have you in our community! Thanks for all you do to help keep Austin creating!



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